The Oklahoma Legislature approved the state’s fiscal 2009 budget last week and sent the $7.1 billion measure to Gov. Brad Henry.

The budget won a unanimous 97-to-0 vote in the House and passed easily in the Senate, 43 to 4.

Most state agencies will receive the same funding as in fiscal 2008.

Legislators are discussing a possible bond issue to provide additional money for state highways, but those talks are still in the initial stages, said Ray Carter, a spokesman for the House leadership.

“There’s nothing on paper, no legislation,” he said. “Right now it’s just something they are talking about.”

Rep. Ken Miller, R-Edmond, chairman of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee who served as the main budget negotiator for the House, said state agencies originally submitted spending requests that totaled $1.5 billion more than the government had available to spend.

House Speaker Chris Benge, R-Tulsa, said the budget was developed without increasing taxes or drawing on the budget stabilization fund.

“Restrained government spending and reasonable cuts to the income tax over the last few years have put Oklahoma in sharp contrast with several other states across the country forced to slash agency budgets this year,” Benge said.

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