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Oklahoma budgets could be cut up to 10 percent

January 16, 2011 1 comment

OKLAHOMA CITY — The head of the Senate committee overseeing the state budget is warning agency heads to prepare for funding cuts of up to 10 percent and directed them to produce plans on how to make the reductions.

Sen. David Myers, the new head of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, said Thursday he has begun giving agency heads the bad news as legislative leaders consider ways of filling a deficit estimated at nearly $600 million, or 10 percent of the overall state budget.

Some agency officials were shaken by the magnitude of the potential cuts, he said. “They’re giving us those responses, which in some cases are pretty painful,” Myers, R-Ponca City, said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We’re going to have to look at those and evaluate how much pain do we want to put here or there. We’re going to be looking at that very steadily over the next few months.”

Although lawmakers have known the size of the estimated deficit for months, Myers’ comments are the first to specify the potential cutbacks envisioned in state programs.

Alex Weintz, spokesman for Gov. Mary Fallin, said the extent of the reductions needed won’t be known Read more…

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