Oklahoma lawmakers focus on budget as Legislature nears end

Ponca City Now - May 3, 2015 9:06 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – For the second straight year, Oklahoma’s budget writers are scrambling to fill a significant shortfall in the state budget for the upcoming year as lawmakers enter the final month of the 2015 legislative session.

Budget negotiators face a $611 million budget hole and are expected to rely on a combination of one-time revenue sources, an appropriation from the state’s constitutional Rainy Day Reserve Fund and targeted budget cuts to state agencies to balance the budget.

Last year, lawmakers faced a $188 million shortfall that was filled with money from state agency cash reserve accounts and budget cuts to craft a $7.1 billion budget.

Officials say they’re working to avoid harsh budget cuts to agencies that provide fundamental services to Oklahomans including education, health and human services, public safety and transportation.

 

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