Gov. Mary Fallin enters the House chamber to deliver her "State of the State" address on Feb. 1. Political observers say she will need to work intensely behind the scenes to succeed in pushing through the revenue-raising measures she proposed.
Michael Willmus / Oklahoma Watch

One By One, A Closer Look At Fallin’s Proposals To Fix Oklahoma's Budget Hole

Gov. Mary Fallin to Oklahoma lawmakers: We need hundreds of millions of dollars, fast. Here are my ideas. What have you got? That’s not exactly how Fallin put it in her “State of the State” address to the Legislature on Feb. 1. But it’s the essence of what she said, according to several officials and analysts asked to assess the governor’s response to Oklahoma’s fiscal crisis. “Mary Fallin is doing precisely what good governors have to do in circumstances like this,” said former Gov. Frank Ke...
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The Bizzell Memorial Library at the University of Oklahoma
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents unanimously approved a $20 million budget reduction plan Thursday morning.

In his proposal, President David Boren says OU has absorbed more than $80 million dollars in cuts and unfunded fixed cost increases since 2008.

The proposal includes a voluntarily retirement incentive that's expected to save $10 million. The other $10 million would come from eliminating vacant faculty and staff positions, and reducing purchasing and travel expenses in department budgets.

Jet Stein with the OWRB's lake monitoring program prepares to test the water at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Water contaminated by algae blooms or choked by sediment and pollutants kills wildlife and isn’t healthy for humans. It’s up to the state to make sure Oklahoma’s lakes and rivers are safe, but budget cuts are threatening that mission, officials say.

Water Funding Roller Coaster

Craftsmen in Paris work on the construction of the Statue of Liberty.
National Park Service

In 1777, a 19-year-old French aristocrat arrived on the eastern shores of an infant nation and forever changed the course of United States history. Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette received a commission as a major general in the Continental Army, and played a key military role in battles at Brandywine, in Rhode Island, and at the eventual British surrender at Yorktown. His participation in the American Revolution entrenched France’s status as the oldest U.S. ally.

Kris Steele introduces members of Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

A new coalition aimed at reforming Oklahoma's criminal justice system launched a ballot initiative Wednesday morning. Business, legislative and faith leaders joined together with corrections reform experts to reduce the prison population and save money. 

Oklahoma State University Athletics

The entire Oklahoma State University men's basketball team will be wearing the number "10" on their jerseys Wednesday evening when they take on Baylor University in Stillwater.

The 8 p.m. game comes 15 years since the plane crash that killed 10 members of the OSU basketball team, coaches, and support staff.

Cigarette Tax Hike Proposed To Fund State Programs

Jan 27, 2016
cigarettes
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Oklahoma’s health commissioner is proposing a $1.50 increase to the price of a pack of cigarettes.

Dr. Terry Cline says the tax increase would generate about $182 million per year. About $120 million would fund teacher compensation, and nearly $58 million would go toward Insure Oklahoma. Another $3.6 million would go to pediatric cancer treatment and research.

The unfinished American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Oklahoma City took another step toward finishing the troubled American Indian Cultural Center and Museum.

Oklahoma Fourth District Republican Congressional Candidate James Taylor
Provided

An Oklahoma City middle school teacher who's also a church pastor in Norman filed paperwork Monday to challenge U.S. Rep. Tom Cole in Oklahoma's Fourth Congressional District primary this summer.

James Taylor teaches at Roosevelt Middle School in southwest Oklahoma City. The school is predominantly Hispanic and more than 90 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Vicki Behenna is executive director of the Oklahoma Innocence Project. The OKIP will argue in Tulsa County District Court Friday that Malcolm Scott and Demarchoe Carpenter should be released from prison.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The Oklahoma Innocence Project will go to Tulsa County District Court later this week with new evidence in a 1994 case where two convicted murderers could get another chance to prove they had nothing to do with the crime.

two gay men holding hands
Alan Light / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Community and faith leaders in Oklahoma are speaking out against more than two dozen bills they say target the lesbian, gay, and transgender community.

"There’s one that would bar transgender people from using the bathroom in public,” said Troy Stevenson, the executive director of the LGBTQ advocacy group Freedom Oklahoma. “There’s one that stipulates removing education funding from any school system that has protections for the transgender community. There’s one that allows refusal of service to any person based on discrimination.”

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