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Two Lawmakers File Suit Against State Ag Dept (Sep 25, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Two Oklahoma lawmakers are suing the state Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to stop the agency from appropriating $2 million in state funds to the Oklahoma Youth Expo livestock show.

The lawsuit was filed Monday by Republican state Representatives Mike Reynolds of Oklahoma City and Mike Ritze of Broken Arrow. The lawsuit alleges it would be unconstitutional to transfer public money because the expo is a private institution.

The lawmakers have asked for a temporary injunction to prevent transfer of the state funds until an Oklahoma County judge rules on whether the expenditure is unconstitutional. A hearing on the injunction request is scheduled on Oct. 3 before District Judge Barbara Swinton.

Blayne Arthur, associate commissioner of the Agriculture Department, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment Tuesday.

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