- Associated Press - Friday, October 20, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma’s House Speaker says the state has funds available that could protect health care services impacted by the state’s $215 million budget cut.

Three health care agencies will be most affected by the loss of an unconstitutional cigarette fee. They began reducing monthly spending this month to account for the money lost.

Speaker of the House Charles McCall said Thursday that the funds would delay cuts until 2018 “or until a strategic budget solution is reached.”

The Oklahoman reports speaker’s announcement came one day after the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services said it was preparing to eliminate state funding for almost every outpatient program.

McCall didn’t explain how lawmakers could boost agency spending, but has previously outlined one-time sources of money that could be used to help fill the budget gap.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

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