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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. Dick Pryor talks with eCapitol's Shawn Ashley, reporters and newsmakers about legislative matters in the state of Oklahoma.

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File / AP Photo

 

 

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections is requesting a one billion-dollar increase in funding. DOC officials say the funding is long overdue.

The $1.53 billion budget includes plans to increase staff pay, build two new medium security prisons and expand rehabilitation programs aimed at reducing recidivism rates.

DOC Spokesman Matt Elliott told KGOU, some state prisons are in need of things like locks and sewage system repairs.

KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley outside the building.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Restoration work is ongoing at the Oklahoma state capitol.

 

Recently, project manager Trait Thompson led KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol news director Shawn Ashley on a tour of the building.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

The Oklahoma legislature’s special session continues, as a compromise bill failed in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Lawmakers nearly agreed to increase taxes on beer, tobacco and fuel, and were close to a deal on raising taxes on oil and natural production, which has been a major point of contention throughout the special session. The  tax package required 76 votes in the House, but fell 5 votes short.

FILE- Oklahoma State Capitol
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

As the Oklahoma legislature wraps up its sixth week in special session, only one bill has made it to Governor Mary Fallin’s desk. The House of Representatives and Senate passed a bill to appropriate $23.3 million from the state’s “rainy day fund” for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

 

 

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

A budget package that would fill the state’s $215 million budget shortfall and provide raises to teachers and some state employees was held up in a House committee Friday, and its future is now in doubt.

Dick Pryor / KGOU

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services announced it will be forced to cut half of its services if lawmakers don’t fix the state’s budget.

Oklahoma Watch

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services announced it will be forced to cut half of its services if lawmakers don’t fix the state’s budget.

Oklahoma State Capitol Building
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Three agencies that serve many of the state’s most vulnerable residents are facing additional budget cuts. The Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) has notified the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA), Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) and Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) they must make cuts to fill the state’s $215 million budget hole. 

FILE PHOTO

Oklahoma House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City) unveiled on Thursday what he said was the largest bipartisan budget deal in nearly three decades. Later in the day, Gov. Mary Fallin announced in no uncertain terms that a deal had not been reached.

“If there’s only one person at the altar, there’s no marriage,” Fallin said.

“She invited us to the altar. We said yes. If she is having cold feet, the people of Oklahoma are in serious trouble,” Inman replied in a Tweet.

okhouse.gov

Although the special legislative session has been suspended, the deal-making continues. eCapitol News director Shawn Ashley says a revenue-raising package may be in the works.

 

Gov. Mary Fallin met with the House Republican Caucus on Wednesday for more than two hours. After the meeting, Fallin told eCapitol she was optimistic.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

A special legislative session to address a $215 million budget hole is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. on Monday.

 

Ecapitol news director Shawn Ashley says a leading proposal to help close the gap in the budget includes a $1.50-per-pack cigarette tax increase.

Sue Ogrocki, File / AP Photo

A special legislative session to address a $215 million budget hole is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. on Monday.

Sue Ogrocki, File / AP Photo

House Appropriations and Budget Chair Kevin Wallace (R-Welston) has proposed filling the state’s $215 million budget hole by passing a $1.50-per-pack cigarette tax, expanding tribal gaming and taking money from the state’s rainy day fund.

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Will the Oklahoma Legislature get behind a cigarette tax in the upcoming special session?

INSAPPHOWETRUST / FLICKR

The Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld a 1.25 percent sales tax on motor vehicles Thursday.

File / State of Oklahoma

A report published online Thursday claims to outline details of a budget agreement between Gov. Mary Fallin and House Democrats.

Gov. Mary Fallin delivers her 2016 State of the State address Feb. 1, 2016.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin and leaders in the state legislature do not appear to be on the same page with regards to a special legislative session.

Earlier this month, the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down a $1.50 per pack “smoking cessation fee” on cigarettes. Without the $215 million dollars generated by the fee, the state will not take in enough revenue for the current fiscal year.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

The Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma has ruled that a fee on cigarettes approved during the 2017 legislative session is unconstitutional.

Oklahoma Supreme Court chambers
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in three lawsuits challenging revenue raising measures passed last legislative session. The nine-member court will decide on the constitutionality of the $1.50 cigarette fee and the 1.25 percent sales tax increase on vehicles, among others on Tuesday.


Dick Pryor / KGOU

Oklahoma’s state budget took effect July 1, and hinges on the success of several lawsuits before the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The cases question the constitutionality of revenue raising measures including the $1.50 cigarette fee and 1.25 percent sales tax increase on vehicles. If the Supreme Court rules the measures are unconstitutional, the legislature could reconvene to again try to fund core services.  

KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol news director Shawn Ashley spoke with Preston Doerflinger, the Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology.

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