Jennifer Pierce, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- At a time when some state agencies are making cuts and furloughing employees, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture is giving raises to nearly half the agency's employees.
The Secretary of Agriculture, Terry Peach, said the department originally expected a 5 percent cut for the 2011 fiscal year budget. But, Peach said, they didn't have to make the cut and instead can direct that 5 percent to pay raises.
Peach said he realizes some state agency's are still struggling, but said the ability to give raises means his agency budgeted appropriately.
"I don't think anyone should be criticized for preparing for additional budget cuts and then if they don't have budget cuts, utilizing the funding to benefit their employees," Peach said.
About 40 percent of the employees at the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture will receive a raise. It will go into effect in December.