Plan to rewrite Oklahoma budget falls flat

Posted at 12:55 PM, Feb 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-20 13:55:14-05

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Gov. Mary Fallin's suggestion that lawmakers redraft the current fiscal year state budget plan to ease funding cuts to priority areas like public schools and overcrowded prisons fell flat in the Senate this week.

Because collections to the state treasury have fallen below expectation amid a slump in energy prices, state finance officials ordered mandatory 3 percent cuts to agency allocations for the last six months of the current fiscal year.

Fallin and House Speaker Jeff Hickman have suggested lawmakers could pass a bill requiring deeper cuts to some state functions in order to shield priority areas like education and public safety.

But Senate GOP leader Brian Bingman says he prefers all state agencies receive equal cuts for the rest of the fiscal year that ends June 30.

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