Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 1:49 pm
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.)
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.
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.”
Gov. Mary Fallin speaking to the Oklahoma City Chamber Feb. 21.
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.