Budget Deadline

Oklahoma City, OK – Deadline for Okla. budget deal fast approaching

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma lawmakers have just three weeks left in the legislative session to craft a budget and either agree on new sources of revenue or impose devastating cuts to state agencies.

Closed-door negotiations are heating up as Democratic Gov. Brad Henry and Republican leaders in the House and Senate figure out how to write a budget for the upcoming fiscal year with about $1.2 billion less than they had to spend last year.

All three sides say they are looking at suspending or eliminating certain tax breaks as one way to help fill the budget hole, but proposals by Henry to repeal two such programs were derailed last week in the House.

Lawmakers were concerned eliminating the programs, which would have saved the state $31 million, would have jeopardized a pending business deal to bring new jobs to Atoka.