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Lawmakers to hold public hearings on budget appropriations

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma lawmakers will hold public hearings beginning this week to review budgets of the five state agencies that receive the largest appropriations.

The hearings begin Wednesday and conclude Jan. 10.

The five agencies are the department of education, transportation, higher education, human services and the state’s health care authority.

Those agencies received $5.36 billion – or 77 percent – of the $6.91 billion appropriated budget for fiscal year 2017.

After two consecutive years of deep cuts to state agencies, Oklahoma lawmakers will again be grappling with another budget hole estimated to be about $868 million. The amount is more than 12 percent of state spending.

The budget hearings will be held in the House chamber at the state Capitol.