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Oklahoma sees more woes ahead on 2011 budget

Oklahoma sees more woes ahead on 2011 budget

Officials estimate legislators will have about 20 percent less to spend the next fiscal year

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT, The Oklahoman

Published: December 22, 2009

State legislators will have the least amount of money to appropriate in six years as Oklahoma continues to feel the effects of a sluggish economy and weak natural gas prices, according to figures released Monday.

Some agencies already have cut services and employees, but more cuts are expected next fiscal year after legislative leaders and the governor agree on a plan to make up for an estimated $530 million budget hole at the end of this fiscal year. They can use a combination of further budget cuts and reserve funds to make up the amount.

"Oklahomans who rely on state programs and services will feel the pinch as additional cuts are imposed to reflect the latest revenue estimates,” Gov. Brad Henry said Monday.

No immediate improvement is expected as next fiscal year’s budget for the state is estimated to be about 20 percent less than this fiscal year’s approved state budget, according to estimates prepared by the state Tax Commission... FULL ARTICLE


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