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Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

State Senate Votes To Reduce Cap On Film Production Rebate

Movie and TV studios may have reduced incentives to film in Oklahoma next year. On Thursday, the State Senate approved a bill that would reduce the spending cap for the Oklahoma Film Rebate Enhancement Program from $5 million to $4 million. The program, administered by the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, was created in 2001 to encourage film and television production in the state. In 2009, it began offering a 35 percent rebate for productions that cost at least $50,000 and spend at least $25...

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Oklahoma will now exclude cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating chemical found in marijuana, from its definition of the drug.
Dank Depot / Flickr Creative Commons

The state of Oklahoma has changed its definition of marijuana to exclude federally approved treatments containing cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating chemical found in the plant.  

Evan Vucci / AP Photo

 

 

 

Justice Neil Gorsuch begins hearing arguments at the Supreme Court today, after a lengthy confirmation process that divided the United States Senate. His tenure on the Supreme Court has only just begun, but it could have a major impact on the court’s political leanings in years to come.  

Generations ago, the American Indian Osage tribe was compelled to move. Not for the first time, white settlers pushed them off their land in the 1800s. They made their new home in a rocky, infertile area in northeast Oklahoma in hopes that settlers would finally leave them alone.

As it turned out, the land they had chosen was rich in oil, and in the early 20th century, members of the tribe became spectacularly wealthy. They bought cars and built mansions; they made so much oil money that the government began appointing white guardians to "help" them spend it.

John Pansze, of Yukon, applies makeup to get into character as Sponji the Clown.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 


Viral videos of weapon-wielding, scary clowns are hurting the bottom line for local clowns. Event bookings have plummeted, and even adult parties are cancelling because a guest has a fear of clowns.

http://saragoldrickrab.com/

More people want to pursue higher education now in the United States, and more students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds want to go to college or university. Even though a desire to achieve higher education is greater, it has also created enormous problems, according to Temple University education and sociology professor Sara Goldrick-Rab.

Oklahoma state Rep. Charles McCall, right, R-Atoka, Speaker of the House, answers a question during a news conference in Oklahoma City, Thursday, April 13, 2017. McCall discussed the budget and teacher pay raises.
Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

 

 


 

What happened at the Capitol this week?

 

Oklahoma lawmakers are plugging away at a 2018 state budget--figuring out where the state’s money will come from and where it will go.

 

Lights from a drilling rig near Watonga, Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The 2017 legislative session is beyond the halfway point and the clock is ticking on lawmakers who have until the end of May to set the state’s budget and plug an $870 million funding hole. Legislators say every option is on the table, including one with growing public support: Increasing taxes on oil and gas.

First, it was state Democrats like minority leader Scott Inman, who have long argued Oklahoma’s taxes are too generous for oil and gas companies.

Rep. Tom Cole, R-OK4, speaks at a town hall meeting in Chickasha on April 12, 2017.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Members of Oklahoma's Congressional delegation are back in their districts through April 21, and many are meeting with constituents for the first time since the election of President Donald Trump.

Rep. Tom Cole, R-OK4, held a town hall meeting Wednesday in Chickasha.

The event was slightly tense, with many of the town hall’s 70 attendees urging Cole to take stronger stances against President Trump on issues like climate change and mental health services.

An investigation by Buzzfeed News alleges extensive abuse of patients at Shadow Mountain Behavorial Health, a live-in facility owned by Universal Health Services, the country’s largest psychiatric hospital chain. The report contains allegations that employees manhandled children as young as eight years old, and to have ignored patients’ attempts to inflict self-harm. The investigation also alleges understaffing, sexual abuse and patient riots. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is now investigating the Tulsa hospital.

Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

A state budget crunch could lead to less money for health care providers in Oklahoma.

 

Oklahoma’s state Medicaid agency may cut Medicaid reimbursements rates by up to 25 percent to make up for a state budget shortfall of almost $900 million. Preston Doerflinger, the state’s budget director, has asked the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to prepare for a possible 15 percent reduction in state appropriations. This means that companies providing services to Medicaid patients might not be fully reimbursed by the government. 

 

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