- Associated Press - Thursday, February 11, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma finance officials say the hole in next year’s budget has increased to $1.3 billion, or nearly 20 percent of last year’s spending, amid depressed oil prices.

The Office of Management and Enterprise Services announced Thursday that plunging revenue collections have widened the shortfall from the original projection of $900 million in December.

A state panel led by Gov. Mary Fallin will meet next week to certify how much legislators can spend in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Fallin’s Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger (DOR’-fling-ur) says since the board’s December certification, oil prices fell 21 percent and the state’s economy has continued to contract.

Doerflinger already announced earlier this week that cuts to agency budgets also will deepen for the rest of the current fiscal year.

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