Clark Jolley

A class in the assistant principal's old office at Burcham Elementary in Weatherford.
Emily Wendler / KOSU

Oklahoma has gained 40,000 new students since 2008, but funding from the legislature hasn’t kept up with the growth. More students and less money means some schools are running out of space and have been dipping deep in to their savings accounts. They are making do, but it’s at a tipping point for some districts. Either they get more funding and add more space, or the class sizes get bigger and bigger.

State Sen. John Sparks (D-Norman)
Oklahoma Senate

A Democratic state senator who opposes a bill creating education savings accounts is proposing three amendments that appear to take a shot at other recent Republican legislation.

The amendments involve drug testing parents and bans on Advanced Placement U.S. history courses and Common Core standards materials.

Synergos Institute / Flickr

Despite a budget hole of $611 million, a court-ordered reform of Oklahoma’s child welfare system will be funded for the 2016 fiscal year, the chairmen of the Legislature’s budget-writing committees said Monday.  

State Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, said the Department of Human Services’ Pinnacle Plan would be funded for the next fiscal year.

“It’s not up for debate,” said Jolley, chairman of the Senate’s Appropriations Committee. “The Pinnacle Plan will be funded.”

Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, who is House budget chair, agreed.

State Sen. Clark Jolley (R-Edmond), the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Oklahoma Senate

The Oklahoma Senate has overwhelmingly approved a $7.1 billion budget bill that funds state government for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The Senate voted 31-9 Tuesday for the bill that puts into law the agreement reached last week between the Senate, House and governor's office. The measure now moves to the House for final consideration.

June Campbell / Flickr Creative Commons

A $5 million annual rebate program that has been used to lure big budget films to Oklahoma would continue for another 10 years under a bill that is heading to the governor's desk.

The Senate voted 31-11 on Thursday for the Compete with Canada Film Act by Sen. Clark Jolley (R-Edmond).

twoshortplanks / Flickr Creative Commons

A $5 million annual rebate program that has been used to attract producers of films like last year's August: Osage County to Oklahoma would continue for another ten years under a bill that has passed a Senate committee.

The Senate Finance Committee voted 7-2 for the bill on Tuesday. It now heads to the full Senate, where it is expected to pass.

But lawmakers who oppose the bill say the program is a wasteful use of tax dollars.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol cadets lining up during academy training.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers would get a pay increase under a bill that has unanimously cleared a Senate committee.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 22-0 on Wednesday for the bill by Edmond Republican state Sen. Clark Jolley.

Oklahoma State Legislature

Republican state Sen. Clark Jolley says he's running for the 5th District U.S. House seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. James Lankford.

Jolley told The Associated Press on Thursday ahead of a formal announcement that he's running to be a "strong conservative voice in Washington." He gets to keep his state Senate seat since he's in the middle of a four-year term.

Jolley announced his bid at a press conference in Oklahoma City.

oklahoma medical examiner seal
Provided / State of Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has rejected a legal challenge to a bond program that would help fund a new office for the state Medical Examiner.

The court says the bond program that has been used by Oklahoma colleges and universities to fund more than $600 million in buildings and projects at campuses across the state over the last decade is constitutional.

The court authorized an application to issue additional bonds. The application includes $38.5 million in bonds to build a new facility for the Medical Examiner's Office at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.

Okla. Legislators, Governor Reach Deal on Budget

May 3, 2013
Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

Lawmakers have until the end of this month to complete their work, including the passing of a state budget. The adjournment date might come sooner with the announcement of an agreement on how to spend the state’s money.

The budget to pay for Oklahoma’s government will be $7.1 billion for the fiscal year beginning July 1, under an agreement between Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders. For most state agencies the amount of money they’ll receive in the new budget year is the same as last, but Fallin says the largest increase in the budget is for public schools in Oklahoma.