Oklahoma State Department of Health announces budget cuts - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Oklahoma State Department of Health announces budget cuts

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Latest on the Oklahoma budget and agency cuts (all times local):

2 p.m.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health says it will furlough some employees and offer buyouts to others in order to cover an estimated $10 million budget shortfall.

The agency said in a news release Wednesday that employees who are paid more than $35,000 a year will be required to take an unpaid day off during each two-week work cycle starting with the Oct. 30 pay period.

The release said employees who are paid $35,000 annually or less will not be affected by the furloughs.

The agency also said it will offer voluntary buyouts to an undisclosed number of employees statewide, but that the plan is not yet finalized.

DHS Senior Deputy Commissioner Julie Cox-Caines said the shortfall is due to state budget cuts that have cost the agency federal matching funds, in addition to increased costs of providing services.

10:30 a.m.

Oklahoma's House speaker has told his chamber to take a break from the special legislative session until it can come back with a deal to close a $215 million shortfall in the state budget.

Republican House Speaker Charles McCall on Wednesday called for the recess, meaning any negotiations would happen behind closed doors. He said the Legislature's first priority should be addressing a proposed cigarette tax that the state Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional. Lawmakers signed off on the tax during the regular legislative session earlier in the year, but not with a constitutionally required three-fourth's majority vote.

McCall said House Republicans have a plan to fill the budget hole without the need for approval from Democrats. But he said the governor and state Senate's support is essential.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set 'to rock'

    Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set 'to rock'

    Saturday, December 16 2017 3:16 AM EST2017-12-16 08:16:02 GMT
    Saturday, December 16 2017 7:20 PM EST2017-12-17 00:20:56 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, is pursued by reporters in the Capitol after signing the conference committee report to advance the GOP tax bill, in Washington, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, is pursued by reporters in the Capitol after signing the conference committee report to advance the GOP tax bill, in Washington, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.

    Republicans working to execute their first major legislative achievement of Donald Trump's presidency appear to have secured the votes to pass a massive tax overhaul that Trump hoped to present to Americans. 

    Republicans working to execute their first major legislative achievement of Donald Trump's presidency appear to have secured the votes to pass a massive tax overhaul that Trump hoped to present to the American people for Christmas.

  • After Alabama, abortion may be backseat issue in 2018 races

    After Alabama, abortion may be backseat issue in 2018 races

    Saturday, December 16 2017 12:06 PM EST2017-12-16 17:06:09 GMT
    Saturday, December 16 2017 7:20 PM EST2017-12-17 00:20:50 GMT

    Both Democratic and Republican operatives say abortion may take a backseat to other issues in 2018 now that conservative Alabama has elected a Democrat who supports abortion rights.

    Both Democratic and Republican operatives say abortion may take a backseat to other issues in 2018 now that conservative Alabama has elected a Democrat who supports abortion rights.

  • Huge tax bill heads for passage as GOP senators fall in line

    Huge tax bill heads for passage as GOP senators fall in line

    Friday, December 15 2017 3:25 AM EST2017-12-15 08:25:47 GMT
    Saturday, December 16 2017 1:19 PM EST2017-12-16 18:19:22 GMT

    Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's potential defection has put a speed bump into GOP leaders' drive to push their big tax package through the Senate.

    Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's potential defection has put a speed bump into GOP leaders' drive to push their big tax package through the Senate.

Powered by Frankly