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Critics slam process for OKing Oklahoma's $6.8B budget bill

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Posted at 4:07 PM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 17:07:43-04

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are complaining about how two budget panels approved a $6.8 billion spending bill shortly before midnight that slashes spending to most Oklahoma state agencies.

Rank-and-file legislators were given few details ahead of Tuesday night's vote on the spending plan that cuts funding for most state agencies by nearly 5 percent. Public schools were spared from cuts, and a handful of state agencies were given spending increases, but the final version of the bill did not include funding for a teacher pay raise.

Republican and Democratic critics of the spending plan maintain it is unconstitutional because bills to raise revenue were approved in the final week of session and did not receive a three-fourth's majority vote that is required of tax-raising measures.

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