Homeland Security Outlines New Rules Tightening Enforcement Of Immigration Law

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly unveiled new policies on Tuesday that are aimed at detaining and deporting more immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally. The two memos , signed by Kelly, lay out a series of steps the department plans to take to implement President Trump's executive orders from late January. Those orders called for increased border security and stricter enforcement of the nation's immigration laws. While the new policies call for a "surge" in the deployment of...

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Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly unveiled new policies on Tuesday that are aimed at detaining and deporting more immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally.

The two memos, signed by Kelly, lay out a series of steps the department plans to take to implement President Trump's executive orders from late January. Those orders called for increased border security and stricter enforcement of the nation's immigration laws.

Several Jewish community centers across the U.S. were targeted by bomb threats on Monday, according to the JCC Association of North America, in the fourth wave of such threats in the past two months.

In total, there have been 69 threats at 54 JCCs, in 27 states and a Canadian province, the organization reports — including previous threats on Jan. 9, 18 and 31, as well as 11 threats by telephone on Monday.

Headlines for Tuesday, February 21, 2017:

  • Governor Fallin picks a replacement for Scott Pruitt. (NewsOK)

  • Legislation looks to possible legalization of medical marijuana. (Journal Record)

Doug Schwarz

Oklahomans won't vote until next year on whether to legalize medical marijuana, but a state lawmaker has already introduced legislation that would set the framework if sales of the drug are approved.

State Rep. Eric Proctor of Tulsa has introduced a measure that's nearly an exact replica of an Arkansas bill, where medical marijuana was legalized by voters last November.

The bill mirror's Arkansas' proposed plan, calling for a maximum $7,500 fee to apply to run a dispensary and a maximum $15,000 fee to apply for a marijuana cultivation license.

oksenate.gov

A Senate education committee passed a school choice measure on Monday, which riled a lot of debate from lawmakers.

Education Savings Accounts are a touchy subject. They allow parents to use state tax dollars, that would normally go to a public school, towards private school tuition instead.

Senator Rob Standridge says his ESA bill, SB560, is aimed at helping low-income families afford a better educational option for their child.

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET

President Trump has announced that Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster will be his new national security adviser. McMaster will replace retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign after revelations that he had misled top White House officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

Headlines for Monday, February 20, 2017:

  • Lawmakers plan to tackle teacher pay today at the Capitol. (NewsOK)

  • Alcohol enforcers are keeping their eyes on 48 bills in the state legislature this year. (Journal Record)

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Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, a federal regulatory agency the Oklahoma politician has built his brand fighting against. 

Pruitt has led a coordinated legal effort to fight the EPA through the courts, an alliance with other Republican attorneys general that’s made him popular among conservatives. The confirmation sends a strong signal that Congressional Republicans share with President Donald Trump a vision of diminished federal oversight of the fossil fuel industry.

Four Oklahoma bands—Nicnos, Taddy Porter, Skytown & Good Villains—are joining forces to play the OklaHomeGrown Music Showcase at Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa tonight.

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KOSU's Michael Cross talks about political news in Oklahoma with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican political consultant Neva Hill.

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Education News

oksenate.gov

A Senate education committee passed a school choice measure on Monday, which riled a lot of debate from lawmakers.

Education Savings Accounts are a touchy subject. They allow parents to use state tax dollars, that would normally go to a public school, towards private school tuition instead.

Senator Rob Standridge says his ESA bill, SB560, is aimed at helping low-income families afford a better educational option for their child.

oksenate.gov

A Oklahoma Senate subcommittee passed seven bills about teacher pay on Wednesday, each one providing a different solution to the teacher pay problem.

Some of the bills propose $1,000 raises, others $10,000. Some provide funding mechanisms, while others do not.

Senator J.J. Dossett (D-Owasso) says this is just the beginning of the conversation. He says the legislature knows raising teacher pay is the right thing to do and they've just got to figure out the right way to do it.

With a nearly $900 million budget shortfall, Oklahoma lawmakers want accountability for every penny. But within the coffers of private charter school management companies are millions of dollars that lawmakers can't see. 

Senator Jason Smalley wants to know exactly how much schools are spending on administration. He filed a bill to find out, because right now he said it’s not clear.

“Are all the individuals that should be classified as administration costs, actually being reported as that?” he asked. “I think that’s what the greater conversation is.”

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