budget shortfall 2017

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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Governor Mary Fallin has vetoed most of the latest budget bill, while keeping temporary funding intact  for the health and human services adversely affected when the cigarette fee was ruled unconstitutional.

Fallin announced the veto late Friday, after both legislative chambers had adjourned the special session. In a press release, she said she will be calling back lawmakers soon for a second special session.

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 latest fix for the $215M shortfall in the budget made up with cash reserves and cuts to state agencies and the special elections this week where Republicans managed to hold on to two seats, but lost one in Tulsa.

Governor Mary Fallin says she's uncertain what she is going to do with the latest budget bill to cover the $215 million shortfall. She has said in the past she would veto any measure which makes cuts to state agencies and spends cash reserves.

With the latest budget fix, Fallin says lawmakers are kicking the can down the road.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

There was a lot of hope pinned on Wednesday's vote in the Oklahoma House.

For seven weeks, lawmakers have argued over how to fill a $215 million dollar budget hole. But a vote on a bill touted as a “grand bargain” failed.

Lawmakers have largely agreed to increase taxes on beer, tobacco and fuel. The biggest sticking point throughout the special session has been whether to raise taxes on oil and natural gas production.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and, sitting in for Ryan Kiesel, Stillwater Democratic Representative Cory Williams about the House failing to pass a Republican plan to fix the shortfall in the budget, House Minority Leader Scott Inman announcing his resignation from the state legislature as well as dropping out of the governor's race and the State Supreme Court declaring unconstitutional a law which would have added fees on to electric and hybrid vehicles.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The Oklahoma Senate is trying to break a stalemate between House Republicans and Democrats. On Thursday, the Senate passed a bipartisan resolution, urging House leaders to include in their budget plans a tax increase on oil and gas production.

The Senate resolution called for a hike in the gross production tax from 2 to 4 percent during a well’s first 36 months of production.

Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, is confident his chamber could reach the required three-fourths majority to pass the tax package.

Michael Cross / KOSU

Democrats in the Oklahoma House voted down a GOP-backed package that would have increased taxes on cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, low point beer and fuel on a tense day at the state capitol.

The plan would have also given a pay raise to teachers and some state employees.

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