Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

What Scientists Say A Warming Climate Might Mean For Oklahoma

A new report from hundreds of experts and more than a dozen federal agencies is stark: Humans are likely responsible for the warmest period in modern civilization. The consequences of this warming vary regionally, but scientists and researchers forecast significant effects in Oklahoma and other southern plains states. The National Climate Assessment is the U.S. government’s most authoritative statement on climate change. The first part of the updated report, released in November 2017,...

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Inside A Judge's Rehab: Unpaid Work At An Oklahoma Coca-Cola Plant

Dec 4, 2017
Shane Bevel / Reveal

Retired Oklahoma Judge Thomas Landrith is hailed as a hero of criminal justice reform.

He started the first rural drug court in the nation and has reaped awards for sending defendants to treatment rather than prison. Most judges in the state model their drug courts after his.

But Landrith also is involved in a more sinister byproduct of criminal justice reform.

Headlines for Monday, December 4, 2017:

  • The state is making another cut to Medicaid rates. (Journal Record)

  • Lankford votes for tax cut bill despite removal of national debt protection provision. (NewsOK)

cole.house.gov

Early Saturday morning, Senate Republicans passed a major tax overhaul bill. NPR's Michel Martin talks to Representative Tom Cole (R-Okla.) about what's shaping up to be the GOP's biggest legislative win this year.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Jeremy Charles / Fire Thief Productions

“So much of its original identity is gone because of the Christianization that has happened. If you look around my house, every book that says Choctaw on it, anything about songs … it’s just Christian hymns being sung in the Choctaw language. There were definitely songs my great-grandpa was singing before they started singing whatever Christian hymns were being [sung].”

Updated Dec. 2 at 11:57 a.m. ET

The Senate narrowly approved a $1.4 trillion tax overhaul early Saturday morning following a day of procedural delays and frustration.

The legislation, which would cut the top corporate tax rate to 20 percent and lower taxes for most individuals, narrowly passed in a vote of 51-49. Tennessee Republican Bob Corker was the only Republican to vote against the legislation, joining every Democrat and both independents in opposing the sweeping overhaul of the nation's tax laws.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

Education leaders in Oklahoma say Gov. Mary Fallin’s executive order on school consolidation oversimplified a very complicated issue.

The November 21 order directs school districts that don’t spend at least 60 percent of their budget on instruction to consolidate administrative staff with other districts. A strict interpretation of this rule would force most Oklahoma school districts to cut an administrator, or a support staff person, and then find a way to split that cost with a neighboring district.

Updated 12/2, 11:47 a.m. ET

President Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador during the transition, and he is cooperating with the special counsel's investigation into Moscow's interference in last year's election.

Flynn told investigators that he was instructed to engage with the Russians by senior members of the Trump transition team.

Headlines for Friday, December 1, 2017"

  • A multi-county grand jury is investigating the State Health Department. (NewsOK)

  • House subpoenas three state officials over health department fiscal mismanagement. (Tulsa World)

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel talk about Governor Fallin vetoing a budget bill and telling lawmakers they would have to return for a second special session and then turning around and calling on common and higher education officials to find efficiencies in their budgets to include possible consolidation of schools.

The trio also discusses the 8.8% pay cut by the Legislative Compensation Commission and a signature petition to increase teacher pay in Oklahoma City comes up short.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

President Trump brushed aside reports that he is considering replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, though multiple news outlets say Tillerson could be shown the door within weeks.

Pressed about those reports Thursday morning during an Oval Office meeting, Trump said only: "He's here. Rex is here."

The cryptic answer did little to dispel speculation that Tillerson's days as the country's top diplomat could be numbered.

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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.

Education News

Emily Wendler / KOSU

Education leaders in Oklahoma say Gov. Mary Fallin’s executive order on school consolidation oversimplified a very complicated issue.

The November 21 order directs school districts that don’t spend at least 60 percent of their budget on instruction to consolidate administrative staff with other districts. A strict interpretation of this rule would force most Oklahoma school districts to cut an administrator, or a support staff person, and then find a way to split that cost with a neighboring district.

CENTER ON BUDGET AND POLICY PRIORITIES

A new report shows Oklahoma's per-pupil education funding has dropped more over the last decade than any other state.

The report says Oklahoma’s per-pupil school funding has decreased by 28 percent since 2008. In other words: the state is spending about $1,000 dollars, per-child, less than it did 10 years ago.

Governor Mary Fallin issued an executive order Tuesday directing the State Board of Education to consolidate some school district administrations.

First, Fallin wants the State Board of Education to compile a list of school districts that spend less than 60 percent of their budget on classroom instruction.

More Education News
A weekly two-hour show of Oklahoma music, from across the state. The show opens a window of Oklahoma music to the rest of the world.