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Fallin's budget plan veto catches leaders off guard

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)  Republican leaders in the Oklahoma House and Senate say they're surprised that Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed a budget plan to raid cash reserves and further cut state agency spending.

Fallin's veto late Friday underscored the ongoing tension between her and House leaders.

House Speaker Charles McCall criticized the governor in a statement Saturday, accusing her of creating more uncertainty for health care services, business investment and job creation.

"This veto action interjects more chaos and drama into the lives of Oklahomans at a time when they want stability," McCall said. "The governor's line-item veto of House Bill 1019X is a complete reversal of her promise to the Legislature and, frankly, to the people of Oklahoma."

Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz also said he was surprised by the veto since the governor's office was involved in the negotiation of the revised budget agreement and never indicated she planned to veto it.

"The revised budget agreement was not the Senate's first choice to resolve the budget crisis but it was the only option after the House showed it was not able to meet the constitutional standards of raising revenue," Schulz said in a statement late Friday. "Bringing the Legislature back into special session at this point seems like a waste of time and taxpayer dollars."

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