By Trevor Brown
As Oklahoma policymakers grappled this year with a $1.3-billion budget shortfall, special-interest groups plied them with more free meals, drinks, Thunder tickets and other gifts. Oklahoma Ethics Commission filings show a total of 195 lobbyists gave out $344,600 worth of gifts from January through May – or nearly $30,000 more than in the first six months of 2015. It was also more than double the $155,892 spent in the first half of 2014, the last year when stricter lobbying polices were in place.
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