legislature

Oklahoma District Attorney's Council, District 12

Editor's Note: This is one installment of a series of stories reported jointly by KGOU and Oklahoma Watch. 

For more than two decades, Oklahoma has turned to fines and fees instead of state appropriations to fund the court system, and the debt former prisoners now face has becoming increasingly burdensome as the state has grown more and more reluctant to raise taxes.

Gov. Mary Fallin / Facebook

The leader of Oklahoma's largest PTA group says he expects as many as 50,000 people to attend an education rally on the grounds of the state Capitol.

Oklahoma Parent-Teacher Association President Jeffery Corbett says he has reached out to school district leaders in hopes they will take part in the March 30 rally.

The Oklahoma Senate
Becky McCray / Flickr Creative Commons

Support is growing among Republican leaders to have every other legislative session dedicated exclusively to writing the budget.

With as many as 3,000 bills filed every year, rank-and-file legislators complain they have little time to dedicate to working out Oklahoma's annual spending plan.

A proposal last year to send the issue to voters passed the House with bipartisan support, but was derailed in the Senate.

But Republican Gov. Mary Fallin endorsed the plan during her campaign for governor, and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman said this week he's open to the idea.

AG Finds Oklahoma Legislature Mishandled More Funds

Nov 19, 2014
A hand grabs for currency.
Steve Wampler / Flickr.com

The Legislature mishandled funds in two more cases during the 2014 legislative session, according to opinions released Tuesday. 

In separate opinions, Attorney General Scott Pruitt said the Legislature's appropriation of part of $11.0 million from the Workers' Compensation Fund for purposes other than the use or benefit of the Workers Compensation Commission was unconstitutional. The Attorney General's Office also found the transfer of $5 million from the Trauma Care Assistance Revolving Fund to be appropriated for other purposes also violated in the Constitution.

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.

Mark Tygret, Fiscal Director for the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
LinkedIn

The House Appropriations and Budget Committee received a lesson Wednesday on revolving funds, more than 500 accounts that include revenue from fees and fines to federal grants.

House Fiscal Director Mark Tygret began Wednesday’s presentations during House Interim Study H14-007, concerning revolving funds, by explaining that the majority of the funds are created by legislation and are considered continuing funds.

That means the money in the accounts is not limited to specific fiscal year expenditures but instead may be spent over a number of years.

ECDC Public School's class watches intently as teacher Sommer Lyons shares the story of the Easter Bunny.
Nick Conroy / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma schools are receiving their allocation for the new fiscal year, and districts are receiving an increase of about $38 per student.

The state Department of Education announced Wednesday it has released its allocations to school districts for the 2015 fiscal year.

The initial allocation is $3,077 per student, compared to $3,039 last year.

A budget agreement reached between Gov. Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma legislature this year resulted in an $80 million increase in funding for common education.

Abortion Restriction Bill Passes House

Mar 12, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A pair of bills that make it more difficult for girls younger than 18 to have an abortion without notifying their parents have easily cleared the Oklahoma House.

The House on Tuesday approved the bills that would limit the ability of teenage girls to have a judge allow them to get an abortion without parental consent.

The first bill by Democratic Rep. Rebecca Hamilton of Oklahoma City would require parental notification in all cases, except for medical emergencies or if the girl was a victim of sexual or physical abuse by a parent. It passed 80-12.

Search Bills in Oklahoma Legislature

Mar 8, 2013

Typically, using a bill number is the quickest way to find a specific piece of legislation. But if you've "heard" about something going on at the state Capitol, you can also search by words in the bill.