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Mary Fallin

Oklahoma State Capitol
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The 55th Oklahoma Legislature wrapped up its first session a little over two weeks ago on May 22, one week ahead of the constitutionally required deadline to adjourn.

Lawmakers passed bond issues for widely publicized museums in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa. But the $611 million shortfall in the state budget dominated the conversation from January to May, even though details of the $7.1 billion agreement didn't emerge until shortly before the gavel fell. To plug that gap, lawmakers cut most agency budgets by five to seven percent, and also used monies from the state's Rainy Day Fund and state agency revolving accounts.

Gov. Mary Fallin reads to children on the lawn of the governor's mansion in Oklahoma City in September 2012.
Governor Mary Fallin / Facebook

Gov. Mary Fallin signed a slew of education-related bills Wednesday. The five new laws are aimed at improving education in Oklahoma.

Potentially the most controversial of the laws is Senate Bill 630, which deals with the third grade reading test. The law allows reading teams to promote a child to the fourth grade on a probationary basis despite a low score on their test. If it hadn’t passed, students who scored low on the test, and did not meet an exemption, would have automatically been held back.  

Gov. Mary Fallin delivers her 2015 State of the State address on Feb. 2, 2015.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a $7.1 billion budget bill to fund state government and services in the upcoming year. 

The general appropriations measure that Fallin signed Monday provides funding for state agencies for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The measure was approved by the House and Senate in the final days of the 2015 Oklahoma Legislature, which adjourned on May 22. Fallin praised lawmakers for closing a $611 million shortfall without cutting funding for public education.

Aerial footage of floodwaters covering Alameda Street as it crosses Lake Thunderbird in far east Norman on May 24, 2015.
Lawrence McEwen / YouTube

Gov. Mary Fallin has directed the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to speed up bidding on county infrastructure projects and find more ways to support recovery efforts in light of widespread damage after flooding throughout the month of May.

Fallin says some state lawmakers have asked her to redirect money from Oklahoma's Rainy Day Fund to county infrastructure projects, which she doesn't have the legal authority to do.

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Gov. Mary Fallin has vetoed two bills, including a Senate bill that requires the state to develop a plan to comply with Environmental Protection Agency rules regarding carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

In a veto message issued Friday, Fallin said the bill conflicts with an executive order she issued on Tuesday that prohibits the state from developing an implementation plan.

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Gov. Mary Fallin has signed into law bills regarding a budgeting system for state agencies and for charter schools.

Fallin on Friday signed a bill requiring state agencies use what is called performance-informed budgeting techniques. Fallin had made the system one of her legislative priorities.

The process calls for the agencies to set goals and outcomes that can be measured for their success.

The second new law gives school districts statewide the option of creating charter schools. Current law allows charter schools only in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties.

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Gov. Mary Fallin has signed legislation that makes Oklahoma the 15th state in the nation to permit terminally ill patients to have access to experimental medications and procedures that are being used in clinical trials but are not yet on pharmacy shelves.

The measure, known as the Right to Try Act, was among 57 bills Fallin signed into law Tuesday.

A classroom at the damaged Southgate-Rippetoe Elementary School in Moore, that took a direct hit during Wednesday's tornado.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Updated April 8, 7:31 a.m.: SBA loans available

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that low-interest federal disaster loans are available to Oklahoma businesses and residents affected by the severe storms that raked parts of the state last month.

Tuesday's disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Canadian, Cleveland, Creek, Grady, McClain, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Pawnee, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington counties.

Fallin’s Office Didn’t Release Records Sought in Past 11 Months

Mar 15, 2015
Gov. Mary Fallin and other state leaders observe a PowerPoint presentation of revenue projections.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Until Friday, Gov. Mary Fallin’s office had not released records requested in the previous 11 months by members of the news media and other groups, according to her office’s catalog of Open Records Act requests.

oksenate.gov

Oklahoma's governor would have broad new powers to appoint the directors of ten different state entities under a bill narrowly passed by a Senate committee.

The Senate General Government Committee voted 5-4 on Monday for the bill by Broken Arrow Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm, despite concerns it gives the governor too much power. Dahm says he expects the bill to be rewritten.

The bill calls for the heads of ten different state agencies and boards to be fired effective Jan. 1 and allows the governor to name their replacement.

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