State Sens. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City (left), Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, (center), and David Holt, R-Oklahoma City (right) emerge from Tuesday morning's budget meeting at the state Capitol.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Fallin, Oklahoma Legislature Reach Budget Deal With No New Taxes Or Cuts To Common Education

Gov. Mary Fallin and House and Senate leaders have reached an agreement on a budget for Fiscal Year 2017 that closes most of the $1.3 billion shortfall. Updated 2:06 p.m. The $6.78 billion FY 2017 budget deal is almost $361 million less than the original FY 2016 budget, and $68 million below the adjusted FY '16 appropriations after the mid-year revenue failure. Oklahoma's Fiscal Year 2017 General Appropriations Bill Summary "There are still reductions in this budget, and it requires more hard...
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The execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

A multicounty grand jury released findings regarding Oklahoma’s execution procedures Thursday.

Gov Mary Fallin on the floor of the state Capitol during a House vote on Wednesday.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed a bill Friday that would've criminalized abortion in Oklahoma. The measure would've effectively banned the procedure in the state by making it a felony. It also would've punished doctors who performed an abortion by revoking their medical license and with possible jail time.

Updated May 20, 3:54 p.m.

Oklahoma state Sen. John Sparks, D-Norman, speaks on the Senate floor in Oklahoma City, May 17, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Time is running out for Oklahoma lawmakers to come up with enough money to sustain government operations after July 1.

This legislative session can last until May 27, but revenue bills are constitutionally bound from being considered in the last five days of session. That means revenue bills would have to be sent to Gov. Mary Fallin before 5 p.m. Friday.

American Energy Partners' headquarters in Oklahoma City.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

American Energy Partners is shutting down, just over two months after its founder and CEO Aubrey McClendon died in a car crash in northeast Oklahoma City.

AEP issued a statement Wednesday saying it decided to wind down operations, and that the five independent companies it launched would not be affected. 

The Oklahoman’s Adam Wilmoth reports the company laid off half of its 100 employees on Wednesday:

Columbus Oil Company owner Darlene Wallace in the field with a "stripper well," which produces two-and-a-half barrels of oil a day.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The deadline to fund state government is rapidly approaching, and legislators are struggling to bridge a $1.3 billion budget gap. One idea is to end a tax rebate for unprofitable oil and gas wells, but small oil and gas producers say their safety net shouldn’t be used to plug the state’s budget hole.

Revenue, Rebates

The Oklahoma House of Representatives is in session, and Darlene Wallace is blocking the ornate entrance to the main floor. She’s an obstacle, an oil producer — and she’s clutching a clipboard with the names of lawmakers.

Students from the Classen School of Advanced Studies march from their school to the Capitol on May 18, 2016 in protest of state budget cuts.
Rachel Hubbard / The Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

For the second time this week Oklahoma City Public Schools students protested budget cuts to their education, but this time they marched all the way to the state Capitol.

In this Monday, Jan. 17. 2011 file photo protestors greet soldiers during a demonstration against former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in the center of Tunis.
Christophe Ena / AP

In February 2011, President Obama criticized the U.S. intelligence community for not accurately forecasting the unrest in Tunisia would spread to Egypt and other Middle East countries, sparking a region-wide Arab Spring, an unremitting civil war in Syria, and the rise of ISIS.

The president had harsh words for the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper about how quickly the forces in Tunisia turned against the authoritarian regime, The New York Times’ Mark Mazzetti wrote at the time:

Upupa4me / Flickr Creative Commons

A House committee rejected a proposal Tuesday to increase Oklahoma's fuel taxes by three percent.

The House Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget voted 14-to-9 against the bill that would've raised gasoline taxes from 17 to 20 cents per gallon and from 14 to 17 cents for diesel. Supporters like House Budget Committee chairman Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, say the increase would free revenue used to pay for road and bridge construction.

“It's $86 million that would help us,” Sears said. “I like using this word: A 'safe landing' of our state budget."

empty classroom
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Updated May 18, 5:20 p.m.

Two bills regarding a teacher pay raise in the Oklahoma House were apparently a mistake. The Tulsa World’s Randy Krehbiel reported the bills were not intended to be added to Tuesday’s Appropriations and Budget Committee agenda.

An American Energy Woodford well near Perkins, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The oil boom minted millionaire executives and transformed Oklahoma City into a corporate energy hub, but industry tax breaks and funding cuts kept much of the prosperity from reaching public services, a new Reuters investigation shows.