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Oklahoma Senate Passes FY2018 Budget

The Oklahoma Senate passed a proposed state budget out of their chamber on Wednesday night, by a vote of 33 to 13. Many Senate Republicans—like Mike Schulz—applauded themselves for holding 16 state agencies flat, and only cutting the rest by about four percent, given the circumstances. "I just want to take this opportunity to thank this chamber.. Senator David, Senator Fields, all the sub-appropriations chairs, who have been diligently been working towards a solution for this budget for many,...

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Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

President Trump revealed "highly classified information" to two top Russian officials during a controversial Oval Office meeting last week, according to a report from The Washington Post.

As the nation’s opioid addiction and overdose crisis grows, the Cherokee Nation is launching the first-ever lawsuit against drug distributors that will be litigated in a tribal court.

The suit takes on companies including pharmacies CVS Health, Walgreens and Wal-Mart, and drug distributors Cardinal Health, Inc. and McKesson Corporation, alleging that they didn’t properly monitor prescription painkillers, which eventually “flooded” every Cherokee county.

The Washington Post looks at President Richard Nixon's 1974 commencement address at Oklahoma State University, just months before resigning from office.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Speaking at a media event atop an interstate overpass construction site in Norman, U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe told a small crowd Friday that President Donald Trump is serious about a proposed $1 trillion national infrastructure plan.

The Republican is chair of a Senate subcommittee that oversees such programs and he said Oklahoma stands to benefit from a new focus for federal funding.

Headlines for Monday, May 15, 2017:

  • State legislature needs to pass revenue raising measures before the end of the week. (NewsOK)

  • Candidate for Gov releases thoughts on filling the budget hole and raising teacher pay. (Tulsa World)

Fidget spinners — the trendy toy of the moment — are causing a commotion. A lot of kids love them, just as many teachers hate them and some people think they're more than just toys.

The basic fidget spinner has three prongs centered around a circle with bearings in the middle. Take one prong, give it a spin and watch as the triangle shape becomes a blur, sort of like a ceiling fan. The toys are manufactured by several different companies, and sold all over the place — airports, gas stations, train stations, toy stores.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants prosecutors to get tough on people convicted of drug crimes. He's ordering federal prosecutors to, quote, "charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense."

Flickr / bejadin

A bill to allow Las Vegas-style roulette and dice games in tribal casinos has failed in an Oklahoma Senate committee.

Senate Bill 857 was said to be part of a revenue package negotiated between House Republicans and Democrats and was expected to bring in $20 million in revenue. It failed today by a vote of 22 to 16.

Headlines for Friday, May 12, 2017:

  • The leader of the State house says a deal has been reached on a budget. (Tulsa World)

  • Plan to increase revenue includes capping itemized deduction, but not on charitable giving. (NewsOK)

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a special election for a House seat which stays in Republican hands after the GOP gets a win in Seminole and Pottawatomie Counties, a $430M revenue bill stalls after a fight over expansion of tribal gaming and Governor Fallin reiterates her threat to veto a bill which just contains more cuts to already suffering state agencies.

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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.

Stream classical music via our partners at KUCO!

Education News

The state’s budget uncertainty is making it difficult for schools to plan for next year. The deadline for districts to discontinue a teacher’s contract has already passed.

Shawn Hime with the Oklahoma State School Board Association says, on the other hand, if a district needs to hire more people, they don’t want to wait too long.

Educators have criticized Oklahoma’s A Through F Report Card for years saying the way it grades schools is unfair. The State Department of Education finally overhauled it, but some groups call the new plan racist, and they’re threatening to sue the Department of Education if parts of the new Report Card aren’t changed.

A school’s grade is based on a couple different things. One of which is whether students are meeting certain academic targets.

U.S. Department of Education

Oklahoma's third grade reading test is a high stakes test.

If a child fails it, and they don't meet a certain exception, they get held back.

However, for the past couple of years, lawmakers have allowed parents and teachers to consider other academic performance data when determining whether or not to retain a kid who failed the test.

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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.