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Fiscal cliff won't affect Oklahoma road money

State transportation officials say looming fiscal cliff won't take money away from Oklahoma road projects.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: December 3, 2012 at 8:10 pm •  Published: December 3, 2012

Federal road funding for the state of Oklahoma should not be affected if no action is taken and the looming fiscal cliff comes to pass, the state's transportation chief said Monday.

“Our understanding is that it should not affect us a very great deal in transportation,” state Transportation Secretary Gary Ridley said.

“Indirectly, all of us recognize that when Congress and the federal government have a hiccup, that it will affect everything.”

It's estimated Oklahoma could lose $137 million in direct federal funding as a result of the fiscal cliff, or sequestration, which refers to automatic, governmentwide spending cuts set to take effect Jan. 1.

Oklahoma finance officials have said the $137 million in projected losses of federal funding includes $50 million in funding for education and more than $40 million for health and human services.

Several federal funding streams would not be affected by the looming cuts, including funds for Medicaid, transportation, Social Security payments, food stamps and most veterans' programs.

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