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Oklahoma prepares for impact of sequester

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Undated_House Speaker T.W. Shannon of Lawton has proposed legislation that he's proposed to help weather the potential financial storm connected to the sequester.

He's calling it a contingency plan. If passed, it would require state agencies to prepare for a 25 percent reduction in federal funds. He says states can't wait for the federal government to lead anymore, that they must take matters into their own hands.

"If there is going to be reform in the country it's going to happen in the halls of state government, " Shannon said.

He says the only way to get back on top is to tighten the budget and stop spending money we don't have.

"Right now, Washington is spending one in every three dollars it makes in borrowed money."

Governor Mary Fallin agrees. She says these cuts are different than what everyone thinks. She says it's really about slowed growth. The government  won't be able to spend as much extra as they planned to spend.

And whether it's at the federal or state level, Shannon says this can be done as long as people are willing to prioritize. That is what he is asking state agencies to do.

"What are the federal dollars that you receive and what's mostly critical to you meeting your core missions?"

Shannon says a lot of agencies have side missions, and unfortunately those might have to go if the plan had to be put in action.

The bill was passed overwhelmingly by committee last week and is now waiting to be considered by the full House.

If it's passed by both the House and Senate, and signed by the governor, it would go into effect immediately.

This doesn't mean the agencies would cut spending at that time, It just means they would create a report that showed where they would make the cuts if and when they were needed.

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