budget shortfall 2017

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about the failure by the state legislature to pass the Step Up Oklahoma plan on Monday, Interim Health Commissioner Preston Doerflinger stepping down after news surfaced of domestic abuse and Oklahoma City State Senator David Holt easily wins the election for mayor to replace Mick Cornett.

Kate Carlton Greer / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has stopped hiring for the rest of the budget year to prepare for potential funding cuts.

Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh decided to freeze hiring after the state Legislature voted down a series of tax increases known as the Step Up Oklahoma plan, Monday.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Updated Tuesday at 8:37 a.m.

A bill to raise revenue for the Step Up Oklahoma plan failed to get enough votes to pass the House yesterday. The measure received only 63 of the 76 yes votes needed for passage.

During debate, House Speaker Charles McCall admitted the bill wasn’t perfect, but it would fix the issues with the budget.

"A $5,000 teacher pay raise, certainty with our health care, funding for our infrastructure ― these are clearly things that the people of the state of Oklahoma sent us to this chamber to take care of on their behalf."

facebook.com/StepUpOklahoma

A new poll shows broad support for the Step Up Oklahoma budget plan that was introduced by local civic and business leaders.

The survey from SoonerPoll shows nearly 70 percent of likely Oklahoma voters approve of the budget fix to raise $780 million in revenue through increased taxes in cigarettes, oil and gas, fuel, wind power and income.

SoonerPoll founder Bill Shapard says this shows has broad based support.

As Oklahoma lawmakers deal with the current legislative session, they are also still holding a special session.

Legislative leaders are hoping to get bills heard in committee this week. The bills, crafted on recommendations from the business coalition Step Up Oklahoma, would raise taxes and create reforms in state government.

Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols says he’s hearing one main theme from lawmakers and constituents alike.

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 session called by Governor Fallin for Monday, December 18th, investigations and more firings at the State Department of Health and Governor Fallin issues an executive order to crack down on sexual harassment in state government.

The trio also discusses the Oklahoma City mayoral race and controversy grows over comments from former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

After her divorce, Lori Taylor wanted a home all her own. She moved back to Oklahoma to be near her aging parents, but she had a problem. For years her personal caregiver had been her now ex-husband.

“I have cerebral palsy and that’s brain damage that I incurred at birth, and it affects my motor skills. I’m confined to an electric wheelchair. I can stand but I can’t walk, I have very limited use of my arms,” Taylor says, sitting in the living room of her Norman apartment.

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 Oklahoma Health Care Authority cutting Medicaid reimbursement rates 6% to most health care providers and 1% to nursing homes while the Attorney General, State Auditor and even the House of Representatives begin investigations of possible fiscal mismanagement at the Department of Health and lawmakers await an announcement on another special session to deal with the budget shortfall.

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.

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.

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