Merger plan OK'd by Oklahoma panel

Published: February 14, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A plan to merge two state agencies with a total of nearly 200 employees and combined annual budgets of more than $21.5 million has been approved by a Senate committee.

The Senate Public Safety Committee on Thursday approved a pair of bills to merge the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs with the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission. The two agencies would become the new Oklahoma Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement.

The proposed merger is part of a push by the Republican-controlled Legislature to streamline and ultimately reduce the cost of state government. The Legislature last year consolidated several state agencies into the new Office of Management and Enterprise Services.

The ABLE Commission has about 50 employees, while the OBNDD has more than 140 state workers.

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