Okla. Senate panel to hear agency merger plan

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A proposal to merge two state agencies that regulate alcohol and dangerous drugs is scheduled for a hearing before a Senate panel.

The Senate Public Safety Committee is set to hear a pair of measures on Thursday that would merge the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs with the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission. The two agencies would be merged into the new Oklahoma Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement.

The bill is part of a push by the Republican-controlled Oklahoma 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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