OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma House has passed four bills meant to boost school safety following the deadly school shooting last year at a Connecticut elementary school.
The four proposals would create a school safety institute with the state's Office of Homeland Security and tell schools to share emergency plans with local responders, run intruder drills and report any firearms found. All passed with at least 85 of the chamber's 101 members in favor and go to the governor to be signed into law.
The Obama administration has included a proposal in its 2014 budget that would effectively ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption. Technically, the proposal would prevent money from being spent on inspection of horse slaughtering facilities. Without inspections, facilities could not legally operate. The proposal was greeted enthusiastically by horse lovers and animal advocacy groups.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan tells NPR that he's "cautiously optimistic" that a budget deal can be reached with the White House.
Speaking to NPR a day after President Obama unveiled a 2014 budget proposal that includes cuts to Social Security and Medicare, as well as tax increases and new investments in education and infrastructure, Ryan said he was encouraged by the broad outlines from the White House.
UPDATE: Oklahoma's two U.S. Senators split over Thursday's vote to begin debate on a bipartisan gun control bill. Sen. Tom Coburn was one of 16 Republicans voting to debate the legislation. Sen. Jim Inhofe voted with other GOP members to block debate.
Coburn told a town hall recently in Oklahoma City he was interested in finding a way to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, but was concerned about keeping any data from turning into a firearm registry.
Rising costs in the justice system still have to be paid for, somehow. It’s the users of the court system, and more specifically the losers, who pay most of those fees, and many question the wisdom of that trend.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed into law bills making it easier to lose a tobacco dealer license and saying small honey producers don't need to be inspected and regulated by the state.
Fallin signed six bills Wednesday. One says tobacco and cigarette dealers will lose their licenses if they sell their product unfairly or break any drug or controlled substance law. Another bill exempts beekeepers from state regulation if they sell fewer than 500 gallons of honey that are produced within Oklahoma and are properly labeled.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - While Republican legislators in Oklahoma continue wrangling over how to scale back costly tax credits, lawmakers have approved three new tax breaks for tickets to sporting events, construction of affordable homes and the purchase of helicopters.
Listen to Suzette Grillot's full interview with Col. Lawrence Wilkerson
Iranian state television says the Islamic Republic inaugurated two key nuclear-related projects Tuesday, just days after another round of talks with world powers seeking to limit Tehran’s atomic program.
Retired State Department official Lawrence Wilkerson described what he calls “delusional security” in foreign policy that’s bubbled up in both Tehran and Washington, D.C. over the last three to five years.
“It's come to a peak ostensibly over the nuclear issue, but what it's coming to a peak over really is a power struggle in the Gulf for who's going to be the power to be reckoned with outside the United States,” Wilkerson says.