Oklahoma lawmakers to convene with $870 million budget hole

The Associated Press - February 6, 2017 10:12 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oklahoma state lawmakers are preparing to convene the 2017 Legislature with an estimated $870 million hole in the budget.

The regular legislative session will start at noon Monday. Primary focuses will be the budget gap and finding new money to pay for vital services like education and public safety.

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin says she will lay out a plan for a “major overhaul of our tax system” to close the budget gap when she delivers her state of the state speech Monday afternoon.

Legislative leaders have said raising the salaries of public school teachers is a major goal this year. Teacher pay has not been increased since 2008 and the state faces a chronic teacher shortage as experienced educators seek higher-paying jobs elsewhere.

 

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