(KTEN) — Day 4 of the Oklahoma Budget Summit kicked off Wednesday with a debate about whether deputies or school support staffers deserve a pay raise.

"We have multiple sheriffs on food stamps in the State of Oklahoma," said House Speaker Pro Tempore Kyle Hilbert (R-District 29).

"Yeah, we have support staff on food stamps as well," added Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat (R-District 47).

Oklahoma lawmakers are discussing state budgets this week, questioning whether sheriff department deputies or school support staffers deserve a raise in pay.

"I absolutely hate that it's been pitted against, because they're apples and oranges," said Mannsville Public Schools interim superintendent Donna Anderson. "They both deserve a pay raise and a living wage."

On a local level, both groups believe their positions aren't comparable.

"If people are trying to make that argument, that is inherently wrong," said Johnston County Sheriff Gary Dodd. "These professions are two categorically different professions... both deserve pay raises if it's allowable."  

Support staff relates to school employees outside of teachers and administrators.

"The first thing in the morning is with the support staff with bus drivers; then you've got cafeteria workers who come in at 6 o'clock in the morning or before," Anderson explained. "Everything that starts happening at your school begins with support staff."

Sheriff Dodd says the pay issues are separate for both professions, but that any increase would help retain more employees.

"On average, deputies are making $30,000, so we have a huge disparity here where we can't keep people," Dodd said. "They're going to the state agencies or across the river to Texas where they pay a lot more."

Oklahoma lawmakers have a May 31 deadline to finalize and pass a budget plan.