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Fallin Signs OETA Bill (May 11, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has come to Elmo's rescue.

Fallin on Thursday signed a bill that allows the state's public television network to continue to exist.

The bill reauthorizing the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, or OETA, narrowly passed the House amid opposition from a growing number of conservatives in the Legislature who argue the network is not a core function of state government.

The bill only allows the network to continue operating as a state entity. Lawmakers have yet to reach an agreement on a budget that will determine how much money the network receives for operational expenses.

OETA received about $3.8 million in state funding last year, which is about 40 percent of its overall budget.

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