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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Jose Antonio Vargas with Race Matters host Merleyn Bell and World Literature Today's R.C. Davis.
KGOU

Swaths of Syrians have been displaced by the country’s five-year civil war. Even though only a tiny fraction of the estimated 4 million refugees fleeing the conflict have ended up in the United States, it’s added a new dimension to conversations about border security, terrorism, and undocumented immigrants’ effect on the U.S. economy.

Oklahoma death row inmates Jeremy Williams (left) and Richard Fairchild (right).
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Two death row inmates have exhausted their appeals, but won’t have execution dates set just yet as Oklahoma continues investigating what went wrong during two executions attempted in 2015.

On Friday the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals issued an order for stays of execution for Jeremy Williams and Richard Fairchild. The Court released that document to the public Monday.

Oklahoma State Capitol
mrlaugh / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Oklahoma lawmakers could potentially consider more than 3,400 hundred bills when they formally reconvene next Monday, although the nearly billion-dollar budget hole will likely dominate the session that starts Feb. 1.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford chairs a 2015 Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management hearing
SenatorLankford / Flickr

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) says former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server during her tenure at the State Department represents a national security threat.

Spokesman Mark Toner says the State Department will make many of the 9,400 still-unseen emails public this week, but the agency wants a one-month extension of its court-mandated January 29 deadline to unveil the electronic communication.

A billboard along Interstate 35 in Oklahoma City advertises the latest Powerball and Mega Millions lottery jackpots on Thursday.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The rush to win last week’s record-breaking Powerball jackpot also sent extra cash to the state’s education system.

From left to right: David Prater, Kris Steele, John Whetsel, Terri White and Clay Bennett participate in a forum Wednesday, Dec. 2, about Oklahoma County's criminal justice system.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Last month the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber outlined a new approach to decrease Oklahoma County’s overcrowded jail population and increase public safety.

A sales tax exemption approved in 2005 applies to electricity used in "waterflood" oil recovery projects in older fields, such as the Glenn Pool field shown above, with Sapulpa in the distance.
Oklahoma Historical Society

An obscure sales tax break authored by Oklahoma’s Senate leader is subsidizing an expensive form of enhanced oil recovery for seven companies, including the senator’s employer.

The tax break on electricity used to power old “waterflood” recovery projects was authored in 2005 by now-Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa.

The first company to apply for and receive the exemption was Uplands Resources Inc. of Tulsa. At the time, Bingman was the company’s land manager. He currently works there as vice president of land and operations.

Karen Holp and Laura Knoll/KGOU

January 24, 2016

This is from the Manager's Desk.   

As each semester starts at the University of Oklahoma, I like to introduce the students working at KGOU. First, let me introduce our paid student staff members.

Cesia Rascon will continue as the calendar editor, and her work is reflected in the events section of the KGOU web page. Richard Bassett also continues as our digital music and production producer. We may have a few more student hires in the next weeks.

Oklahoma Water Resources Board project coordinator Jason Murphy samples water in the frigid Canadian River east of Oklahoma City.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma's economy runs on oil. The energy industry drives 1 in 5 jobs and is tied to almost every type of tax source, so falling oil prices have rippled into a state budget crisis.

Crude oil prices have dropped more than 70 percent, and that's created problems across government agencies in Oklahoma. Jason Murphy is a project coordinator for the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. He slides on a pair of waders, unspools a sensor probe and splashes into the frigid Canadian River east of Oklahoma City.

The Hugo water treatment plant in July.
Sarah Terry-Cobo / The Journal Record

The company that provides water services in Hugo says a customer doesn’t have standing to sue over water quality problems. Hugo resident Tara Lowrimore is suing Severn Trent Environmental Services for damages related to federal and state drinking water violations due to cloudiness and lack of chlorination.

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