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Oklahoma Panel OKs $6.5B Budget for Upcoming Year (Dec 20, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - State leaders have certified preliminary revenue figures that show lawmakers will have an estimated $6.5 billion to spend on next year's budget.

The amount certified by the Board of Equalization on Tuesday is roughly the same that they spent last year.

The board also took $6 million from a higher education reserve fund to help shore up next year's budget. Lawmakers still expect a shortfall of approximately $150 million next year because of the loss of one-time revenue.

The seven-member board led by Gov. Mary Fallin certifies a preliminary estimate in December of how much the Legislature will have to spend on the upcoming fiscal year budget. Fallin then uses the figure to craft her executive budget proposal that lawmakers typically use as a starting point for budget negotiations.

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