Governor Vetoes Bulk Of 2008 Spending Bill

Wednesday, March 28th 2007, 3:31 pm

By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Gov. Brad Henry vetoed most of a $6.9 billion general appropriations bill Wednesday and renewed criticism of the "flawed process" in which the spending measure for 2008 was negotiated by House and Senate leaders without his input.

A day after Henry used his line-item veto authority to strike $1 million from the measure for an external audit of state prisons; the Democratic governor vetoed much of the rest of the bill that would fund state government during the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Henry said the measure, passed by a wide margin in the House and unanimously by the Senate last week, did not fund the cash-strapped state prison system or Oklahoma's colleges and universities at sufficient levels.

The bill also did not address the under funded teacher's retirement system, Henry said. The system is under funded by more than $7 billion and state officials have said it threatens the state's bond rating.

Henry said he signed supplemental spending measures that were inserted into the general appropriations bill that will help public schools and state prisons pay their bills through the end of the current fiscal year June 30.

Legislative leaders have said they will attempt to override Henry's veto. An override requires a two-thirds vote of both houses of the Legislature.

Related Stories:

3/19/2007 Agreement Will Keep Legislature On Track To Adjourn

3/22/2007 House Democrats Close Ranks With Governor In State Budget Spat

3/25/2007 Budget Spat Gives House Democrats Reason To Crow

3/26/2007 Governor Says Budget Process Flawed, Line-Item Vetoes Likely

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