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5 Insights Into Judge Neil Gorsuch After 2nd Day Of Confirmation Hearings

After a day of statements , Tuesday's Supreme Court confirmation hearing was all about answers. Judge Neil Gorsuch was careful in his responses to Senate Judiciary Committee members, but there were still a number of insights that marked the day. Read our full Day 2 coverage here . These are five highlights: 1. Judicial independence Gorsuch says he will be an independent voice on the court . Senators have repeatedly questioned Gorsuch about his willingness to possibly rule against the man who...

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Win McNamee / Getty Images

President Trump addressed a joint session of Congress for the first time on Tuesday evening at the Capitol. The address came a day after Trump gave an outline of his budget plan for Congress, which would increase defense spending and make cuts to domestic programs. Following tradition, House Speaker Paul Ryan invited the president to make the speech to lay out his agenda in the early days of his new administration.

Paige Willett Lough / KGOU

Dr. Karlos Hill is an Associate Professor of African and African-American Studies at the University of Oklahoma and founding director of African and African-American Studies Distinguished Lecture Series. Black History Month is an American mainstay, and Hill says he celebrates it “365.”

In many years, the observance has served to heal wounds and educate people about the achievements and lasting contributions of African-Americans.

Tamiko Cabatic prepares blood samples for blood typing and screening at the Oklahoma Blood Institute in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

 

Oklahoma City’s biotech industry is budding, but politics, investment and education are hampering its growth.

The Journal Record’s Catherine Sweeney reports the industry attracts billions of dollars annually. However, some pieces of legislation have branded the state as “anti-research,” poor education funding limits the number of students who can work in STEM field, and investors are leery of the state.

Crude prices are on the rise, drilling activity is ramping up, and Oklahoma’s oil and gas regulator wants to limit the volume of wastewater energy companies pump into underground disposal wells, an activity scientists say is fueling the state’s earthquake boom.

 

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission on Friday detailed the new restrictions, which add to those already in place in a 15,000 square-mile region that covers parts of central and northwestern Oklahoma.

Narges Bajoghli

 

 

The Iranian regime faces a daunting puzzle: How to translate the ideals of the 1979 revolution to a new generation.

That question launched Narges Bajoghli into her research in Iran, which focuses on pro-revolution communication.

“In Iran this is an important question because over 75 percent of the population is under the age of 35, meaning they don't remember the revolution,” Bajoghli said.

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

 

 

Gov. Mary Fallin announced this week that Oklahoma will face a revenue failure during the current fiscal year. At the same time, Republican lawmakers are backing away from one of Fallin’s proposals to bring more revenue into the state - a $1.50 tax increase on cigarettes.

The state will not bring in as much individual income, corporate income and sales tax collections this fiscal year as the state equalization board had budgeted for.

 

Mill Creek, southwest of Ada's Byrd's Mill Creek in south-central Oklahoma, also originates from the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The crippling five-year drought Oklahoma finally broke out of in 2015 is still fresh in the memory of the state’s water regulators, which is looking for ways the state can better withstand future dry spells. The Water Resources Board this week approved new rules to allow water to be stored underground, in aquifers.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The longer-serving mayor in Oklahoma City's history won't throw his hat in for a fifth term.

Mick Cornett announced on Wednesday that he will not seek reelection in 2018. Cornett has served in the office since 2004 and is the city's first four-term mayor.

He will leave office next April.

“I still love the job as much as I ever have,” Mayor Cornett said said in a statement. “And that makes it a difficult decision. I look forward to this final year in office knowing we have several more milestones to reach.”

EPA

Former Oklahoma Attorney General and new Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt addressed employees of the federal agency for the first time today.

Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and Gov.  Mary Fallin at the Board of Equalization meeting on Feb. 21, 2017.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma Board of Equalization declared a revenue failure for the current fiscal year, which will result in mid-year appropriations cuts to state agencies.

State agencies will receive across board cuts of 0.7 percent between March and June of this year. In total, agencies will be cut by $34.6 million.

Preston Doerflinger, the Director and Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology, said the situation is dire and more revenue is needed.

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