Oklahoma Has High Rates of Incarceration
5:13 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Oklahoma Senate Votes Down Bill To Parole Aging Prisoners

Credit Michael Coghlan / Flickr.com

A bill to allow some aging prisoners to be released from prison early has been shot down in the Oklahoma Senate.

The Senate voted 29-14 on Wednesday against the Parole of Aging Prisoners Act. The bill would have allowed the state Pardon and Parole Board to parole prisoners who are 65-years-old or older if they have served 10 years in prison or at least one-third of their sentence.

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The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Judge OKs WikiLeaker Manning's Name Change To 'Chelsea'

The soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning was dressed as a woman in this 2010 photograph.
U.S. Army handout Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 1:17 pm

The ex-Army intelligence analyst responsible for the biggest leak of classified material in U.S. history is now officially known as Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.

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State Capitol
1:27 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

State Income Tax Cuts Headed To Governor Fallin's Desk

Credit 401(K) 2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

Legislation that would trim Oklahoma's personal income tax rate when state revenue increases has been approved by the state House.

House members voted 54-40 for the Senate-passed measure that is one of Republican Gov. Mary Fallin's top goals for the 2014 Legislature. It now goes to Fallin to be signed into law.

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Oklahoma Watch
12:48 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Fallin, Dorman Claims On Minimum Wage Workers: Who's Right?

Gov. Mary Fallin
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

The minimum wage has become a campaign issue in Oklahoma and nationally as Republicans and Democrats debate whether the wage should be raised and what effects that would have.

In Oklahoma City, a labor union and a lawyer launched a petition effort in February to increase the city’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour, which is the state and federal minimum, to $10.10 an hour. That prompted a GOP-supported legislative bill to prohibit municipalities from setting their own minimum wage and vacation and sick days for private businesses.

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Politics and Government
11:53 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Conservatives To Protest Attorney General Eric Holder's Oklahoma Trip

U.S. Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla. 5) and Attorney General Eric Holder after a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing - Feb. 2, 2012
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Flickr Creative Commons

Some conservative politicians and activists are planning to protest U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's speech to a group of graduating Oklahoma City Police Department cadets.

Holder is scheduled to address the class of 42 police recruits during their swearing-in ceremony Thursday afternoon at First Church in downtown Oklahoma City. The 35 men and seven women were among 52 recruits who started the 30-week physical and academic training academy.

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Oklahoma Watch
10:32 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Oklahoma Medicaid Enrollment Reaches New Record

The Javoric Flickr Creative Commons

The number of Oklahomans enrolled at one time in the state’s Medicaid program reached an all-time high in March, and officials are examining whether many people who signed up were spurred to do so by the Affordable Care Act.

By the end of March, there were 830,850 Oklahomans enrolled in SoonerCare, the state’s Medicaid program; that was the highest single-month total of enrollees since the program began, according to data from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

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Education Funding
8:47 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Senate Approves Gradual Oklahoma Public School Funding Proposal

Credit Tod Binger / Flickr Creative Commons

Updated at 11:57 a.m. following the Senate vote.

The Senate unanimously approved a plan Wednesday morning designed to increase public school funding by $600 million annually.

The measure that passed Wednesday on a 43-0 vote initially diverted revenue used to repair state roads and bridges.

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Education
6:06 am
Wed April 23, 2014

In Tulsa, Combining Preschool With Help For Parents

Shartara Wallace picks up her son James, 4, from preschool in Tulsa, Okla.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 7:02 am

At preschools in Tulsa, Okla., teachers are well-educated and well-paid, and classrooms are focused on play, but are still challenging. One nonprofit in Tulsa, the Community Action Project, has flipped the script on preschool. The idea behind its Career Advance program is simple: To help kids, the group believes, you often have to help their parents.

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Bill's Author may ask house to reconsider
5:16 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

State House Says No To Bonds That Would Help Pay For Crumbling Capitol

Credit Steve / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma House has defeated legislation that would authorize up to $160 million in bonds to repair the state's nearly 100-year-old Capitol.

House members voted 62-34 against the Senate-passed measure that is one of Republican Gov. Mary Fallin's top priorities for the 2014 Legislature. The bill's author, Rep. Skye McNeil of Bristow, kept the measure alive by serving notice that she may ask the House to reconsider the vote.

Supporters and opponents agree that the Capitol needs extensive repairs. But they disagree on how to pay for them.

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Will Cost More But no delay in june 14 re-opening
4:08 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Two New Cracks Develop on 76-year-old Bridge

Credit Oklahoma Department Of Transportation

Oklahoma Department of Transportation officials say additional cracks have been found on a bridge that connects two towns and has been closed since January.

Officials announced Tuesday during a news conference that two new cracks have developed on the 76-year-old bridge connecting Lexington and Purcell. The extra repair work is expected to cost an additional $1 million to $1.5 million, for a total project cost of about $15.5 million.

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