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State Defends Legal Challenge to Budget (Jun 21, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An attorney for the state says the transfer of just more than $100 million from a state transportation fund that was used to help balance Oklahoma's state budget this year is "perfectly constitutional" and that he expects the state Supreme Court will agree.

Oklahoma Solicitor General Patrick Wyrick defended the fund transfer Tuesday during a hearing before Oklahoma Supreme Court Referee Greg Albert. Albert will present a report on the arguments to the state Supreme Court.

Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent is challenging the transfer of state fuel taxes. He says it violates a provision of the state constitution that prohibits taxes levied for one purpose from being diverted to another purpose.

Wyrick says that provision has been modified by an amendment that specifically allows lawmakers to transfer funds.

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