House Committee Votes 8-0 For Bill
6:30 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

State Board Of Corrections On Its Way Out?

Credit mikecogh / Flickr.com

An Oklahoma House committee has approved legislation to abolish the state Board of Corrections and hand its duties over to the agency's director.

The House Government Modernization Committee voted 8-0 for the bill Thursday and sent it to the full House for a vote.

Currently, the seven-member Board of Corrections sets corrections policy for the state and appoints a director. Its members are chosen by the governor.

Under the bill, the corrections director would to be supervised by the governor's public safety secretary.

Read more
Reasons For Investigation Not Dislcosed
4:17 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

House Ethics Committee Considering Investigation Of Markwayne Mullin

Credit Provided / mullin.house.gov

The House Ethics Committee will consider an investigation of Republican congressman Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma.

A spokeswoman for the congressman says Mullin is cooperating with the House Ethics Committee and believes he is in full compliance with all ethics rules.

Ethics Committee chairman Michael Conaway and ranking Democrat Linda Sanchez said Thursday they had received a referral about Mullin from the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Read more
Tax Cuts
2:17 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Oklahoma City Republican Proposes Drilling Tax Fix

Credit Meredithw / Flickr Creative Commons

A Republican House member from Oklahoma City is proposing an adjustment to the state's tax on oil and natural gas production that would benefit companies that hire Oklahoma workers.

Rep. David Dank proposed a compromise on Thursday that would set the gross production tax rate for all oil and gas wells between 2 percent and 6 percent, depending on how many full-time workers each producer employs in Oklahoma.

Read more
Health
1:05 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Oklahoma Flu Deaths Rise By 8 To 33 Since Sept. 29

Credit NHSE / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Department of Health says eight people have died from the flu during the past week.

The agency reported Thursday that a total of 33 people have died from the flu in the state since Sept. 29. A total of 975 people have either died or been hospitalized due to the virus during the period.

The deaths include two children aged 4 or younger, eight people in the 18-49 age range, 13 people aged 50-64 and 10 people 65 years old or older.

Read more
World Views
11:27 am
Thu February 6, 2014

The Forgotten Empire: Documentary Filmmaker Shares Lessons From Iranian History

The Cyrus Cylinder maintains a record of Cyrus the Great's religious and political tolerance.
Credit Pleia2 / Flickr Creative Commons

Iranian documentary filmmaker Farzin Rezaeian says Greek, Roman, and European history have overshadowed ancient Iranian history, yet there are valuable lessons from Iran’s past for today’s world.

“The idea of international law, the beginning of human rights as it’s first mentioned in the Cyrus Cylinder… this goes back to some 2,500 years ago, five hundred years before Jesus Christ was even born” Rezaeian says. “Unfortunately, we don’t hear about it.”

Read more
The Two-Way
9:45 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Dip; Will Unemployment Rate Do The Same?

The scene at a Hiring Our Heroes job fair for veterans last month in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 9:48 am

There were 331,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, down 20,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

That's yet another report showing that claims remain in a range where they've been running since late 2011. What does that indicate? As we've said before:

Read more
Tornado
9:44 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Texas, Oklahoma Top Nation's Tornado Numbers

The May 19, 2013 tornado that hit parts of Edmond, Okla.
Credit Mike Prendergast / SkyWatcherMedia.com

Texas and Oklahoma led the nation in the number of tornadoes last year. Oklahoma's 79 was well above the state's average of 57.

Greg Carbin, the warning coordination meteorologist with the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, told the Tulsa World newspaper the national total of 898 tornadoes was well below normal, which is about 1,000.

Florida, Kansas and Texas typically each have more tornadoes per year than Oklahoma. Texas had 81 last year.

Read more
The Edge
8:50 am
Thu February 6, 2014

How To Watch All Of The Games: Step 1, Prove Yourself Worthy

Rebecca Torr of New Zealand competed Thursday in the women's slopestyle qualification at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Mike Ehrmann Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 1:14 pm

Now that the Winter Games have begun, it's time to remind fans in the U.S. about how to watch them.

As NPR TV critic Eric Deggans said earlier this week:

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
8:17 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Mining Companies Might Find It’s Not Impossible To Raise Taxes In Oklahoma

Piles of crushed limestone along railroad tracks near Mill Creek, Okla.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Last week, StateImpact reported on what the passage of State Question 640 in 1992 did to tax policy in Oklahoma.

“You need to have a supermajority in the House and the Senate and the governor has to sign it,” Alexander Holmes, a Regent’s Professor of Economics at the University of Oklahoma, said. “I’m still betting that if you reduce the taxes, you can never make them go up again.”

Read more
Rep. Jason Nelson Withdraws
6:18 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

One Republican Down, Two Left In Race For Speaker Of The House

Rep. Jason Nelson
Credit Oklahoma State House of Representatives

A Republican House member from Oklahoma City says he's withdrawing from the race to become the next speaker of the House.

Rep. Jason Nelson said Wednesday he is no longer in the running to replace T.W. Shannon as the next speaker. Shannon resigned from his position on Tuesday to focus his attention on his race for the U.S. Senate.

Nelson's withdrawal leaves Republican Reps. Jeff Hickman of Dacoma and Mike Jackson of Enid in the race for one of the most powerful positions in state government.

Read more

Pages