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Governor, Lawmakers Nearing Deal on Okla. Budget (May 21, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - House Speaker Kris Steele says the Legislature and governor have reached a "tentative agreement" on next year's budget, but the plan still must be approved by the Republican caucuses in the House and Senate.

Steele emerged from a closed-door caucus meeting late Monday morning and said the members were briefed on a budget framework that has been negotiated between the House, Senate and governor's office.

He says House Republicans are being given "a chance to digest and understand the proposal" and that he hopes a final agreement will be reached on Monday.

Senate Republicans also were meeting in caucus late Monday morning.

Lawmakers must approve a state budget by Friday - the constitutional deadline for the Legislature to adjourn - or risk being forced back into a special session.

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