Oklahoma Senate approves budget bill, sends to governor

Oklahoma Senate approves budget bill, sends to governor

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Senate has approved a bill that will cut funding to most state agencies and will spend cash reserves to finish plugging a budget shortfall after lawmakers failed to pass a broad package of tax increases.

Its fate now rests with Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.

Cuts of about 2.5 percent are expected for most agencies to make up for expected revenue lost from an unconstitutional cigarette tax the Legislature approved in May. The rest of the $215 million budget hole would be filled by using several sources of one-time money, including savings accounts.

Lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Sept. 25 for a special session to fix the budget and find longer-term solutions to chronic shortfalls that have forced deep cuts to agencies and services for three consecutive years.

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