Get Ready For A Fight To Replace Scalia

Justice Antonin Scalia loved a good fight.So it's only fitting that news of his death at age 79 ignited an immediate and partisan battle over who might take his place on the U.S. Supreme Court.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kent., said the vacancy should not be filled until the new president takes office. And Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican who leads the Judiciary Committee, which would oversee any nomination, said it's "standard practice over the the last 80 years" for...
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Gov. Mary Fallin delivers her 2016 State of the State address before Monday's joint session of the Oklahoma House and Senate.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin proposed bold changes to Oklahoma's budget, the criminal justice system, and said she wants lawmakers to get behind a $3,000 pay raise for teachers during her 2016 State of the State address.

The $900 million-and-counting budget shortfall lawmakers will have to deal with hangs over everything this session, but Fallin remained optimistic even as she cited a two-year, 70 percent drop in oil prices that's affected state revenue.

"We can do it," the governor repeated.

word cloud of Governor Mary Fallin's 2016 state of the state address
KGOU / Worldle

Below is Gov. Mary Fallin's 2016 State of the State address, as prepared for delivery.

Lieutenant Governor Lamb, statewide elected officials, Speaker Hickman, President Pro Tem Bingman, members of the court, honorable senators and representatives, Cabinet members, tribal leaders, distinguished guests, and citizens of Oklahoma:

It is my duty as well as my great honor to be here today to discuss the state of our state.

Author of Fire In Beulah, Rilla Askew
Provided

One of the country’s worst acts of violence against a minority community happened in Oklahoma. The 1921 Tulsa Race Riot led to the destruction of Greenwood, a wealthy all-black area due north of downtown known as “Black Wall Street.”

For years, history books glossed over accounts of the event. In 1996, state lawmakers commissioned an official historical account of what happened. Seven years earlier, award-winning novelist Rilla Askew began researching the Tulsa Race Riot for a book after realizing she had never heard of the historic event.

Karen Burston, of Oklahoma City, is tearful as she talks about what she believes is the discrimination she and her son have faced at Sequoyah Elementary School. Burston’s son is in a special education program.
Victor Henderson / Oklahoma Watch

A federal civil rights agency has opened its fourth investigation into Oklahoma City Public Schools, this time focused on claims that school officials discriminated against special education students.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights said the newest investigation, filed on Dec. 3, examines whether the district applied different treatment, exclusion or denial of benefits to students with disabilities.

Oklahoma Capitol
Drew Tarvin / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Oklahoma lawmakers will face at least a $900 million budget shortfall, spending cuts, and a teacher shortage when it convenes Monday.

State Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, state Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, and University of Oklahoma political scientist Keith Gaddie joined KGOU’s Jacob McCleland to talk about issues the legislature will address in its 2016 session.

 


If there’s one bit of conventional wisdom when to comes to oil prices it’s this: What goes down, must go up. The boom-bust cycle of the oil markets means that the cheap gas you’re enjoying now will cost you more sometime in the future. But what if low oil prices are actually the new normal? Some people are saying just that.

Newly-elected Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief James Floyd takes the oath of office in January 2016.
Amanda Rutland / Muscogee Nation News

Less than a month after taking the oath of office, Principal Chief of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation James Floyd gave his first State of the Nation address on Saturday as the tribe’s new leader. Floyd was elected last November and defeated incumbent George Tiger in a two-to-one margin.

Less than a month before the Iowa Caucuses, Hillary Clinton makes a campaign stop in Ames, Iowa.
Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

For almost a year, presidential candidates have been crisscrossing Iowa, wooing voters in a state that relies on agriculture for about one-third of its economy. But even here, most voters live in cities or suburbs and don’t have a first-hand connection to the farm.

That makes it difficult to get candidates talking about food system issues from school lunches, to crop supports, to water quality. Yet these all fall under the federal agriculture department. If candidates aren’t talking about them in Iowa, it’s possible they’ll be left out of the campaigns entirely.

January 31, 2016

This is from the Manager's Desk.  

The following is taken from some notes that KGOU General Manager Karen Holp left behind. It appears to be this week's “Manager’s Desk.”

I know it is just the first week of February, but I hope you will not be surprised that the KGOU staff has been discussing the spring fundraising drive.

 

I know, it is a short eight or nine weeks away when we will make a lot of noise asking for your financial support.

 

State Officials Go To Court To Challenge FCC Cap On Inmate Phone Call Fees

Jan 31, 2016
The Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington.
Ben Fenwick / Oklahoma Watch

The state of Oklahoma and state law enforcement officials are challenging a recent Federal Communications Commission rule that caps the amount of money prisoners and their families are charged for telephone calls.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ interim director Joe Allbaugh, Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel and the Oklahoma Sheriffs Association filed a petition on Jan. 25, via Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office, requesting the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals invalidate a ratings cap on inmate phone costs passed by the FCC in October.

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