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OETA Bill Passes House (May 03, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma's public television network will continue to exist for another two years under a bill narrowly approved in the House.

The House voted 53-28 on Thursday for the bill that allows the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, or OETA, to continue to exist as a state agency until 2014. A bill requires 51 votes for passage in the House, and the measure now heads to the governor.

The bill's passage comes as a growing number of conservative Republicans in the Legislature argue that the network that provides free educational programming to residents across the state is not a core function of government. Incoming House Speaker Rep. T.W. Shannon of Lawton is among those who voted against it.

OETA receives about $3.8 million, or 40 percent of its budget, in state funding.

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