Headlines for Wednesday, May 24, 2017:

  • Legislative leaders unveil competing $6.8 billion dollar budgets shortly before midnight. (NewsOK)

  • Lawmakers get creative to pass revenue raising measures. (Tulsa World)

The Oklahoma House of Representatives has passed a bill raising the gross production tax from one percent to four percent on a small, select group of oil wells.

By a vote of 68 to 30 on Tuesday morning, lawmakers passed House Bill 2429, which affects less than 6,000 wells drilled between July of 2011 and July of 2015.

But, some Democrats, like Oklahoma City Rep. Collin Walke, are calling the bill unconstitutional.

Headlines for Tuesday, May 23, 2017:

  • Lawmakers work late in the night to deal with state revenue. (Tulsa World)

  • Itemized tax cap passes out of the House. (Tulsa World)

In a late-night committee meeting on Monday, lawmakers passed a measure that raises the gross production tax rate from one percent to four percent, but only on a small, select group of oil wells.

Rep. Kevin Wallace (R-Wellston), who is carrying House Bill 2429, says it will bring about $95 million in to the state. The bill would only affect about 5,790 wells drilled between July 2011 and July 2015.

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.

A key figure in Oklahoma and Texas music has died.

Jimmy LaFave passed away Sunday after a battle with a rare fast-growing cancer called spindle cell sarcoma. He was 61.

Born in Wills Point, Texas, LaFave moved to Stillwater when he was 15 and was instrumental in the early stages of what would become known as “red dirt music.”

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Enes Kanter, a Swiss-born Turkish citizen, is back in the United States, following his detainment at a Romanian airport over the weekend.

Kanter fled Indonesia, where he was hosting a basketball clinic in Jakarta, on Saturday after his manager was awoke him in the middle of the night.

"My manager knocked on my door around 2.30am and said we need to talk. He said the secret service of Indonesia and army is looking for you. Turkish government called them and said he’s a dangerous man, we need to talk to him."


Shortly after taking over as head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt started a roll-back of Obama-era environmental regulations, an effort that has provided big benefits to one of his home state’s largest independent oil and gas companies, the New York Times reports.

Headlines for Monday, May 22, 2017:

  • Lawmakers face special session after no deal was made on the budget over the weekend. (Tulsa World)

About 100 protesters were at the Oklahoma State Capitol this weekend, urging lawmakers to raise taxes on oil and gas companies in order to fix the state’s budget.

One protester, Kara Joy McKee, says Oklahoma is in a crisis, and it’s only fair that oil companies do their part to help.

"Our schools are going to four day schools, we’re having to close rural hospitals and nursing homes, it’s not time to let one industry set their tax rate any longer."