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Oklahoma Watch
10:27 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Oklahoma City Teachers Averaged 11 Missed Days of Work

Oklahoma Watch is a nonprofit organization that produces in-depth and investigative journalism on important public-policy issues facing the state. More Oklahoma Watch content can be found at www.oklahomawatch.org

Oklahoma City Public Schools teachers missed an average of 11 days of class in 2012-2013, matching the national average, according to a national report on teacher absenteeism released Tuesday.

The National Council on Teacher Quality looked at teacher absenteeism rates in the largest district in each of the 40 biggest metropolitan areas. The organization advocates for reforms that would improve teacher quality.

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State Capitol
9:03 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Gov. Mary Fallin Signs $7.1 Billion Budget Bill Into Law

Gov. Mary Fallin delivers the 2014 State of the State address as Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) look on - February 3, 2014.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a bill appropriating more than $7.1 billion to fund state government for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The general appropriations bill was one of several dozen measures Fallin signed into law Tuesday.

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Education
7:53 am
Wed June 4, 2014

With Growing Opposition, Fallin Expected To Decide On Common Core By Week's End

State Superintendent Janet Barresi
Oklahoma State Department of Education Flickr Creative Commons

The clock is ticking for Gov. Mary Fallin, who has until Saturday to sign a bill that would repeal the Common Core standards from state law, and the heat has not let up since lawmakers overwhelmingly passed the bill May 23.

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death due to physical restraint
4:46 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

OSBI Completes Investigation Into Death Outside Moore Movie Theater

Credit H. Michael Karshis / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says its investigation into the death of a man who died after a struggle with police outside a movie theater in Moore is complete.

OSBI spokeswoman Jessica Brown said Tuesday the report on the death of 44-year-old Luis Rodriguez has been given to the Cleveland County District Attorney's office and the Moore Police Department.

State medical authorities say Rodriguez died in February as a result of cardiac arrhythmia due to physical restraint and an underlying heart condition.

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formed after oklahoma city bombing
4:00 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Justice Department Reviving Task Force On Domestic Terrorism

Credit debaird / Flickr.com

The Justice Department is reviving a task force dedicated to preventing acts of domestic terrorism.

Officials say the reconstituted panel will include national security lawyers from the Justice Department and representatives from the FBI, among other agencies.

Participants in the group will share information in hopes of disrupting violence motivated by extremist ideologies, like the April shooting outside a Jewish Community Center in Kansas.

Attorney General Eric Holder is announcing the creation of the panel Tuesday.

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World Views
2:41 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

World Cup Renews Focus On Rio’s Favelas, But Residents Still Left Behind

At the top of Rocinha favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Suzette Grillot KGOU

A week before the 2014 FIFA World Cup begins in Brazil, soccer’s international governing body has expressed concern that three of the stadiums won’t be ready, and legendary Brazilian striker Ronaldo says he’s “appalled” by his country’s preparations for the sport’s biggest event.

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Economy
12:46 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Oklahoma Treasurer Says State Revenue Up In May

State Treasurer Ken Miller
Credit State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma's state treasurer says collections from the state's major revenue sources indicate the state's economy remains strong.

Treasurer Ken Miller released his office's revenue report for the month of May on Tuesday. It shows gross collections for the month are almost 2 percent ahead of the same month last year. Receipts for the past 12 months are more than 3 percent higher than the previous 12 months.

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But Six Month Ahead Outlook Drops
8:41 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Midwest Economic Index Hits Another 3-year High

A monthly economic index for nine Midwestern and Plains states has inched up to hit another three-year high, suggesting more economic growth over the next three to six months.

A report issued Monday says the overall Mid-America Business Conditions Index rose to 60.5 in May from 60.4 in April, which also was a three-year high.

Looking six months ahead, the business confidence portion of the overall index dropped to 62.5 from 64.2 in April.

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2013 Law Creates New Procedure
7:28 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Governor Fallin To Decide Fate Of Agency Rules

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.
Credit Office Of The Governor

Governor Mary Fallin will have to decide whether permanent administrative rules adopted by agencies over the past year will take effect after the Legislature failed to do so.

“The governor has until June 25 to issue a declaration to the Office of Administrative Rules. The Office of Administrative Rules will publish her declaration July 17,” Michael McNutt, Fallin’s press secretary said Monday.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
7:07 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Oklahoma Attorney General Ready To Fight EPA Proposal To Cut Carbon Emissions

The OG&E Power Plant In Muskogee.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The U.S. Environmental Protection agency on Monday announced an ambitious plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at existing coal-fired power plants across the country as part of President Barack Obama’s push to curb climate change.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt blasted the move, saying in a statement the plan “has no legal basis or the force of law.”

“It will undoubtedly lead to higher electricity rates, job losses and increased manufacturing costs as coal-fired power plants, which provide 40 percent of our baseload power, are taken offline,” Pruitt says.

But officials with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign in Oklahoma says keeping the current rules unchanged will be more costly because communities are already paying to deal with carbon pollution-fueled “climate disruption,” like flooding, wildfires and extreme heat.

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