The handshakes were barely over when both sides of the state budget dispute sent out dueling press releases blasting each other Thursday afternoon. The state employees association sent out another one. Hardly a way to begin spending $7 billion in taxpayer money.

The agreement includes some tax cuts and investments in state and county roads and bridges. No one came away totally happy. It came just two weeks before state agencies ran out of money and would be forced to shut down, eliminate services and send employees home.

Democrats got the $3,000 pay raise for teachers but that'll be the average, not across-the-board as they wanted. State employees will get a five percent raise. They wanted eight percent to make up for years when they were overlooked.

Increasing the standard deduction to the federal level will keep middle class families from carrying a disproportionate share of public safety, education and health care costs. The state will also hire an additional 100 new DHS case workers.

Republicans got an income tax rate cut and eventual elimination of the taxes the state places on large estates. It'll drop eventually to 5.25 percent if state growth continues, a concession that should help Oklahoma's budget if oil and gas revenues decline as has happened in the past.

Oklahoma lawmakers will return to the Capitol on Wednesday to begin acting on agency budgets. The tax cut amounts to $612 million a year and would be the largest in the state's history.

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