Mary Fallin

The clear purpose of Oklahoma's Open Records Act is to ensure citizens can review government records to help them exercise their "inherent political power." But when it comes to the Oklahoma Legislature - not so much.

Three of the state's top four legislative leaders - Speaker of the House Jeff Hickman, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman and Senate Minority Leader John Sparks - all refused to disclose their weekly schedules and emails requested by The Associated Press.

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 plan to use rainy day funds for supplemental appropriations to schools and prisons and the State Superintendent of Public Education Joy Hofmeister publicly questions bills to create Education Savings Accounts.

Flickr / alamosbasement

Governor Mary Fallin and Republican legislative leaders agreed to pull about $78.5 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund in order to partially offset budget cuts to common education and corrections for the remainder of this fiscal year.

The Department of Education will receive $51 million and the Department of Corrections will receive $27.5 million.

Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz closed out a weekend filled with Oklahoma visits by candidates hoping to win the state’s primary election Tuesday, and eventually the White House in November.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz will visit Oklahoma again this weekend, just days ahead of the all-important Super Tuesday primary.

Cruz will make stops in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Lawton on Sunday. All events will be open to the public. He'll be joined at the Oklahoma City event by Glenn Beck and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. Beck will also attend the Tulsa and Lawton events.

WHEN: Sunday, February 28 at 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Central Park Hall at Expo Square, 4145 E 21st St. in Tulsa

oksenate.gov

A reduction in the state's income tax rate that went into effect on Jan. 1 for most Oklahomans would be rolled back under a bill passed easily on a bipartisan vote in a Senate panel.

Despite objections to the bill from both Gov. Mary Fallin and House Speaker Jeff Hickman, the Senate Finance Committee voted 10-2 on Tuesday to advance the bill to the full Senate.

Committee Chairman Sen. Mike Mazzei wrote the bill and says the reduction in the state's top income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 5 percent should not have gone into effect amid a revenue failure.

Matt Trotter / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

A state board led by Gov. Mary Fallin has certified the Oklahoma Legislature will have a budget hole next year of $1.1 billion, and the deficit will actually be closer to $1.3 billion once one-time funds are considered.

The State Board of Equalization met Tuesday to certify how much money will be available in the state's General Revenue Fund for lawmakers to spend on the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The general counsel for Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin resigned Thursday amid a grand jury investigation into how the wrong drug was delivered for the state's last two scheduled executions.

Fallin spokesman Michael McNutt confirmed Steve Mullins stepped down after three years as the governor's top attorney, but did not say whether his resignation was connected to the probe.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma finance officials say the hole in next year's budget has increased to $1.3 billion, or nearly 20 percent of last year's spending, amid depressed oil prices.

The Office of Management and Enterprise Services announced Thursday that plunging revenue collections have widened the shortfall from the original projection of $900 million in December.

A state panel led by Gov. Mary Fallin will meet next week to certify how much legislators can spend in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The power and frequency of earthquakes in Oklahoma have been increasing, but the Legislature has done little to try to curb the temblors that scientists have linked to the underground disposal of oil and gas drilling wastewater.

That could change this year, as angry residents have been increasingly turning up at town hall meetings and legislative hearings to call for state leaders to address the problem.

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