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Veteran lawmakers fear history will repeat itself

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ While many legislators are basking in the glow of passing the largest tax cut in Oklahoma history, some veteran lawmakers fear history may repeat itself.

The Legislature wrapped up work at 5 PM Friday on a session that brought record education funding and more money to help the state's crumbling roads and bridges.

A last-minute agreement was reached on a temporary fix to funding problems for the Medicaid system, but legislators will be back on Tuesday for a special session to tackle workers' compensation reform.

Still, lawmakers who've lived through the ups and downs of the energy-fed Oklahoma economy warned the newcomers they may eventually regret passing a 150 million dollar tax reduction.

Lexington state Senator Cal Hobson says he remembers the turbulent 1980s, when legislators passed huge tax cuts during the oil boom only to turn around and pass big tax increases when the boom went bust.

Opponents note that oil was only eight dollars a barrel as recently as 1999 and gasoline prices at the time were 80 cents a gallon in Oklahoma.
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