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Talks on Oklahoma budget break down at rare weekend session

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Posted at 6:54 AM, May 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-22 07:54:30-04

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Talks have broken down yet again between Oklahoma lawmakers meeting for a rare weekend session to find ways to close a nearly $880 million budget hole.

Legislators are bound by the state's constitution to pass revenue-raising measures by Sunday or be forced to call a special session to complete work on the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

One sticking point during Saturday's negotiations was a proposal by Democrats to increase the gross production tax on oil and natural gas wells from its current 2 percent level up to as much as 5 percent on a sliding scale.

Oklahoma's oil and natural gas industry and some Republican leaders have said that too much of a tax increase could prompt companies to drill in other states.

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