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Oklahoma House passes budget deal, sends it to Gov. Fallin

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Budget

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives has passed and sent to the governor a budget for the upcoming year, the last major piece of legislation in the 2016 Oklahoma Legislature.

The House voted 52-45 Friday for a general appropriations bill for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Failure to pass the measure would have forced a special legislative session to complete work on next year’s budget.

The Senate approved the bill on Wednesday.

The budget proposal authorizes a $200 million bond issue to pay for road and bridge construction, freeing up $200 million to fund general state operations instead of earmarking it specifically for transportation.

The Senate approved final passage of the bond proposal Friday.

Now, many agencies are creating a plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

“Now that we know DHS’ appropriation, we will take the next few weeks to review our preliminary budget plans and begin to make the extremely difficult decisions about what must be cut and to what extent.  However, we will do everything in our power to protect the progress we have made in child welfare reforms,” said DHS Director Ed Lake.  “Our commitment is always to the people we serve and to our employees who are on the front lines providing assistance to their friends and neighbors in communities all across this state. Unfortunately, circumstances will require reductions to many programs and further cuts in positions.”