Oklahoma House of Reps / YouTube

House Passes Budget After Late-Night Debate, Senate Expected To Consider It Today

House lawmakers approved a $7.1 billion budget late Wednesday night just one day after unveiling the plan. It now goes to the Senate on a 54-42 vote that saw several Republicans voting against the bill along with the House’s Democratic minority. The upper chamber is expected to consider the budget Thursday. House Majority Floor Leader Charles Ortega (R-Altus) called the process intense, and said lawmakers are moving quickly to try to end the session Friday. “Every day that we’re here, it...
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Oklahoma Capitol Building
ana branca / Flickr Creative Commons

A former state lawmaker is challenging the constitutionality of legislation that has been the principal source of funding for state agencies and services for the past three years.

Former Republican Rep. Mike Reynolds of Oklahoma City filed a lawsuit in Oklahoma County District Court Friday. It challenges the constitutionality of annual general appropriations bills adopted by the Legislature to fund state services in three fiscal years dating back to 2012.

A disposal well in Northern Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A coalition of environmental and grassroots organizations is calling for a moratorium on the use of wastewater disposal wells by the oil and natural gas industry in areas where they may trigger earthquakes.

Members of the coalition traveled to the state Capitol Monday to deliver 1,500 signed petitions to Gov. Mary Fallin's office seeking a moratorium on the use of high-volume, high pressure disposals wells in 16 Oklahoma counties.

Bergère rentrant des moutons (Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep), 1886
 Oil on canvas, 
18 1/4 x 15 in.
Camille Pissarro (
France, 1830-1903) / Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art; The University of Oklahoma, Norman Aaron M. and Clara Weitzenhoffer Bequest, 2000

Several House lawmakers introduced a resolution Monday morning calling on the University of Oklahoma to research all the objects in its art museum collection to determine if any were stolen during World War II.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole / Flickr

 

President Barack Obama is seeking fast track approval from Congress to negotiate the Trans Pacific Partnership. If Congress grants the president fast track authority, the 12-country trade deal can be approved with a simple up or down vote, and there are no amendments or filibusters. This issue has some Republicans siding with Obama, while Democrats are largely against it.

 

(This post was updated at 12:45 p.m. ET.)

A line of strong storms left 2 dead in Nashville, Arkansas, and another two dead in Van, Texas.

CNN reports that Van was badly damaged after the storm system appeared to spawn violent tornadoes. More than 20 people were also injured in that storm. The network reports:

Doug Williams examines a polygraph test on his computer.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

A former Oklahoma City police officer faces federal witness tampering and mail fraud charges for teaching people how to pass the polygraph test. Doug Williams was indicted last year after an undercover sting operation and his trial begins Tuesday in the Western District of Oklahoma Federal Court.

Williams meets clients at his tiny, spartan rented basement office on Main Street in Norman, where he charges $1,000 for one-on-one training sessions.

Two years ago, one of the worst tornadoes on record hit the town of Moore, Okla. And you might say to yourself, well, doesn't this always happen there? It's called Tornado Alley for a reason.

And that's pretty much how the residents of Moore think about tornadoes. They're just part of life, and you take your chances. But that kind of thinking was part of the problem on May 20, 2013. The storm that came through that day was different. It was horrific.

Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has issued another Tornado Watch for Sunday afternoon and evening for central and eastern Oklahoma on what's expected to be the last day of this complex system that's brought more than a foot of rain to parts of Oklahoma.

A series of tornadoes in North Texas over the weekend have left at least one person dead and others missing. Meanwhile, in South Carolina, a weakening Tropical Storm Ana made landfall early this morning near Myrtle Beach, S.C.

One of the tornadoes that hit Saturday destroyed homes in a rural area south of Cisco, a town about 100 miles west of Fort Worth, Eastland County, Judge Rex Fields was quoted by The Associated Press as saying.

This spring, KGOU is joining the Morning Edition Book Club with our own local event. The second book selected for the Morning Edition Book Club is A God In Ruins by Kate Atkinson.

The book follows Teddy who served as a bomber pilot during World War II and never expected to return home after the war. The book is told through Teddy's eyes, and also through the perspective of his daughter and his grandchildren.

Morning Edition is planning weekly discussions on reddit, an interview with the author is scheduled for June 16, plus other activities.

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