Governor Mary Fallin, Oklahoma legislators reach 2013 budget deal

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Leaders in the Republican-controlled Legislature have reached an agreement with Gov. Mary Fallin on a $7.1 billion budget that includes major boosts in funding for public education, health care and state infrastructure improvements.

The budget deal for the fiscal year that begins July 1 announced on Thursday increases spending by nearly $270 million over the current year's state budget. Fallin says it includes a growth in funding focused on what she described as "targeted" priority areas for lawmakers.
 
The measure still must be drafted into a bill, approved by the GOP-controlled Legislature and sent to the governor.
 
The budget includes a $74 million, or 3.2 percent, increase in funding for public schools and an additional $17 million for the current fiscal year to help pay for teacher health benefits.
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