Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, listens to questions on the Oklahoma House of Representatives floor on May 27, 2016.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma House Sends $6.8 Billion Budget Bill To Governor's Desk

The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a $6.8 billion budget in the waning hours of the legislative session Friday. The bill was narrowly approved with a vote of 52-45 and now goes to Gov. Mary Fallin's desk for her approval. Updated May 27, 4:43 p.m. During floor debate, House Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, said the budget isn’t perfect, but it funds core services. “After hearing for months that hospitals would be closing when provider rates were cut, we put a budget together that...
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Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Another round of severe weather could hit western and central Oklahoma this afternoon and evening.

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Tornado Watch across all of western Oklahoma and parts of north-central Oklahoma until 10:00 p.m. tonight. Several rounds of storms are expected in the watch area today.

 

Meteorologist Todd Lindley with the National Weather Service in Norman says today's forecast is fluid, especially with regards to when and where storms will threaten.

Oklahoma Water Resources Board project coordinator Jason Murphy samples water in the frigid Canadian River east of Oklahoma City.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

After months of deliberation and closed-door meetings, lawmakers in the Oklahoma House and Senate are poised to cut a deal to fill a $1.3 billion shortfall and fund government for 2017.

The $6.8 billion presumptive budget agreement has been praised for preserving money for education, prisons and Medicaid, but some of the sharpest cuts are aimed at agencies that regulate industry and protect the environment.

Sue Ogrocki / AP

The Oklahoma House of Representatives reversed itself Wednesday on a bill it defeated 48-44 on Monday. The new vote approves modifications of the requirements to become the head of the state Department of Corrections.

Under the bill’s language, the agency director no longer needs a master’s degree or five years experience in corrections. The changes make the Department of Corrections’ current Interim Director Joe Allbaugh eligible.

Students from Classen School of Advanced Studies, an Oklahoma City high school, wave as they are recognized in the gallery of the Oklahoma House in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 18, 2016. The students were at the state Capitol to protest budget cuts.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Parents, students, and educators are rallying at the state Capitol Wednesday because of dissatisfaction with Oklahoma’s $6.8 billion budget deal. They want to see more money go to education.

The Blue Canyon Wind Farm near Carnegie, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Southwestern Oklahoma is in the middle of an airport boom, but the new airstrips weren’t planned to attract travel — they’re designed to repel wind farms.

Rural landowners worried about ruined prairie views and diminished property values are registering private airstrips to block construction of wind farms, The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies reports.

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

May 25, 2016
money
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.  

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