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Bill Bottled Up, May Be Dead, Leader Says

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A Senate leader says Wednesday that a bill to provide an extra $50 million in bonding authority for endowed chairs at public universities is bottled up in a Senate budget committee and may be dead for the session.

The increase in money available for endowed chairs, a priority of Governor Brad Henry, is being blocked by mostly rural senators in the Senate General Conference Committee on Appropriations.

That group is pushing for more money for capital projects at regional universities and two-year colleges.

Senate Co-President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee says the issue came up Tuesday night and again Wednesday in the Senate budget panel and not enough senators signed the House-passed bill to send it to the floor.

The committee is made up of 46 of the Senate's 48 members. Coffee and Senate President Pro Tem Mike Morgan are not on the committee.

Coffee says under a legislative agreement, a bill is dead after it is considered on "final action" in a committee and does not get the required majority.
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