KGOU
 Lawmakers sit in the House Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget on Tuesday night.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Committees Pass Budget Bills In Chaotic Late Night Meetings

Lawmakers got their first peek at Oklahoma’s budget last night in a haphazard midnight session senior legislators described as the most disjointed in their career. House and Senate committee members had mere minutes to review the proposed $6.9 billion dollar budget before voting on two versions of the state spending plan. The bills are nearly identical. One would give teachers a $1,000 pay raise. Both deliver funding cuts for most state agencies. Sixteen agencies, including the Departments of...

Read More
 Lawmakers sit in the House Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget on Tuesday night.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Lawmakers got their first peek at Oklahoma’s budget last night in a haphazard midnight session senior legislators described as the most disjointed in their career.

House and Senate committee members had mere minutes to review the proposed $6.9 billion dollar budget before voting on two versions of the state spending plan.

The bills are nearly identical. One would give teachers a $1,000 pay raise. Both deliver funding cuts for most state agencies. Sixteen agencies, including the Departments of Education and Transportation, are in line for flat budgets.

Rep. Steve Russell
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

U.S. Representative Steve Russell has announced he is seeking the chairmanship of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee of the House of Representatives.

A community leader presents her group's work in Amouja village in Bihar, India.
Srijana Karki / World Neighbors

In order to reduce poverty and introduce community development, oftentimes it’s best to start with women.

That’s the approach taken by Oklahoma City-based non-governmental organization World Neighbors in its work in Nepal and India. World Neighbors currently works in about 20 villages in Bihar, India and in nearly 32 communities over five districts in Nepal.

The three main areas of work are sustainable agriculture and rural livelihood, community-based natural resource management, and reproductive health and gender equity.

A tornado forms near Banner Road and Praire Circle in El Reno, Okla. on Friday, May 31, 2013.
Alonzo Adams / AP

The National Weather Service issued a preliminary rating for the tornado that hit Elk City last week as an EF-2. The tornado killed one person and destroyed over 40 homes.

Gary England, a consulting meteorologist-in-residence at the University of Oklahoma, says the Enhanced Fujita scale measures damage instead of wind. He says National Weather Service surveyors have to consider the location of damage, the type of damage and how affected houses are built.

Oklahoma State Capitol Building
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Oklahoma state lawmakers have yet to agree on a plan to raise money for the state, and could be facing special session. 

Betty Shelby leaves the courtroom with her husband, Dave Shelby, right, after the jury in her case began deliberations in Tulsa, Okla., Wednesday, May 17, 2017.
AP

Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby was found not guilty Wednesday night in the shooting death Terence Crutcher.

Jurors deliberated for more than 9 hours Wednesday before reaching their decision.

Jerry Laizure / AP Images

Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating is among the candidates to replace James Comey as the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

National Weather Service

A night of storms brought power outages and damage to trees, buildings and infrastructure to central Oklahoma--and it's not over yet.

The supercell that produced the damaging tornado at Elk City Tuesday evening.
Jeff Piotrowski / twisterchasers.com

Officials in Oklahoma are assessing damage after tornadoes hit the Western part of the state Tuesday evening.

One tornado touched down in Elk City in Beckham County, injuring at least 10 people and killing one.

 

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

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.

Pages