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...

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Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

A state senator under investigation for unreported campaign donations has resigned.

Oklahoma State Senator Kyle Loveless of District 45 in central Oklahoma submitted a letter of resignation on Thursday morning.

Oklahoma Attorney General's Office

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announced the formation of a state task force to combat opioid addiction on Wednesday.  

The Oklahoma Commission on Opioid Abuse will consist of nine members, including lawmakers, law enforcement, a dentist, a pharmacist, a nurse and a doctor. It will consider policy changes to prevent, treat and intervene in opioid addiction.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater speaks to the Board of County Commissioners on Nov. 2.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

The Oklahoma County district attorney has found no probable cause to charge a police officer responsible for the February shooting death of a man in Bethany.

Members of the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission, including former Oklahoma governor Brad Henry, gave a press conference Tuesday.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

A bipartisan group of Oklahomans is urging the state to keep its temporary ban on the death penalty.

 

U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., talks to supporters during the Republican watch party in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016.
J. Pat Carter / AP

The U.S. Senate investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is moving steadily, despite reports to the contrary, said Oklahoma Senator James Lankford in an interview with NPR's Rachel Martin on Tuesday morning.

 

A dad and his daughter on the final stretch of the March for Science at the Oklahoma capitol on April 22, 2017.
Joe Wertz / State Impact Oklahoma

Oklahomans joined thousands of people in more than 600 cities on Saturday in a march for scientific freedom organized to send a message to state and national lawmakers.

Oklahoma City Police Department

With less money from the state and bounced-check funds drying up, Oklahoma district attorneys are turning to issuing tickets and putting people on probation through their offices – activities typically left to police, counties and the Department of Corrections.

Their newest effort that yields revenue is to crack down on uninsured drivers using a system that scans the license plates of hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans on roadways every year.

illustration of report card with checkmarks
Chelsea Beck / NPR

Before his election, back in October, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump laid out a 100 Day Action Plan. He called it his Contract With The American Voter. Among other things, it called for the full repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, suspension of immigration from certain "terror-prone regions," and the lifting of "roadblocks" to let "infrastructure projects like the Keystone Pipeline move forward."

Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Movie and TV studios may have reduced incentives to film in Oklahoma next year.

 

On Thursday, the State Senate approved a bill that would reduce the spending cap for the Oklahoma Film Rebate Enhancement Program from $5 million to $4 million.  

 

Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib
The Embassy of Afghanistan

 

Like many young Afghans, Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib has lived in a country that has been at war most of his life. Born in 1983, Ambassador Mohib stressed that he and Afghanistan's young population as a whole have benefited from the relative stability brought to the country by the arrival of U.S. troops in 2001. But this stability only came after Afghanistan lurched from monarchy to communism to anarchy and then to extremism and finally to democracy over the decades.

 

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