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Trump Names Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster New National Security Adviser

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET President Trump has announced that Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster will be his new national security adviser. McMaster will replace retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign after revelations that he had misled top White House officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. The president made the announcement in a brief appearance before reporters at Mar-a-Lago, his resort estate in Florida on Monday. He spent part of the...

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Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and Gov.  Mary Fallin at the Board of Equalization meeting on Feb. 21, 2017.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma Board of Equalization declared a revenue failure for the current fiscal year, which will result in mid-year appropriations cuts to state agencies.

State agencies will receive across board cuts of 0.7 percent between March and June of this year. In total, agencies will be cut by $34.6 million.

Preston Doerflinger, the Director and Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology, said the situation is dire and more revenue is needed.

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has chosen the state’s secretary of state to fill the vacant attorney general office.

Fallin picked Mike Hunter to be the state’s next attorney general. The post was vacated last week when former AG Scott Pruitt was sworn in to become the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Hunter was the first assistant attorney general under Pruitt between June 2015 and October 2016. He left the AG’s office when Fallin selected him to be secretary of state.

Emory University Philosophy Department

Dr. George Yancy is Professor of Philosophy at Emory University. His work focuses primarily in the areas of critical philosophy of race, critical whiteness studies, and philosophy of the black experience.

In this Feb. 6, 2017 photo, Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb speaks at the State of the State in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogracki / AP

 

Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb stepped down from the governor’s cabinet due to his opposition to the governor’s tax plan during a busy legislative week that included moves on an abortion bill and several teacher pay raise proposals.

Lamb’s resignation was well received by the 14 legislators who pledged to fight against service sales taxes.

Nadim Shehadi

 

During the 20th century, countries in the Middle East developed strong, nationalist states that created a homogenous model for their societies. Lebanon, however, did not follow suit. As Middle East expert Nadim Shehadi likes to say, Lebanon skipped the 20th century altogether.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt talks to state lawmakers at the Oklahoma capitol in February 2017.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, a federal regulatory agency the Oklahoma politician has built his brand fighting against. 

Pruitt has led a coordinated legal effort to fight the EPA through the courts, an alliance with other Republican attorneys general that’s made him popular among conservatives. The confirmation sends a strong signal that Congressional Republicans share with President Donald Trump a vision of diminished federal oversight of the fossil fuel industry.

cigarettes
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

 

Health care providers are lining up behind a proposal to increase Oklahoma’s sales tax on cigarettes by $1.50. The proposal is also attracting the supports of child advocacy groups.

Storme Jones / KGOU

 

A five-star point guard from Norman North High School made his college decision on Thursday. Trae Young is staying close to home.

Young said his decision was difficult but he reached a place of peace.

“That place of peace for me, in the fall of 2017, will be at the University of Oklahoma,” Young said.

Center for Media and Democracy attorney Robert Nelon, center, outside a courtroom in Oklahoma City on Feb. 16, 2017.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

An Oklahoma County District judge on Thursday ordered Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office to turn over emails and other documents requested two years ago by a watchdog group.

In the ruling against Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection agency, judge Aletia Haynes Timmons said the agency violated state transparency laws.

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma House of Representatives took a step toward becoming Real ID compliant Thursday. The House voted 78 to 18 to approve the measure that allows the state to produce identification that meets federal security guidelines under the federal 2005 Real ID Act. Oklahomans must use a Real ID-compliant identification or passport by January 2018 to board a commercial airline flight, or by June of this year to enter federal facilities.

State Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Mustang, authored the bill. She says compliance is way overdue.

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