KGOU

eCapitol

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

Democrats picked up two seats in the Oklahoma legislature on Tuesday, winning a pair of special elections. They will fill the terms of former Republican Sen. Ralph Shortey and Rep. Dan Kirby.


Oklahoma Supreme Court chambers
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

 


Following the 2017 Oklahoma Legislative Session, several lawsuits have emerged challenging the constitutionality of revenue raising measures. Laws in question include the $1.50 cigarette fee, 1.25 percent sales tax increase on vehicles, among others.

An attorney who successfully argued against the constitutionality of a 2010 health care fee says the current lawsuits have similarities to the case he won seven years ago.

 

cigarettes
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Following the 2017 Oklahoma Legislative Session, several lawsuits have emerged challenging the constitutionality of revenue raising measures. Laws in question include the $1.50 cigarette fee, 1.25 percent sales tax increase on vehicles, among others.

 

An attorney who successfully argued against the constitutionality of a 2010 health care fee says the current lawsuits have similarities to the case he won seven years ago.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

The Oklahoma Automobile Dealers Association is suing Oklahoma over the state’s new motor vehicle sales tax.

 

http://augustosagecountyfilm.com

Ahead of the 2017-2018 school year, the state school board has approved more emergency teacher certifications.

 

 

Emergency certifications

 

The board approved 224 emergency positions at its June meeting, compared to 77 requested at the same meeting one year ago. Over the course of the 2016-2017 school year more than 1,000 emergency certificates were approved.

 

Oklahoma State Capitol
LLudo / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

It’s been one week since state lawmakers finished the regular legislative session and passed a state budget. Here’s what’s happened this week in politics...

 

Oklahoma State Capitol Building
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Oklahoma state lawmakers have yet to agree on a plan to raise money for the state, and could be facing special session. 

Oklahoma state schools superintendent Joy Hofmeister discusses school issues during her interview for KGOU's Capitol Insider.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

In this bonus Capitol Insider interview, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol news director Shawn Ashley sit down with Oklahoma state schools superintendent Joy Hofmeister to talk about education issues, including the state's revised A through F school grading system, teacher pay and four day school weeks. 

KGOU’s Capitol Insider Now Available on iTunes

May 2, 2017

The weekly conversation between KGOU’s Dick Pryor, eCapitol News Director Shawn Ashley, and Oklahoma’s political newsmakers is now accessible from your smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer through iTunes!

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

What happened at the Capitol this week?

No Teacher Pay Raise Bill Passed

Lawmakers did not pass a teacher pay raise bill, despite both the House and Senate saying they want to pass a measure.

Thursday was the deadline for bills to have passed both chambers, except for legislation that comes from the Joint Committees on Appropriations and Budget.

Sen. Jason Smalley, R-Stroud, who was supposed to introduce a bill on the Senate floor that would give teachers a $6000 raise over three years, did not introduce the bill.

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Oklahomans go the polls on Tuesday for a statewide primary. All of Oklahoma’s U.S. Congressmen face challengers from within their own party, and it’s the first test for many of the educators running for state House and Senate seats.

The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley joined KGOU’s Jacob McCleland in the Oklahoma Senate press gallery to talk about the upcoming primary.

 

 

U.S. House primaries

 

State Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid
Oklahoma State Senate

A bill in the Oklahoma Senate could reduce the number of school district administrators in the state by moving to a county-based superintendent system.

eCapitol reports that Sen. Patrick Anderson (R-Enid) filed the measure after an interim study earlier this year. Oklahoma has 77 counties and 521 school districts.

According to Anderson, the state could save up to $40 million dollars if the state uses the county model.

Oklahoma Capitol Building
ana branca / Flickr

Oklahoma’s state budget is becoming more dependant on one-time funding sources, according to state treasurer Ken Miller, during both good and bad economic times.

Miller remarked at the Oklahoma State University Center for Applied Economic Research 2016 Economic Outlook Conference in Oklahoma City that the state should not experience the biggest budget hole in its history at a time of 4.3 percent unemployment, according to Shawn Ashley from eCapitol.

Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission

Oklahoma’s Alcoholic Beverage and Laws Enforcement Commission may become “more aggressive” over funds diverted from the agency by the federal government if the money is not reimbursed, according to a report from eCapitol.

Executive Director Keith Burt told members of the commission at its meeting September 19 that ABLE had not been reimbursed according to its agreement with the federal government.  Last month commissioners were told approximately $61,000 intended for the agency were diverted to satisfy another Oklahoma state agency’s debt.

Oklahoma State Capitol
ensign_beedrill / Flickr Creative Commons

As workers remodel House and Senate space in the State Capitol, lawmakers are confident the construction will not affect a possible special legislative session.

House Media Director Jason Sutton and Senate Communications Director Malia Bennett told eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley the current construction on offices or committee rooms would not impact the work lawmakers may be called to do.

hepingting / Flickr Creative Commons

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the number of Oklahoma children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder has risen significantly over the past decade.

In 2010, Oklahoma was estimated to have 3,062 children ages 3 to 21 identified as having Autism. That number has risen drastically from 2002, when those reported in the same age group was 844.

Oklahoma Autism Network Director René Daman tells Emily Summars with eCapitol added diagnoses and improvements in the screening process contribute to the increase.