Republicans Admit Defeat On Health Care Bill: 'Obamacare Is The Law Of The Land'

Updated at 5 p.m. ET House Republicans scrapped a vote on their health care replacement plan on Friday after defections from both the right and center that made it clear the bill would not pass. "Obamacare is the law of the land. It is going to remain the law of the land," House Speaker Paul Ryan admitted shortly after he pulled the bill. "We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future. I don't know how long it's going to take us to replace this law." Ryan may have...

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Under a new federal education law, all states are required to come up with plans for keeping their schools accountable. However, last week, U.S. Senators voted to roll back some of the rules within that law.

Now, the U.S. Department of Education will no longer tell states how to judge school quality, or how to identify low achieving schools, among other things.

Headlines for Monday, March 13, 2017:

  • Help is coming for Oklahomans affected by wildfires. (Journal Record)

  • A House bill to give teachers a pay raise is getting a lukewarm reception in the State Senate. (Tulsa World)

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Chesapeake Energy Corp. has withdrawn its claim for more than $455 million against the estate of late former CEO Aubrey McClendon.

It's part of a settlement of a 2015 lawsuit in which the company alleged McClendon took trade secrets when he left Chesapeake and used the information for his new company.

An Oklahoma City probate judge approved the settlement Thursday.

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U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe says damage from a wildfire that scorched hundreds of square miles in northwestern Oklahoma is "unprecedented."

Oklahoma's senior U.S. senator and fellow U.S. Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma spoke to farmers and ranchers in Woodward Friday after visiting some of the fire-damaged areas.

Inhofe says he flew over portions of the region to get an idea of the enormity of damage along the Oklahoma-Kansas border. Inhofe says he's visited other disaster areas but has never seen anything like the wildfire damage in northwestern Oklahoma.

Headlines for Friday, March 10, 2017:

  • State forestry officials say three wildfires in northwest Oklahoma are about 10% contained. (NewsOK)

  • House narrowly passes a bill reversing part of a state question approved by voters. (Tulsa World)

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the passing of political commentator and journalist Mike McCarville, the State Supreme Court dismisses a challenge against its newest justice Patrick Wyrick and Sallisaw Republican Representative John Bennett requires participants of Muslim Day to fill out a controversial questionnaire over the Islamic religion.

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The Oklahoma state House of Representatives furthered a bill Thursday that would roll back part of a state question that was approved by voters in November.

Oklahomans voted in favor of State Questions 780 and 781 last year, which reduced simple drug possession from a felony crime to a misdemeanor.

In debate on the House floor, Republican Representative Tim Downing, R-Purcell, said House Bill 1482 would give district attorneys the discretion to enhance simple drug possession to a felony if it occurs within 1,000 feet of a school

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A plan approved overwhelmingly in the House to raise Oklahoma teacher pay by $6,000 over the next three years appears to be facing a stiffer challenge in the state Senate.

Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz said Thursday without a way to pay for the raise, House Bill 1114 amounts to giving teachers "false hope."

Longtime Oklahoma political journalist, broadcaster and author Mike McCarville has died.

McCarville's daughter, Shelli Aliff, says McCarville died Wednesday morning after suffering complications from emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 76.

McCarville's career included work for various Oklahoma newspapers and broadcast stations, including serving as assistant news director of KWTV television and as program director, reporter and conservative talk show host on KTOK radio.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

A bill passed by the state House of Representatives Wednesday would impose an annual fee on owners of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles in Oklahoma, and that’s leaving some electric car owners feeling singled out.

A gray 2013 Nissan Leaf sits in Edmond resident Jonathon Stranger’s driveway.

“There’s no gas. There’s no motor oil,” Stranger says. “It’s the future.”

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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

For the second time this year, the State Board of Education approved a charter school application that a local school board had previously denied.

A group of parents applied to start Le Monde International School, a French and Spanish Immersion charter school in Norman, but the Norman Public School Board of Education denied their application twice.

Cathy Nashert, the President of the Norman School Board, says the application was not very strong.

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The Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday approved several education related bills, including measures that address teacher pay, teacher recruitment, and the reduction of administrative costs, among other issues. These bills will now go to the House for consideration. 

 

Here's a list of the education-related bills passed out of the Senate on Wednesday:

Emily Wendler / KOSU

In anticipation of more budget cuts the superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools has proposed closing five schools to save money. 

State budget problems forced Oklahoma's largest school district to cut $30 million out of their budget last year, and superintendent Aurora Lora said the district is facing upwards of $10 million in cuts next year.

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