Mary Fallin

This Week in Oklahoma Politics returns from the summer hiatus as KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the call by Governor Fallin for a Special Session on September 25th after the unconstitutional ruling against the $1.50 fee per pack of cigarettes left a $215M hole in the budget, Oklahoma's junior Senator shows support for DACA after an announcement from President Trump to end the program and Congressman Jim Bridenstine gets bipartisan criticism over his appointment to head NASA.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

The promise of a teacher pay raise seemed real this year, like lawmakers were actually going to get it done. But, they didn’t. And so, once again, some teachers are packing their bags in search of more money elsewhere. However, one teacher is asking them to stay in Oklahoma, and keep fighting.

This year’s legislative session began with high hopes of a teacher pay raise.

Governor Mary Fallin stressed the need for one in her February State of the State speech, and lawmakers put multiple pay raise plans on the table.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republlican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about how lawmakers did in the 2017 legislative session as they adjourned just before time ended last Friday, Governor Fallin gave her stamp of approval on the $6.8M budget for the next fiscal year, but the session ended without the passage of some of her issues on criminal justice reform which she promised during her State of the State.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Governor Mary Fallin has signed a $6.8 billion budget bill for the fiscal year that starts July 1st.

In a statement, Fallin says Senate Bill 860 closes an $878 million shortfall, protects core services, and keeps the state government from shutting down.

The bill cuts most state agency budgets by about five percent.

LLUDO / FLICKR (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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, many months now."

It was a wild day at the state capitol as lawmakers tried to find new sources of revenue to fill the nearly $900 million budget shortfall and fund teacher pay raises. But, with just three days left to find new money, they’re likely back at the drawing board.

Starting about noon, there were rumors that a budget agreement had been reached between the Republican leaders in the House of Representatives and the Senate and Governor Mary Fallin. The scheduled an announcement for 2:30 p.m.

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.

LLUDO / FLICKR (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Governor Mary Fallin says time is running out for the Oklahoma legislature to pass a budget.

Fallin says while the legislature ends on May 26th, any bills to raise revenue for the state have to be passed before the end of next week.

"We need to figure out a path forward. Not addressing the structure of the budget and just going ahead and cutting down to the bone, and then leaving, is not a plan. It's not a vision for the future."

She's calling on lawmakers to come up with a plan and reopen negotiations with her office.

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 situation with the budget as lawmakers have just three weeks left in the session while the governor is threatening a special session and a deadline passes without a teacher raise making it through both chambers.

Gov. Fallin Calls For Resolution To State Budget Crisis

May 3, 2017
Claire Donnelly / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin is urging state lawmakers to work together to find ways to fill the state’s nearly $900 million budget hole.

“This is a serious problem,” Fallin said addressing legislators and reporters at the Capitol on Wednesday.

“It requires leadership and courage to find solutions to the problems that we face in our state. And to not play partisan gridlock politics like we see in Washington, D.C.,” Fallin said.

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