State Capitol
7:17 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Workers' Comp Bill Described as "Trojan Horse," "Lipstick on a Pig"

House Chamber - Oklahoma State Capitol
Credit Provided

The House Judiciary Committee this week approved workers' compensation legislation by Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman (R-Sapulpa), but didn’t get in any hurry about it.

The novel-length bill that would move the decision on how to compensate injured workers from a court-based system to an administrative one is another step closer to being law. The hearing on the bill was delayed by two weeks while the House made changes to fix some problems in the plan.

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Politics and Government
5:53 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

State Welfare Bills Pass Senate Committee

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A pair of bills by House Speaker T.W. Shannon that target state welfare programs are heading to the full Senate for a vote.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved one bill that would require food stamp recipients between the ages of 18 and 50 without children to work at least 20 hours per week.

Politics and Government
5:52 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

House Passes Four School Safety Bills

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.

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12:14 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Obama Budget Moves to Block Horse Meat Processing

Lead in text: 
While a new Oklahoma law would allow a horse slaughter facility in the state, the new budget proposed by the White House would not spend any money on inspecting the facilities.
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.
The Two-Way
11:29 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Ryan Says He's 'Cautiously Optimistic' On A Bipartisan Budget Deal

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan speaks about his new budget plan after a March 19 party conference.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 9:55 am

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.

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Gun Control
9:30 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Sen. Coburn Votes to Start Debate on Gun Background Check Bill

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)
Credit U.S. Senate

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.

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8:10 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Oklahoma’s Crime-Funded Court System

Lead in text: 
Oklahoma doesn’t like to raise taxes, and in 1992 voters passed a state question that required massive legislative majorities to do so.
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.
Politics and Government
6:20 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Fallin Signs Six Bills Into Law

Credit Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

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.

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Business and Economy
6:18 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Lawmakers Approve New Tax Credits

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.

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World Views
4:35 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

What Nuclear Tension With Iran is Really About

Anti-American mural outside the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran
Credit David Holt London / Flickr

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.

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