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Oklahoma Governor, Legislators To Begin Budget Negotiations

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

Oklahoma's governor and Republican legislative leaders agree in principle on cutting taxes, a multi-million dollar overhaul of the Capitol and revamping the pension system for state workers, but each side has different ideas on the specifics.

As the Oklahoma Legislature reaches its halfway point, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman and new House Speaker Jeff Hickman are expected to begin working toward a compromise on some of those big-ticket items.

They must also work with the governor's office on building a budget with a $188 million shortfall.

Hickman says House Republicans hope to find as much as $125 million in new funding for common education, an amount that could lead to cuts in other areas of state government.

Top-level budget negotiations are expected to begin during the next few weeks.

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