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 during her 2015 State of the State address Feb. 2, 2015.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Monday afternoon Gov. Mary Fallin will deliver a State of the State address unlike any since she took office five years ago. Oil and gas prices, around which the state economy revolves, are at their lowest point since 2003, and the declining production tax revenue has left lawmakers with a $900-million-and-counting budget hole to plug.

$20 bills
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Oklahoma’s junior U.S. Senator wants to remove Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill, citing the seventh president’s policies of the forced relocation of millions of Native Americans from their ancestral homeland.

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

Four stories that were trending or generated discussion online or on KGOU’s social media platforms during the past week.

student in a classroom using a laptop computer
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The State Board of Education signed off on Oklahoma’s new English Language Arts and Math standards during Thursday’s meeting. They now await the approval of state lawmakers.

The Board was tasked with creating new math and English standards after the Oklahoma legislature repealed the Common Core curriculum in 2014.

The new standards were created by a group of Oklahoma educators from school districts across the state, and higher education. They were revised four times, before approval.

Gov. Mary Fallin and Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague at the Governor's Energy Conference September 4, 2014 in Oklahoma CIty.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin on Thursday approved the transfer of nearly $1.4 million from the state emergency fund to strengthen Oklahoma’s earthquake response.

The money is going to a pair of agencies tasked with researching the earthquake surge and regulating the oil and gas activities likely causing it.

Taiwan's president-elect Tsai Ing-wen
CSIS | Center for Strategic & International Studies / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Earlier this month Taiwan elected its first female president in a historic general election that also saw a party other than the Kuomintang, or KMT, take over for only the second time since the Chinese Nationalists were driven from the mainland to the island by the Chinese Communists following the 1949 civil war.

President-elect Tsai Ing-wen leads the Democratic Progressive Party, or DPP. Historically, they've been a pro-Independence party, seeking to establish Taiwan as a truly unique nation rather than a state-in-exile.

Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Two Oklahoma energy companies announced key business decisions this – one took on more debt, and the other cut spending by $1 billion.

It’s been a rocky few months for SandRidge Energy – the company’s stock has been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, and has been in a dispute with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission over compliance with wastewater directives in earthquake-prone areas. On Monday, the Oklahoma City-based company announced it would borrow $488 million to pay for general corporate operations.

woman, women, working, women in the work place, working women
eflon / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

State Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, is pushing a bill this session designed to close the pay gap between men and women. She says women in Oklahoma make an average of just 73 percent of what their male counterparts do.

“That's not including minority women,” Virgin said. “Latina women make 55 cents on the dollar for men. And Native American women and African-American women are at 63 to 65 cents."

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

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