A bill that would give Oklahoma's governor sweeping new power to appoint the heads of 10 different state entities is scheduled for a vote in a Senate committee.

The bill by Broken Arrow Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm is scheduled for a hearing Monday in his Senate General Government Committee.

It calls for the heads of 10 different state agencies and boards to be terminated effective Jan. 1 and allows the governor to name their replacements.

Joe Dorman and Mary Fallin
Wikimedia Commons

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Dorman's first television ad of the 2014 campaign focuses on public education and accuses Republican incumbent Gov. Mary Fallin of failing Oklahoma's public schools.

The ad was released by Dorman's campaign Tuesday and features the Democratic state representative from Rush Springs speaking in a rural setting. Dorman says he grew up in a small town and relied on public education to work his way up.

He accuses Fallin of flip-flopping on education and says he will provide strong leadership.

Joe Dorman and Mary Fallin
Wikimedia Commons

A new poll by Rasmussen on the Oklahoma governor’s race shows within the margin of error. Likely voters support for Gov. Fallin at 45 percent and opponent State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs) at 40 percent. Seven percent favor some other candidate, while eight percent are undecided.

Governors' Races Offer Promise For Democrats

Mar 10, 2014

Elections for governor could provide some good news for Democrats this fall, giving them the chance to regain ground in a few states where the party has had good fortune recently.

At this early stage, Republicans are expected to hold control of the House and pick up seats in the Senate — maybe even win a majority in the Senate.

But the GOP has fewer opportunities when it comes to statehouses. Republicans dominated state elections back in 2010, leaving them few openings this year. (Governors serve four-year terms everywhere but Vermont and New Hampshire.)

A hand grabs for currency.
Steve Wampler /

Gov. Mary Fallin is ordering state agency leaders not to use any state money to temporarily fund federal programs during the ongoing partial government shutdown unless they've been guaranteed federal reimbursement.

Fallin's Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger sent a memo on Tuesday to all state agency directors and finance officers to that effect. The memo urges agency heads to discontinue any federally funded programs that could result in a permanent loss of state funds.

Gov. Mary Fallin prepares to deliver her 2013 State of the State address, flanked by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, and House Speaker T.W. Shannon.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin says she won't include the fate of Insure Oklahoma as a topic for a special legislative session if one is called.  

The Tulsa World reports that a spokesman for Fallin told the paper Tuesday in an email that the health insurance program wouldn't be considered.

Oklahoma has submitted a plan to the federal government to end the program.

Governor Mary Fallin's Office

Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed two new officials to her cabinet and restructured the posts to add a tourism position and consolidate two others. 

Fallin on Tuesday named Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education Director Robert Sommers to the newly created cabinet position of Secretary of Education and Workforce Development.

The governor also appointed the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department's Executive Director Deby Snodgrass to the new position of Secretary of Tourism.

State Property Smoking Ban Approved

Apr 23, 2013
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

The Oklahoma House has approved a bill that puts into state law Gov. Mary Fallin's executive order banning smoking on state property.

Fallin signed the executive order against smoking in state buildings last year. The House passed a bill 76-14 Tuesday that would expand the ban to properties that aren't buildings and would allow cities and counties to ban smoking on their properties.

The bill now goes to the governor for her signature.


House Democrats started off the week by gathering members of their caucus and supporters of an expansion to the Medicaid insurance program. House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City) says Oklahomans have sent approximately $27 billion in taxpayer dollars to the federal government.

“We come together as a community of Oklahoma citizens today and call upon our governor and our legislative leaders to just bring some of those $27 billion back to Oklahoma to take care of those people who desperately need healthcare.”

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin told members of the Oklahoma City Chamber she supports many of the changes contained in workers' compensation law making its way through the legislature.

"Oklahoma's ranked among the top states in the nation on workers' compensation premium costs," Fallin said. "I've told our legislators, and our Pro Tem, and our Speaker, 'If you get a bill to my desk that does those things, I am very supportive of moving toward an administrative system.'"

Fallin's comments on Feb. 21 were the first to endorse the plan outlined in a bill by Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman of Sapulpa.