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Oklahoma state Capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma Senate passed legislation Thursday that would fill nearly one-tenth of a projected $1.3 billion budget shortfall in the upcoming fiscal year.

Senate Bill 1577 eliminates a tax credit for economically at-risk oil wells, saving the state over $132 million. Under the bill, no tax credit claims can be made on marginally-producing wells from calendar year 2015 and beyond.

Then-candidate Sadiq Khan during a protest in Parliament Square against expansion at London's Heathrow Airport, October 10, 2015.
steven.eason / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

London’s new mayor Sadiq Khan formally took office Sunday. He’s the first Muslim mayor of London, and comes from a humble background. Born in England, he’s the son of Pakistani immigrants – his mother worked as a seamstress, and his father drove a bus.

The Zoo Amphitheatre at 2101 NE 50th St. in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Two months ago Oklahoma City opened The Criterion, a new 3,500-seat theater in Bricktown. The venue has has already seen concerts by My Morning Jacket, Grace Potter, and most recently, Sturgill Simpson this past Wednesday evening. Later this year the Tower Theatre will open in Uptown, and there’s going to be an outdoor patio for concerts west of downtown.

But these are all indoor venues. Oklahoma City only has two large outdoor amphitheaters – The Zoo Amp, and Frontier City – both in the northeast part of the city.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Insurance companies moved to limit their exposure as Oklahoma’s earthquake rate exploded, according to an investigation by Reuters.

Examining thousands of pages of documents from the Oklahoma Insurance Commission, reporter Luc Cohen found the efforts by nearly a dozen insurance companies “often occurred at the expense of homeowners”:

A man shops for a tractor at Great Plains Kubota in Edmond.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting farm incomes nationwide will drop this year to the lowest levels since 2002. Farm equipment dealers aren’t surprised.

Frank Serrano, the manager of the Great Plains Kubota in Edmond, told The Journal Record’s Brian Brus that construction equipment and mowers are selling well, but farmers aren’t buying tractors.

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

A controversial method for evaluating teachers in the state may soon be eliminated.

Lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday making the practice of measuring a teacher's performance through student test scores and how they've improved over time optional, rather than mandatory.

The House gave final approval to that bill on an 80-to-zero vote. The author, state Rep. Michael Rogers, R-Broken Arrow, says the legislation pushes the evaluation process back to the district level where it should be.

Rep. Charles McCall, R-Atoka, in early May was tapped by his Republican colleagues to be their next leader.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Republicans in the Oklahoma House of Representatives last week chose a new leader for 2017: Charles McCall. The Republican is from Atoka in southeast Oklahoma, which could bring a unique perspective on water to the Capitol.

Big Fights Back Home

jfcherry / Flickr.com

Five county health department locations in Oklahoma will close July 1 due to the state’s projected $1.3 billion budget shortfall. Deborah Nichols, chief operating officer at the Oklahoma State Department of Health, told The Oklahoman’s Jaclyn Cosgrove the closings are only a portion of the department’s cuts.

Members of the Oklahoma State Board of Health hold a meeting at the Oklahoma State Department of Health at 1000 NE 10th St. in Oklahoma City Tuesday.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Half a decade after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010, states will be able to submit plans for their own version of the law starting next year.

Lawmakers have authorized state health officials to come up with their own plan for providing health insurance to the state’s population. It’s now on Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk, waiting for her signature, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports:

Interim Superintendent Aurora Lora talks with reporters Tuesday about the latest cuts to Oklahoma City Public Schools.
Emily Wendler / Oklahoma City Public Schools

Oklahoma City Public Schools announced another $10 million in budget cuts on Tuesday. 

Interim superintendent Aurora Lora presented a long list of things that will be eliminated or changed in order to achieve these cost reductions:

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