OK agency workers concerned abt budget cuts

Posted at 6:06 AM, Mar 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-30 07:06:29-04

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma state workers say ongoing budget cuts at state agencies hurt services and the citizens they serve.

About 20 state employees implored state lawmakers Tuesday to adopt a series of revenue-generating measures to avoid further cuts to state agency budgets.

Lawmakers are grappling with how to close a projected $1.3 billion hole in the state budget for next year due in part to declining energy prices. And state officials have ordered agencies to reduce their budgets for the current year due to revenue failure.

Sterling Zearley, executive director of the Oklahoma Public Employees Association, says additional cuts to state agency budgets will directly affect programs that serve the most vulnerable Oklahomans.

Zearley called for lawmakers to modernize the state tax code, raise the tobacco tax and eliminate unproductive tax credits.

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