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Department of Corrections initiates purchasing freeze in light of budget cuts

OKLAHOMA CITY – One week after announcing a hiring freeze, a state agency is taking additional steps to save money.

On Wednesday, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections announced that the agency has instituted a purchasing freeze in response to expected cuts.

“This freeze is part of our continuing efforts to be frugal and find efficiencies in our operations as we plan for these cuts,” ODOC Director Joe Allbaugh said. “DOC has always prided itself on operating efficiently, and we will continue looking for ways to remain good stewards of our state’s resources.”

Officials say the purchasing freeze only allows the agency to purchase critical items like food for inmates, medical care and janitorial supplies.

The announcement comes one week after the department initiated a hiring freeze.

After the  ‘Step Up Oklahoma’ plan failed to receive the necessary votes to pass, lawmakers began focusing on funding cuts to balance the budget.

On Wednesday, a bill that calls for about $45 million to be cut from state agencies passed the Senate.