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Oklahoma finance officials say $900 million budget hole will grow
By SEAN MURPHY Associated Press

A projected $900 million hole in next year’s state-appropriated budget is expected to grow closer to $1.1 billion when adjusted for one-time expenditures that were used to plug a hole in the current state budget, state fiscal leaders confirmed Thursday.

Oklahoma’s Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger also announced that cuts to state agencies as a result of the projected revenue failure in the current fiscal year likely will range from between 2 and 4 percent.

The state Board of Equalization is expected to certify on Monday that the Legislature will have about $900 million, or nearly 13 percent, less to spend on the budget for the fiscal year 2017 budget that begins July 1. But that figure doesn’t include $150 million taken from the state’s Rainy Day Fund or about $77 million tapped from various state agency revolving accounts, said Sen. Clark Jolley, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Doerflinger, who is Gov. Mary Fallin’s chief budget negotiator, held a briefing Thursday with Jolley and House Speaker Jeff Hickman to discuss how leaders are bracing for the rocky fiscal times that they blamed mostly on the decline in the oil and natural gas industry.

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