State Sens. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City (left), Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, (center), and David Holt, R-Oklahoma City (right) emerge from Tuesday morning's budget meeting at the state Capitol.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Senate Passes $6.8 Billion Budget Bill, House To Take Up Friday

The Oklahoma Senate passed a budget for Fiscal Year 2017 on Wednesday that closes most of the $1.3 billion shortfall by cutting spending to most agencies. Updated May 25, 3:17 p.m. Common education, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services all take reductions between 2 and 5 percent of what was originally appropriated last year. Higher education stands to lose nearly 16 percent. When asked why higher education took such a sharp cut,...
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Texas, joined by a number of other states, has filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration in response to its directive that public schools allow students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

The plaintiffs include Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah, Georgia, the governor of Maine and the Arizona Department of Education.

Native American leaders and a U.S. State Department official are urging a French auction house to call off a sale of sacred art and artifacts.

State Capitol, Oklahoma Capitol
Trevor Brown / Oklahoma Watch

A number of one-time funding measures will help stave off potentially crippling cuts to K-12 education, health care and other core service as part of a budget deal announced Tuesday by Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders.

But some key lawmakers said the agreement, which will need to pass the Legislature by the end of the session on Friday, only delays the need for more painful reductions and could create more financial troubles when the Legislature returns next year.

7 Takeaways From Tuesday’s Budget Deal

8 hours ago
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Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

It will take a day or two for lawmakers to digest the details and assess the impact of the big budget deal unveiled Tuesday by Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders. But several immediate implications appeared clear.

Budget Cuts Were Reduced By About Two-Thirds.

oil pump jack
Paul Lowry / Flickr

A bill that would bank tax revenues to cushion the state budget during energy industry downturns awaits the governor’s signature.  

State Rep. Mike Christian, R-Oklahoma City, (left) on the floor of the Oklahoma House, March 2, 2015.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

A State Representative called for the resignation of Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel Tuesday. House Public Safety Committee Chair Mike Christian, R-Oklahoma City, said during a press conference he was concerned about the management of the jail.   

Over the weekend, two inmates died in their cells and a third inmate escaped the facility. 

“If this happened at DOC [Department of Corrections], I can tell you right now as Chair of Public Safety, we would ask for his head,” Christian said.

Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Oklahoma could be in for another round of severe weather Tuesday.

A strong, tornado-warned thunderstorm that moved through Payne and Noble counties Tuesday afternoon destroyed a mobile home and downed power lines near the town of Morrison, Payne County Emergency Management Director Dave Lester said.

State Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, on the floor of the Senate May 17, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

The author of a bill that would’ve effectively outlawed abortion in Oklahoma wants to talk with Gov. Mary Fallin about overriding her veto.

In a press conference Tuesday morning, state Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, says he wants to address Fallin’s concerns about Senate Bill 1552.

Mutuma Ruteere, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, briefs journalists at UN Headquarters, November 5, 2012.
Evan Schneider / UN

Contingents from around the world gathered in Istanbul earlier this week for the first-ever United Nations World Humanitarian Summit. The goal is to overhaul how aid is delivered, and to make the world safer for refugees during what the U.N. has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War.

State Sens. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City (left), Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, (center), and David Holt, R-Oklahoma City (right) emerge from Tuesday morning's budget meeting at the state Capitol.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Senate passed a budget for Fiscal Year 2017 on Wednesday that closes most of the $1.3 billion shortfall by cutting spending to most agencies.

Updated May 25, 3:17 p.m.

Common education, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services all take reductions between 2 and 5 percent of what was originally appropriated last year. Higher education stands to lose nearly 16 percent.

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