KGOU
 Lawmakers sit in the House Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget on Tuesday night.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Committees Pass Budget Bills In Chaotic Late Night Meetings

Lawmakers got their first peek at Oklahoma’s budget last night in a haphazard midnight session senior legislators described as the most disjointed in their career. House and Senate committee members had mere minutes to review the proposed $6.9 billion dollar budget before voting on two versions of the state spending plan. The bills are nearly identical. One would give teachers a $1,000 pay raise. Both deliver funding cuts for most state agencies. Sixteen agencies, including the Departments of...

Read More
Oklahoma Governor Mary Faillin held a press conference on Wednesday, May 3, 2017,, asking state legislators to balance Oklahoma's budget.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin is urging state lawmakers to work together to find ways to fill the state’s nearly $900 million budget hole.

“This is a serious problem,” Fallin said addressing legislators and reporters at the Capitol on Wednesday.

“It requires leadership and courage to find solutions to the problems that we face in our state. And to not play partisan gridlock politics like we see in Washington, D.C.,” Fallin said.

katsrcool / Flickr.com

Uncertainties about the state budget have led Oklahoma transportation officials to change highway construction plans.

The Oklahoma Transportation Commission announced at its monthly meeting on Monday that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation may suspend work on more than 80 bridges and roads across the state.

Mesonet

A weekend of rain, hail and high winds has left its mark on Oklahoma.

 

Lawton Blanchard (left) will run the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. His mother, Arlene, survived the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building.
Storme Jones / KGOU

Arlene Blanchard had nine days left in her contract with the U.S. Army when her office in the recruiting battalion, on the fourth floor of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, was shook. The April 19, 1995 bombing killed seven of her coworkers in the recruiting office and a friend’s child she held in her arms earlier that morning. In total, 168 people were killed that day.

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

What happened at the Capitol this week?

No Teacher Pay Raise Bill Passed

Lawmakers did not pass a teacher pay raise bill, despite both the House and Senate saying they want to pass a measure.

Thursday was the deadline for bills to have passed both chambers, except for legislation that comes from the Joint Committees on Appropriations and Budget.

Sen. Jason Smalley, R-Stroud, who was supposed to introduce a bill on the Senate floor that would give teachers a $6000 raise over three years, did not introduce the bill.

Somali refugees wait outside a UNHCR processing center at a refugee camp outside Dadaab, eastern Kenya, on Aug. 5, 2011. Climate change contributed to low rain levels in East Africa in 2011, making global warming one of the causes of Somalia's famine.
Jerome Delay / AP

 

Interactions between humans and the environment is a two-way street. Human actions change the environment, and changes to the environment affect human behavior.

David Lopez-Carr, a geographer a the University of California-Santa Barbara, calls it “human environment dynamics.” He studies how climate change impacts food security, crop production and human health, particularly infant mortality.

 

“Babies and infants are the hardest hit when there is when there are food shortages,” Lopez-Carr told KGOU’s World Views.

Oklahoma City University law students Sonya Chronister, Cameron Farnsworth and Marcos Sierra talk about the Oklahoma Innocence Project’s latest work while sitting in the J. William Conger Courtroom at the OCU School of Law.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

The Oklahoma Innocence Project’s caseload is growing after the non-profit scored a legal victory last year that exonerated two former inmates.

In May 2016, Malcolm Scott and De’Marchoe Carpenter left prison for the first time in 16 years after the Oklahoma Innocence Project cleared the two men. Both were wrongfully convicted in the 1994 murder of Karen Summers and sentenced to life plus 170 years.

National Weather Service

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in response to a night of heavy storms that damaged power lines and homes across the state.

The state of emergency will last for 30 days and allows state agencies to make purchases that will contribute to disaster preparedness and relief, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The most practical alternative to earthquake-triggering oilfield disposal wells is for energy companies to reuse the wastewater instead of injecting it underground, leaders of a research group working on behalf of the state said Wednesday.

Avoiding Injection

Paige Willett / KGOU

At Massive Graphics in Norman, workers stamp t-shirt after t-shirt for the festival. Sitting on a nearby table are neat piles of freshly printed shirts for Norman Music Festival X with designs like a tambourine playing monkey and an acoustic guitar. The screen printing company is owned by Kent Johnson. He’s also the vice president of the volunteer board that organizes Norman Music Festival every year, and he’s been there since the beginning.  

Pages