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Budget surplus to trigger scramble for spending in Oklahoma

Oklahoma State Capitol
Posted at 10:20 AM, Dec 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-19 11:20:21-05

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- After years of budget crises in Oklahoma that led to slashed spending for public schools and other services, lawmakers and the state's new governor are expected to have hundreds of millions of new dollars to spend.

A state budget panel led by outgoing Gov. Mary Fallin is expected to approve on Wednesday a record $8.2 billion available to spend on next year's budget. That represents an increase of about $612 million and is expected to trigger an avalanche of funding requests from cash-strapped state agencies.

Republicans and Democrats are pushing for more money for public schools, and the state's largest teachers union is asking for more money for support personnel and school operations.

Other agencies, including Oklahoma's prison system and higher education, also are seeking big boosts in spending.

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