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Trump Meets Finalists; May Expand Search For National Security Adviser

President Trump, who spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, held another round of interviews for the position of national security adviser. Trump interviewed four finalists on Sunday: acting adviser Keith Kellogg, who is a retired three-star Army general; former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton; Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, an Army strategist; and Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen Jr., superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. "We may have some additional...

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Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin at her 2017 State of the State address on Feb. 6, 2017.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

 

Coming into Mary Fallin’s 7th state of the state address as governor of Oklahoma, there was one big question: How will the state deal with another revenue shortfall, and not cut funding to agencies that provide services. The state faces an estimated $870  million budget gap in the upcoming fiscal year. That comes after clawing out a 1.3 billion dollar deficit last year.

Fallin hinted last week she would present a series of changes to the sales tax system. On Tuesday, she outlined her plan.

Paige Willett Lough / KGOU

As a Professor of Philosophy at John Carroll University, Doctor Mariana Ortega has focused her research on questions of self, identity, and visual representations of race, gender and sexuality. More specifically, she has spent some of her career exploring how these topics intersect, claiming that philosophy sometimes takes a more general view of complicated topics like race.

Sparq Natural Gas CEO Norman Herrera fills a pickup truck with compressed natural gas in front of the Oklahoma Environmental Management Authority office in El Reno Friday.
Mark Hancock / Journal Record

 

 

El Reno installed a compressed natural gas station for its refuse fleet. It’s part of a larger trend of municipalities relying on the fuel for its services.

The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry Cobo writes Oklahoma Environmental Management Authority owner David Griesel says the dispensers save time and money.

An informal settlement in Zambia, taken during John Harris' 2014 trip.
David Boeck

 

Urbanization is rapidly expanding on a global scale, and it is creating a demand for reorganization of cities and spaces. Urban and regional planners, like John Harris, weigh the different needs of societies to ensure the city suits the people who live in it. Harris focuses on sustainable urbanization, especially in Africa where he has dealt with informal settlements.

Gov. Mary Fallin during her 2015 State of the State address Feb. 2, 2015.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

 

As Governor Mary Fallin prepares for her State of the State address on Monday, February 6th, the Oklahoma legislature looks at changes involving taxes, criminal justice and disciplining some of their own.

At the Associated Press Legislative Forum on Thursday, Gov. Fallin said she wants to see, “a major overhaul of our tax system.”

Empty chairs in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee mark Democrats' boycott of a vote to advance the nomination of Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
C-SPAN

With no Democrats in the room, U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday voted unanimously to approve the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Republicans in the Environment and Public Works Committee voted to suspend committee rules to defeat a two-day boycott by Democrats who say Pruitt is unfit to serve as the nation’s top environmental regulator.

State Rep. Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa, on the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, March 2, 2015.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

A state representative from Tulsa has announced he will resign his seat after a House committee recommended his expulsion amid sexual harassment allegations.

Rep. Dan Kirby, a Republican, submitted his resignation on Saturday.

At question were two separate incidents. One involved a lawsuit brought against the House of Representatives by Hollie Bishop, who worked for Kirby as a legislative assistant. She claimed she was fired in November 2015 after she reported sexual harassment. Former House Speaker Jeff Hickman reached a settlement with Bishop’s attorneys.

Online retail giant Amazon could soon start charging sales taxes to Oklahoma customers – a move that would help fill a sizable state budget shortfall for next fiscal year, Oklahoma Watch has learned.

An Oklahoma Tax Commission official said the agency is in discussions with online retailers to voluntarily collect sales and use taxes, and two state legislators said they expect agreements could be struck in coming weeks or months with Amazon, the country’s largest e-commerce site.

Oklahoma City’s police department is making no changes to its immigration policy following President Trump’s executive order against sanctuary cities.

Police Chief Bill Citty says while Oklahoma City isn’t a sanctuary city, his officers are also not proactive in enforcing immigration laws because it can erode trust in a community.

U.S. Rep. Steve Russell during a Feb. 3 House Oversight and Government Reform hearing.
Congressman Steve Russell / Facebook

Members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation have largely been supportive of President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily bans travel of certain foreign nationals to the United States.

 

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