Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Oklahoma Faces Another Revenue Failure, Agencies To See Mid-Year Budget Cuts

The Oklahoma Board of Equalization declared a revenue failure for the current fiscal year, which will result in mid-year appropriations cuts to state agencies. State agencies will receive across board cuts of 0.7 percent between March and June of this year. In total, agencies will be cut by $34.6 million. Preston Doerflinger, the Director and Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology, said the situation is dire and more revenue is needed. “I need you, members, I beg you...

Read More

This Week in Oklahoma, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a controversy and lawsuit against the newest member of the State Supreme Court, Patrick Wyrick, over discrepancies on his application to the high court, Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb announces he's retiring from the Governor's cabinet over a disagreement on extending the state's sales tax to services and Republican Senator Ralph Shortey gets an earful from participants in a town hall he held to talk about his bills which would make changes t

House Republican Conference

Steve Inskeep talks to Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford about Friday's vote to confirm Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA. The vote is before a deadline for Pruitt to release emails with fossil fuel interests.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The Oklahoma House of Representatives took a step toward becoming Real ID compliant Thursday. The House voted 78 to 18 to approve the measure that allows the state to produce identification that meets federal security guidelines under the federal 2005 Real ID Act.

Oklahomans must use a Real ID-compliant identification or passport by January 2018 to board a commercial airline flight, or by June of this year to enter federal facilities.

State Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Mustang, authored the bill. She says compliance is way overdue.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

State Representative Leslie Osborn is the new chair of the powerful House Appropriations and Budget Committee, an influential position that gives her bills extra weight. StateImpact talked to Osborn about legislation she’s pushing to increase mining fees, and to explore the sale of the Grand River Dam Authority.

GRDA IN THE CROSSHAIRS

Updated 9:05 p.m. ET with 9th Circuit appeals court delay

President Trump says his administration will continue to fight for his existing travel ban in the court system, and that he will also issue a new, "very comprehensive order" next week.

Trump provided no details on what that new order would entail, but said it would "comprehensively protect our country." The president made the remarks during a news conference Thursday at the White House.

Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb is announcing his resignation from his position as Oklahoma's small business advocate on Gov. Mary Fallin's cabinet, citing a disagreement with Fallin over her plans to broaden the sales tax.

Lamb - who's considered a likely candidate for governor in 2018 - says he felt it was best to step aside from his cabinet post because he's unwilling to be an advocate for the tax proposals.

Wind power is the largest source of renewable energy in the United States. But a broad swath of the country has had no large, commercial wind farms — until now. A new one with 104 towers is up and running near Elizabeth City, N.C., where it spans 22,000 acres.

Headlines for Thursday, February 16, 2017:

  • A senate subcommittee passes several bills about teacher pay.  (Tulsa World)

  • For the second time this year, the state’s monthly payment to schools will be short.  (Tulsa World)

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.

okhouse.gov

A bill that would change some of the criminal justice reforms voters approved in November advances in the legislature.

House Bill 1482 would again make it a felony to possess drugs within 1,000 feet of a school.

Rep. Tim Downing (R-Purcell) co-authored the bill and says it restores protection for children. A person can take heroin on an elementary school playground and do it an unlimited amount of times and essentially pay a ticket for it.

Pages

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

Stream classical music via our partners at KUCO!

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.”

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.