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Senate Approves Key Piece of Budget Deal (May 18, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A day after a $70 million transportation bond issue was narrowly defeated in the Oklahoma Senate, the measure was reconsidered and approved.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 29-18 for the bill on Wednesday and sent it to the governor. It's a key component of a $6.5 billion budget agreement to fund state government for the upcoming fiscal year.

A handful of Republicans opposed to the idea of borrowing money to help balance the state budget had aligned with Democrats to derail the measure on Tuesday.

Legislative leaders are diverting $100 million from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation's road and bridge fund as part of a deal to close a $500 million shortfall in the state budget. The bill authorizes the bond issue to keep the transportation projects on schedule.

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