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Transportation Bond Issue Fails in Okla. Senate (May 17, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A transportation bond issue considered a critical component of the $6.5 billion budget deal to fund state government has failed to pass the Oklahoma Senate.

A handful of Republicans joined Democrats in the Senate on Tuesday to oppose the $70 million bond issue for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

Legislative leaders had planned to take $100 million from a road and bridge construction fund at ODOT in order to balance the budget this year. In exchange they proposed the bond issue.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Earl Sears says the failure of the bill will not derail the budget agreement. But he said it will have a significant effect on ODOT's eight-year plan to improve the state's roads and bridges.

The bill still can be heard again in the Senate.

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