Mary Fallin

Emily Wendler

One way or another, the third grade reading test will be different next school year. The reading committees that lessen the high-stakes nature of the test are slated to dissolve at the end of this school year. But there's a bill in the legislature that could extend them for another three years. However, with that bill comes further changes to the test.

Under Oklahoma’s Reading Sufficiency Act, the third-grade reading test is a high-stakes test. Meaning, if students don’t do well, they could be held back.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a law today allowing nitrogen to be used in executions in the state in case lethal injection is ruled unconstitutional or the drugs are not available.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about Governor Fallin signing a bill to stop teacher payroll deductions to union and possible unintentional consequences of local drilling bans impacting the federal flood insurance program.

The trio also discusses oil revenue collections drop to a 13-year low and infighting between a Republican lawmaker and the conservative State Chamber.

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 State of the State Address given by Governor Fallin to kick off the 2015 legislative session as well as her executive budget.

Also, the trio discusses two bill killed early in the session without getting a hearing: the so-called "hoodie bill" and a bill by Representative Sally Kern allowing businesses to discriminate against homosexuals.

Finally, they look at the decision by the Tulsa School Board to hire Deborah Gist as its new superintendent.

Oklahoma lawmakers gathered for the first official day of the legislative session Monday to hear Governor Mary Fallin’s annual State of the State address.

As the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange’s Kate Carlton Greer reports, the Democratic Party praised the governor for finding focus in her initiatives.

Democratic Minority Leader Scott Inman described his party as being cautiously optimistic following the Fallin’s call to concentrate on education, healthcare and criminal justice reform this legislative session.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma lawmakers reconvened Monday for the start of the 2015 legislative session, an event marked by Gov. Mary Fallin’s State of the State Address and the release of her state budget. As StateImpact’s Joe Wertz reports, Fallin proposes cuts for most agencies, but earmarked funding increases in three areas.

Fallin urged lawmakers to spend more than $80 million to boost funding for K-12 education, several health agencies and the Department of Corrections. Funding for 10 other agencies would be flat; the rest would face 6.25 percent cuts to their annual appropriations. The state is facing a three-hundred million dollar budget hole that could grow as low oil prices affect revenues. Fallin predicts a tough budget year.

Joe Wertz

The 2015 legislative session kicks off today with the fifth State of the State Address from Governor Fallin starting just after noon.

KOSU’s Michael Cross got a chance to sit down with the Governor to get an idea of the subjects of the speech.

The legislative session is scheduled to run through May 29.

KOSU will be airing the State of the State Address in its entirety today, thanks to our partners at OETA starting at 12:30 p.m.

KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about returning Governor Mary Fallin and new Superintendent Joy Hofmeister. 

The trio also discusses a judges ruling which could impact the 2013 GOP overhaul of the Workers' Compensation System and a plan by the Oklahoma Hospital Association to use Medicaid expansion money for low-income uninsured Oklahomans.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has issued an executive order creating a special committee to develop reforms to how the state handles nonviolent offenders who have substance abuse problems and mental health issues.

Fallin issued the order Wednesday creating the six-member Oklahoma Justice Reform Steering Committee.

KOSU will air Governor Mary Fallin's second and final inaugural address on Monday, January 12 beginning at 11:30 a.m. from the south steps of the state Capitol.

Gov. Fallin and other statewide officials will take their oaths of office and there will be guest performances by 11-year-old Edmond singer Olivia Kay and operatic soprano Leona Mitchell.