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Fallin Predicts $600-Million Budget Hole

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Mary Fallin
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Gov. Mary Fallin says early projections are that Oklahoma will have a hole in next year's state budget of as much as $600 million, or nearly 10 percent of state spending on the current year's budget.

Fallin said Wednesday she expects a projected shortfall of between $500 million to $600 million when the State Board of Equalization meets next week to certify available revenues. The governor says that figure includes about $245 million in one-time sources of money that were spent on this year's budget.

Fallin says she's optimistic that an increase in the price of oil and natural gas could reduce the shortfall before the final revenue estimate is certified in February.

Despite the shortfall, Fallin says a pay raise for Oklahoma teachers will be a priority next year.