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Top Trump Advisers Bannon And Priebus Emphasize Unity At CPAC

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8e2g8VAhxeE Top White House advisers Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference to make the case that despite seeming like a political odd couple, the two represent the successful marriage of disparate wings of the Republican Party, united under President Trump. "The truth of the matter is [Trump] brought together the party and the conservative movement, and I've got to tell you, if the party and the...

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Mill Creek, southwest of Ada's Byrd's Mill Creek in south-central Oklahoma, also originates from the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The crippling five-year drought Oklahoma finally broke out of in 2015 is still fresh in the memory of the state’s water regulators, which is looking for ways the state can better withstand future dry spells. The Water Resources Board this week approved new rules to allow water to be stored underground, in aquifers.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The longer-serving mayor in Oklahoma City's history won't throw his hat in for a fifth term.

Mick Cornett announced on Wednesday that he will not seek reelection in 2018. Cornett has served in the office since 2004 and is the city's first four-term mayor.

He will leave office next April.

“I still love the job as much as I ever have,” Mayor Cornett said said in a statement. “And that makes it a difficult decision. I look forward to this final year in office knowing we have several more milestones to reach.”

EPA

Former Oklahoma Attorney General and new Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt addressed employees of the federal agency for the first time today.

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.

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