Oklahoma House of Reps / YouTube

House Passes Budget After Late-Night Debate, Senate Expected To Consider It Today

House lawmakers approved a $7.1 billion budget late Wednesday night just one day after unveiling the plan. It now goes to the Senate on a 54-42 vote that saw several Republicans voting against the bill along with the House’s Democratic minority. The upper chamber is expected to consider the budget Thursday. House Majority Floor Leader Charles Ortega (R-Altus) called the process intense, and said lawmakers are moving quickly to try to end the session Friday. “Every day that we’re here, it...
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Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Senate has given unanimous approval to a pair of bills that will end two separate tax subsidies for the wind industry inOklahoma.

With no debate, the Senate on Friday approved one bill to eliminate a 5-year property tax exemption for wind manufacturers, starting in 2017. Because the state reimburses counties for the revenue lost from the exemption, the cost of the subsidy has skyrocketed with the expansion of wind farms in Oklahoma. It's expected to cost the state about $44 million in the current fiscal year.

The bill now heads to the House for consideration.

Head Of Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Agency To Resign

May 15, 2015
Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Commission executive director Rick Farmer.
YouTube

The head of the new Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Commission says he's planning to step down following a tumultuous year in which the three-member panel was found to have repeatedly violated the state's Open Meeting Act.

Commission Executive Director Rick Farmer announced in a statement Friday that he is resigning effective July 2 for a position in the private sector.

Farmer has served as the head of the commission since it was created in 2013 as an alternative to the state's Workers' Compensation Court.

a school classroom with empty chairs
comedy_nose / Flickr Creative Commons

About 15 percent of Oklahoma third graders could be held back after earning unsatisfactory marks on a state-mandated reading test.

State education officials announced preliminary results from this year's Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test on Friday.

The results showed that at least 85 percent of the 50,000 third graders who took the exam will advance to the next grade. Students who performed the worst could be held back unless they qualify for one of several exemptions under the Reading Sufficiency Act.

Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives
James Emery / Flickr

This week, Suzette Grillot and Joshua Landis discuss news from the Middle East and what it means for U.S. interests in the region. Landis is the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Provided / World Neighbors

Kate Schecter’s passion for internationalism started almost before she could talk. Her dad was a journalist for Time Magazine, and she spent the first dozen years of her life overseas in Hong Kong, Japan, and Russia. Her childhood in Moscow coincided with the height of the Cold War.

“My parents made a decision to send all five kids to Soviet public schools,” Schecter told KGOU’s World Views. And we’re the first American children to go to Soviet Schools. And I learned Russian [laughs]. Very quickly.”

Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Showers and thunderstorms continue to move across central Oklahoma Friday morning, some of which brought heavy rainfall and quite a bit of lightning before sunrise. A Flood Advisory is in effect until 8 a.m.

American Indian Cultural Center And Museum

State lawmakers had a lot of tourism and recreation projects on their plates this week - specifically one museum in Oklahoma City, and another in Tulsa.

It seemed as if he'd go on forever — and B.B. King was working right up until the end. It's what he loved to do: playing music, and fishing. Even late in life, living with diabetes, he spent about half the year on the road. King died Thursday night at home in Las Vegas. He was 89 years old.

Flickr Creative Commons

Blue Bell Creameries has signed agreements with health officials in Texas and Oklahoma requiring the company to inform the states whenever there is a positive test result for listeria in its products or ingredients.

The requirement comes after the company based in Brenham, Texas, failed to tell federal or state health officials of repeated findings of listeria at its Oklahoma plant that date back to 2013.

Blue Bell says the agreements, signed on Thursday, include a provision for instituting "test and hold" procedures for all finished products before they are shipped out.

oge.com

The chairman and CEO of OGE Energy Corp. has announced plans to retire.

Pete Delaney announced Thursday during a shareholders meeting that he will step down during the first quarter of 2016.

OGE Energy is the parent company of Oklahoma Gas and Electric.

Delaney's announcement came after shareholders approved the election of OGE Energy President Sean Trauschke to the board of directors. Trauschke has been president of OGE Energy since September and has been president of Oklahoma Gas and Electric since 2013.

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