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Capitol Insider

Fridays at 4:45 p.m. and Mondays at 7:45 a.m.
  • Hosted by Dick Pryor

A weekly feature produced by KGOU in partnership with eCapitol, an Oklahoma City-based legislative news and bill tracking service. KGOU general manager Dick Pryor talks to eCapitol news director Shawn Ashley, elected officials and newsmakers about legislative matters in the state of Oklahoma.

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Oklahoma state Rep. Kevin Calvey, R-Oklahoma City, speaks during a news conference in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, July 19, 2016. Calvey is term-limited out of the House, and 12 Republicans are vying to replace him.
Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

Ahead of the June 26 primary election, KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley are joined by University of Oklahoma political scientist Keith Gaddie to discuss the nearly 600 candidates running for office ahead this year in Oklahoma.

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In this episode of Capitol Insider, StateImpact health reporter Jackie Fortier joins KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley to discuss State Question 788, which would legalize medical marijuana if it passes on June 26.

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In this extended episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley are joined by StateImpact health reporter Jackie Fortier to discuss State Question 788, which would legalize medical marijuana if it passes on June 26.

James Johnson/ Wikimedia Commons

 

On this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley discuss the  Agency Performance and Accountability Commission, a special commission created to audit state agencies that will have to restart its work after violating the Open Meeting Act.

Pryor and Ashley also review a decision from the Court of Criminal Appeals that will affect Oklahoma’s Stand Your Ground law, the future of the state’s opioid task force, and the newly appointed Secretary of State.

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

 

The 2018 legislative session ended early, but planning for 2019 is already underway. KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley discuss new leadership in the Oklahoma Senate, along with details of the veto referendum on House Bill 1010XX, which could undo the tax increases for teacher pay raises.

Pryor and Ashley also discuss Gov. Mary Fallin’s “pocket veto” of a bill that would have allowed law enforcement to use their personal rifles and shotguns.

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT:

 

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Rising oil prices translated into healthier finances for the state of Oklahoma. But higher revenue numbers for April were overshadowed by news of financial mismanagement within one of the state’s largest agencies.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

With the 56th Oklahoma legislature adjourned, Gov. Mary Fallin is left at the Capitol to decide the fate of bills sent to her by lawmakers. So far, Fallin has signed more than 300 new laws into effect, while vetoing 11.

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Before adjourning the 2018 Legislative Session on May 3, Oklahoma lawmakers passed a number of bills that could face legal challenges or vetoes from Gov. Mary Fallin.

 

 


Lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1140, a bill allowing private adoption agencies that contract with the state to act in accordance with their “written religious or moral convictions or policies.” The bill includes language prohibiting the agencies from violating federal and state law, but it’s unlikely to evade legal challenges, according to eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley.

 

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Lawmakers passed a $7.6 billion budget nearly one month before the 2018 legislative session is scheduled to end. eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley says it’s the largest budget in Oklahoma history in dollar terms. But on a per-capita basis, state agencies will receive less than they did in 2009.

“Senate Appropriations Chair Kim Davis noted that per capita basis is important because it is to the citizens of the state of Oklahoma that these funds are ultimately providing services,” Ashley said.

Jim Arterburn

Representative Kevin Wallace suggested as little as 1 percent of the state budget remains to be negotiated as lawmakers eye the end of the 2018 legislative session on May 25. That’s according to eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley.

 

 

Ashley says state agencies will most likely see flat budgets. State revenue has increased due to economic growth and revenue generating measures from previous sessions, giving lawmakers more money to appropriate. And lawmakers have already dealt with many of the biggest budget items, like public education.

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

 Oklahoma Education Association president Alicia Priest called the nine-day teacher walkout a “victory for teachers” after it ended on Thursday, April 12. But KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley say most of the gains came before the walkout began.

 

 

[UNFILTERED] /Elizabeth Sims

On Friday, April 6, Oklahoma legislators passed two more revenue bills in addition to the $447 revenue package they hoped would prevent a teacher walkout this week.

One requires third-party vendors on Amazon Marketplace to collect a sales tax. The other, the so-called "ball and dice" bill, changes rules for casinos to generate revenue. Both passed, although the ball and dice bill will not take effect immediately. They now head to Gov. Mary Fallin.

Oklahoma state Sen. A.J. Griffin, R-Guthrie, speaks during a news conference in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017.
Sue Ogracki / AP Photo

Teachers are preparing to walk out of the classroom starting April 2, and several legislators have proposed plans to avoid the work stoppage. One in particular, proposed by former teacher Sen. Michael Bergstrom, R-Adair, would raise pay for both teachers and state employees.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Images

Oklahoma lawmakers are searching for more ways to raise revenue as spring break begins and a teacher walkout looms on the horizon.

David Longstreath / AP Photo

A successful teacher walkout in West Virginia has brought the topic of teacher pay to the forefront of public conversation. However, leaders at the Oklahoma Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, says the impending shutdown of Oklahoma schools has been the the works for some time. And it’s happened in Oklahoma before.


Sue Ogrocki / AP Images

The Oklahoma House of Representatives announced on Tuesday that it will choose one chaplain to lead its daily invocations for the rest of the legislative session.  

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

The Oklahoma State Senate has approved a bill to balance the books for the current fiscal year and close out the second special legislative session. The bill that originated in the House cuts the annual budgets of all state agencies by 0.66 percent. However, since the money will be cut only in the remaining four months, agencies will have to shed 1.9 percent of monthly budgets.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

After the Step Up Oklahoma package of revenue-raising bills failed in the Oklahoma House of Representatives Monday, a message on the plan’s website read, “Step Up Oklahoma’s effort has run its course” and that fixing the state’s financial problems is worth continued deliberations.

However, in a press conference following the bill’s defeat, House Speaker Charles McCall said the negotiations were final, saying, "We've made it very clear: This was the final package we would consider."

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

Oklahoma state lawmakers returned to the Capitol this week and are working to wrap up the second special session, which means voting on revenue-raising measures.

eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley reports the Senate and House Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget approved many of the suggestions proposed by the group Step Up Oklahoma.

 

Storme Jones / KGOU

When Gov. Mary Fallin addressed lawmakers in her first State of the State speech in 2011, she implored them to fix a $600 million hole in the state budget. Seven years later, in her final State of the State address, the legislature is faced with a similar task: filling an estimated $425 million gap in the budget.

 

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