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March 6, 2013

Okla. Senate votes to create drought-relief fund

OKLAHOMA CITY —  

The Senate has approved the creation of a special drought-relief fund to aid the state's agricultural community during times of drought emergency.

The full Senate voted without objection to create the fund that would be overseen by the Oklahoma Conservation Commission. However, there was no funding mechanism included in the bill, and any money deposited into it would come from direct appropriations from the Legislature.

Any money in the fund could be spent only if the governor declares a drought emergency and for things such as pond construction, water for livestock, rural fire suppression, and drought-related soil conservation practices.

The bill's sponsor, Chickasha Republican Sen. Ron Justice, says the current state and federal emergency funds aren't enough to help with drought conditions.

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