StateImpact Oklahoma
6:42 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Now Showing: Oil Downturn’s Effect On Oklahoma Employment Numbers

Credit Richard Masoner /

Oklahoma lost about 500 mining industry jobs between December and January, data from the Oklahoma Employment Securities Commission show.

Almost all in-state “mining” jobs are actually in oil and gas drilling, The Journal Record‘s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports. And while the job losses haven’t yet affected the state’s unemployment rate, currently 3.9 percent, oil sector employment will likely take a big hit in the months to come, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s bulletin The Oklahoma Economist.

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Politics and Government
5:38 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Senate Committee Passes Prescription Drug Monitoring Bill

Credit madpoet_one / Flickr Creative Commons

Prescription drug monitoring legislation that is one of Gov. Mary Fallin's top priorities for the 2015 Legislature has been sent to the Oklahoma Senate.

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services voted 8-1 for the measure Monday and sent it to the full Senate for a vote. The bill was previously approved by the Oklahoma House.

The measure by Republican Sen. A.J. Griffin of Guthrie requires health care providers to consult a prescription drug repository before prescribing or refilling opiates and a variety of other narcotics.

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It's All Politics
5:35 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Justices Debate Place Of Offensive Language On License Plates

R. James George Jr., attorney for Sons of Confederate Veterans, meets with reporters outside the Supreme Court Monday.
Molly Riley AP

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 5:58 pm

Nazis, jihadis, racial slurs and even "Mighty Fine Burgers" all made cameo appearances at the U.S. Supreme Court Monday as the justices tackled a case of great interest to America's auto-loving public. The question before the court: When, if ever, can the state veto the message on a specialty license plate?

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4:38 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Cherokee Nation To Give $4 Million To School Districts

Credit comedy_nose / Flickr Creative Commons

The Cherokee Nation is distributing checks totaling $4 million from tribal car tag sales to 106 school districts later this week.

The checks will be handed out Friday at the Tahlequah-based tribe's annual Public School Appreciation Day at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

Each year, the tribe allocates 38 percent of tax revenue from the sale of the tags to help school districts fund teacher staffing, buy new technology or other needs. School districts have total discretion on how to spend the funds.

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Politics and Government
3:05 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Senate Committee Votes To Limit Abortions That Dismember Fetuses

Legislation prohibiting abortions where doctors use clamps, forceps or similar instruments to dismember a fetus in the womb has been approved by an Oklahoma Senate committee.

The Committee on Health and Human Services voted 7-1 Monday for the House-passed measure. The bill, which has been proposed in several states by a national anti-abortion group, now goes to the full Senate.

The measure by Republican Sen. Josh Brecheen of Coalgate would ban procedures in which doctors use medical devices to dismember a fetus in the womb to complete an abortion.

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Oklahoma Voices
12:26 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Lawmakers Discuss Dashboard Recordings, Body Cameras, And Oklahoma’s Open Records Future

Image of House Bill 1361
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives

Two lawmakers with a history of filing open records-friendly legislation gathered with supporters of government transparency to discuss recent legislative measures they said ran counter to the spirit of the state’s Open Records Act.

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Politics and Government
12:10 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Tobacco-Free Schools Bill Passes Senate Committee

Credit Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

An Oklahoma Senate committee has approved legislation to prohibit the use of all tobacco products in public schools and make them tobacco free.

The Senate Committee on Education voted 13-0 Monday for the bill that has already passed the state House. A similar bill previously passed by the Senate is pending in the House.

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8:26 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Is The University Of Oklahoma Doing Enough For The State's Native American Population?

Since the university’s scattered student services offices in the 1990s merged into a reorganized Center for Student Life, critics of OU President David Boren’s leadership say the communities for American Indian students that flourished during the late 80's and early 90's have “dwindled to almost nothing.”
University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren drew praise last week when he swiftly moved to punish members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon caught singing a racist song -- much like he did when members of the same fraternity in 1996 stole a tepee and placed it on a sorority house lawn.
It's All Politics
4:03 am
Mon March 23, 2015

5 Reasons Cruz Announced His Candidacy Early

Sen. Ted Cruz needs buzz, money and to be taken seriously. He hopes he can accomplish that by getting in early.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 8:48 am

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has apparently had enough of the fig leaf most presidential candidates wear as their unofficial spring costume the year before the election actually happens.

That is a bold stroke, but entirely in keeping with the go-for-broke style the junior senator from Texas has exhibited since first challenging the Republican establishment's candidate for the Senate in 2012.

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3:16 pm
Sun March 22, 2015

Oklahoma Educators Call For March 30 Rally At Capitol

Oklahoma teachers and supporters rallying at the state capitol for increased public education funding on March 31, 2014.
Credit Gov. Mary Fallin / Facebook

Oklahoma educators plan to rally to renew demands made at a massive Capitol demonstration a year ago for more classroom funding and better salaries.

This time, they will have a new ally in Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. The former public school teacher and ex-state Board of Education member plans to add her voice to the thousands of teachers, school administrators and parents expected at the March 30 gathering.

The Republican defeated former state Schools Superintendent Janet Barresi in the GOP primary.

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