Deal could cost OCAST $4 million

By Jim Stafford Published: May 16, 2007
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While the director of the state's technology-based economic development agency highlighted its successes for the downtown Rotary Club on Tuesday, the Legislature and governor apparently struck a deal that would cut $4 million from its budget.

Funding bioenergy center
The agreement would take $4 million from the budget of the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology and use it to partially fund a new bioenergy center, said Michael Carolina, executive director of the agency.

Carolina said OCAST employees tracked the legislative agreement on the House of Representatives' Web site at www.okhouse.gov.

"In one line item it said ‘$10 million for a bioenergy center using $4 million from existing appropriations from Oklahoma Center for Advancement of Science and Technology,'” Carolina said, quoting from a post on the Web site.

Record appropriations
OCAST received a record $22.4 million in appropriations for the current fiscal year.

Agency officials had requested a $10 million increase from that level to fund more technology-based research and commercialization programs, Carolina said.

Earlier Tuesday, Gov.

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