Busy week ahead for Oklahoma lawmakers discussing budgets, earthquakes, pay raises and overcrowded prisons

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma legislators return to the Capitol on Monday facing an economic crisis and other troubling issues.

A sharp drop in oil and gas prices has cut revenues to key businesses, which has reduced state revenues. Lawmakers expect to see about a $1 billion budget shortfall for the next fiscal year.

Lawmakers are also expected to discuss the sharp rise in the number of earthquakes, an increase linked to the injection of wastewater underground from oil and gas production.

Also expected to be discussed are ways to raise teacher pay and possibly consider consolidation of some state schools; criminal justice and possibly reducing the penalties for some crimes to ease prison crowding; and a move to amend the state Constitution so a Ten Commandments monument could be erected at the state Capitol.

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