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Lawmakers bracing for session's final weeks

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- The final two weeks of the Oklahoma Legislature could be busy ones. Lawmakers are hip deep in unfinished legislation.

Some of the issues left to be handled include bond issues, health care, workers' compensation reform and continued work on the state's road improvement program.

A lack of money is the main stumbling block.

House Speaker Loyd Benson says the state has only about $33 million left to distribute to appropriations subcommittees.

More than 500 pieces of legislation are pending in House-Senate conference committees.

Leaders of the Democrat majority in the House and Senate have yet to announce their allocations to the subcommittees so the final budget can be written -- a process that normally occurs weeks earlier in the legislative session.

There has been speculation that a special session will be necessary. Senate President Pro Tempore Stratton Taylor says he will do everything he can to avoid a special session, but he says the threat is real.

Education and health care funding are the main obstacles for a budget agreement.
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