KGOU

Jeff Hickman

State Rep. Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa, on the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, March 2, 2015.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

The Speaker-elect of the Oklahoma House of Representatives has announced plans for an investigation into a payment to settle a sexual harassment complaint by a former legislative assistant. 

Updated 1:23 p.m.

State Rep. Charles McCall, R-Atoka, announced Thursday his first action after officially becoming Speaker will be to authorize an investigation into the wrongful termination settlement agreement paid to Hollie Bishop, who was fired in November 2015 after less than a year working for state Rep. Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa.

Gov. Mary Fallin
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Governor Mary Fallin on Friday vetoed a bill mandating pardon and parole board hearings for inmates convicted of crimes requiring payment of 85 percent of a sentence. 

House Bill 3159 earned almost unanimous support in both the House and the Senate during the 55th legislative session.

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

Oklahoma lawmakers could potentially consider more than 3,400 hundred bills when they formally reconvene next Monday, although the nearly billion-dollar budget hole will likely dominate the session that starts Feb. 1.

Finance secretary Preston Doerflinger (left), House Speaker Jeff Hickman (center), and State Sen. Clark Jolley (right) address the budget situation and revenue failure during a Deember 17, 2015 news conference at the state Capitol.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma budget officials sounded a dire financial alarm this week – low oil prices have driven state government revenues to failure.

Lawmakers and state finance officials say a projected $900 million hole in next year's state-appropriated budget could grow closer to $1.1 billion when adjusted for one-time expenditures used to plug a hole in the current state budget.

Those numbers will be officially presented to the state Board of Equalization on Monday. Three of the state’s top finance leaders met with reporters at the state Capitol on Thursday to detail the shortfall.

Oklahoma Watch Executive Editor David Fritze, House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City) and House Speaker Jeff Hickman (R-Fairview) during an Oct. 20, 2015 panel discussion in Oklahoma City.
Patrick Roberts / KGOU

House Speaker Jeff Hickman says he expects next year's state budget gap to be even higher than the $611 million shortfall lawmakers faced when crafting the spending plan for fiscal year 2016.

The Republican from Fairview expects it could be as high as $700-800 million.

The exterior of the unfinished American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City.
American Indian Cultural Center And Museum

State lawmakers had a lot of tourism and recreation projects on their plates this week - specifically one museum in Oklahoma City, and another in Tulsa.

State agencies are being asked to return to the Capitol to have an in-depth discussion about their budgets, the leaders of the House and the Senate said Thursday. The meetings to discuss budgets are a result of the $611 million dollar shortfall authorized by the State Equalization Board last Tuesday.

Oklahoma State Senate

Members of the Oklahoma House and Senate have elected Rep. Jeff Hickman of Fairview and Sen. Brian Bingman of Sapulpa as their respective leaders for the new legislative session.

Both chambers convened at noon Tuesday for an organizational day that the Oklahoma Constitution requires before the start of each new two-year session. In addition to electing leaders to various posts, the Senate also approved new rules that make it easier to introduce a bill.

House Speaker Jeff Hickman (R-Fairview) at Gov. Mary Fallin's State of the State address - February 3, 2014.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Members of the House and Senate are convening at the Capitol to formally elect their leaders and adopt their rules for the upcoming legislative session.

Both chambers will convene at noon on Tuesday for an organizational day called for in the Oklahoma Constitution before the start of each new two-year Legislature. After each body elects its leaders, approves rules and formally certifies 2014 election results, they will adjourn until Feb. 2.

State Rep. Jeff Hickman (R-Fairview)
Oklahoma House of Representatives

House Speaker Jeff Hickman has restructured the House committees and appropriation subcommittees and announced the various chairs and vice chairs.

Hickman named longtime ally Earl Sears of Bartlesville to replace Norman Rep. Scott Martin as chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Martin takes over as chairman of a new appropriations subcommittee that oversees funding for education.

Bill Filing For 55th Legislature Set To Open

Nov 9, 2014

Bill filing for the First Session of the 55th Legislature will open in just under two weeks.

According to the Senate and House media offices: Senate incumbents can begin filing bills Nov. 17; New senators can begin filing bills Nov. 19.

House members also can begin filing their bills Nov. 19.

New and returning members of both chambers will gather at the Capitol Nov. 18 for a swearing in ceremony. The ceremony is optional and no official legislative business will be conducted.

StickWare / Flickr

Only 40.7 percent of Oklahoma's registered voters filled out a ballot during Tuesday's gubernatorial election Tuesday, according to preliminary results. That makes it the lowest turnout going as far back as 2002.

State data shows 51.5 percent of registered voters participated in the 2002 election. In 2006, 56.1 percent of voters turned out while 50.7 percent of voters participated in 2010.

American currency
thinkpanama / Flickr Creative Commons

A report released by the Office of Management and Enterprise Services says 30 state agency directors received raises of at least $10,000 last fiscal year, with some receiving more than double that amount.

House Speaker Jeff Hickman (R-Fairview) at Gov. Mary Fallin's State of the State address - February 3, 2014.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A controversial bill setting the effective tax rate on new oil and gas wells was one of the capstones of the 2014 legislative session.

House Speaker Jeff Hickman (R-Fairview) at Gov. Mary Fallin's State of the State address - February 3, 2014.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma House Speaker Jeff Hickman has solidified a new two-year term as the leader of the House and rebuffed a challenge from a four-term state representative from Guthrie.

The 72-member House Republican caucus met behind closed doors on Monday and selected Hickman as the speaker-designate for the upcoming two-year legislative session that begins next year.

The caucus will vote again for speaker in November after the general election, but that vote is typically a formality.

House Speaker Jeff Hickman (R-Fairview) at Gov. Mary Fallin's State of the State address - February 3, 2014.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma House voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to override a veto by Gov. Mary Fallin of a House bill dealing with federal regulations over firearms.

The move is the latest signal of the growing tension between the Republican governor and the GOP-controlled House.

House Speaker Jeff Hickman (R-Fairview) at Gov. Mary Fallin's State of the State address - February 3, 2014.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma's governor and Republican legislative leaders agree in principle on cutting taxes, a multi-million dollar overhaul of the Capitol and revamping the pension system for state workers, but each side has different ideas on the specifics.

Oklahoma State Legislature

The newly elected speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives has announced several changes to the chairs and vice chairs of various House committees.

Republican Speaker Jeff Hickman announced the leadership changes on Tuesday.

Among the major changes were Norman Rep. Aaron Stiles replacing Rep. Leslie Osborn as chair of the Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Mike Reynolds replacing Rep. Jason Murphey as chair of the Government Modernization and Accountability Committee. Osborn will now chair a budget subcommittee instead.

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

A state lawmaker says members of the Oklahoma House are urging the Senate and Gov. Mary Fallin to commit funding targeted pay increases before signing off on a pension overhaul bill.

State Rep. Leslie Osborn's (R-Mustang) measure would revamp the state's employee compensation system. Osborn says her plan will force lawmakers to make some hard financial decisions in other areas.

The Oklahoman reports Osborn has the support of Republican House Speaker Jeff Hickman of Fairview.

Oklahoma State Legislature

Newly elected Republican House Speaker Jeff Hickman is proposing to abolish a committee established by his predecessor.

Hickman on Monday scheduled a hearing for a resolution to abolish a Calendar Committee that was created last session by former House Speaker T.W. Shannon.

The Calendar Committee was set up to approve all bills before they could be heard on the floor. Shannon suggested last year the committee would allow an open, bipartisan approach to scheduling bills for a floor vote, but critics said it was an additional unnecessary step.

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