Oklahoma Legislature ponders cuts, cash raids to plug budget

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma's legislative leaders are unveiling bills to cut funding to most state agencies and use cash reserves to finish plugging a budget hole after lawmakers failed to pass a broad package of tax increases.

A series of bills were introduced Tuesday in House and Senate budget committees. The bills would impose cuts of about 2.5 percent to most agencies to make up for expected revenue lost from an unconstitutional cigarette tax passed in May.

The rest of the $215 million in lost revenue would be filled by using several sources of one-time money, including savings accounts.

During Tuesday's budget hearings, residents of a local assisted living center urged lawmakers to protect funding for programs to the state's elderly and disabled.

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