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Mary Fallin

Senate Panel Passes $160M Bond Issue To Fix State Capitol

Feb 12, 2014
Meghan Blessing / KGOU

An Oklahoma Senate committee has given overwhelming bipartisan approval for a $160 million bond issue to renovate and repair the state Capitol.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 20-1 on Wednesday to approve the bill, which authorizes the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority to issue the bonds.

The National Guard

In her State of the State address last week, Gov. Mary Fallin discussed her plan to build storm shelters in schools across the state. The speech came the same day a school shelter advocacy group filed a lawsuit against the governor for not promptly responding to its open records request. Fallin’s apparent change of course is not unusual, but its timing has raised some eyebrows.   

When Danni Legg entered the Governor’s office last week, she was looking for answers.

Gov. Mary Fallin tours the closed James C. Nance Bridge over the Canadian River - Feb. 7, 2014
Governor Mary Fallin / Facebook

Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency over the closure of a bridge that connects Lexington and Purcell.

Fallin declared the emergency Friday while touring the James. C. Nance Bridge over the Canadian River. The bridge was closed last week after the discovery of several cracks in the bridge's truss beams. Officials declared the bridge unsafe and shut it down.

Gov. Mary Fallin enters the House chamber of the state capitol shortly before delivering her State of the State address February 3, 2014.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Five percent.

That’s how much the governor is asking most entities in state government to cut their budgets. The number should not be much of a surprise. The amount of money available for state lawmakers to spend for the next fiscal year was already down about $171 million over the current year’s figure.

Gov. Mary Fallin delivers the 2014 State of the State address as Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) look on - February 3, 2014.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin is proposing a .25 percent reduction in Oklahoma's income tax rate.

Fallin made the proposal Monday while delivering her State of the State address at the start of the 2014 Oklahoma Legislature.

Gov. Mary Fallin addresses reporters during an Associated Press Legislative Forum at the State Capitol - January 29, 2013.
Governor Mary Fallin / Facebook

Gov. Mary Fallin says Oklahoma voters should weigh in on what to do about school safety.

Fallin on Wednesday suggested that schools be given one-time authority to increase their bond limits so they can build tornado shelters or make other safety improvements on campus. She said she was heartbroken by the loss of life at a Moore elementary school last May.

Gov. Mary Fallin announces the "20%x2020" energy plan January 22, 2014 in Oklahoma City.
Governor Mary Fallin / Facebook

Gov. Mary Fallin has announced a new statewide energy savings program intended to reduce energy use in state buildings.

Fallin said Wednesday that the program called 20 percent by 2020 (20%x2020) seeks to reduce energy use in state agency buildings by 20 percent by the year 2020.

Under the program, each agency will designate energy managers who will identify and implement ways to reduce energy use within their agencies.

ok.gov

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin says she'll outline plans for what she calls an affordable income tax cut during next month's State of the State speech, despite a projected $170 million revenue shortfall next fiscal year.

Fallin said Wednesday the details are still being worked out, but will be included in her executive budget presented to lawmakers on Feb. 3 at the start of the legislative session.

The governor must present a balanced budget to lawmakers based on about $6.96 billion in revenues the state is expected to collect next fiscal year.

Tom Coburn / Facebook

Gov. Mary Fallin says the special election to fill U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn's seat in the Senate will be held on the same dates as Oklahoma's primary and general elections in 2014.

Fallin said Friday the election dates will include a June 24 primary, a potential runoff election on Aug. 26, and a general election on Nov. 4.

Coburn already had said he wouldn't run after his term expired in 2016, but announced late Thursday that he planned to finish the current year in office and then step down.

Medill DC / Flickr Creative Commons

President Obama called U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) a personal friend who was willing to work in a bipartisan manner to fight wasteful spending and cut down on earmarks.

In a statement released by the White House on Friday, Obama noted that he and Coburn were both elected to the Senate in 2004 and quickly became friends after their wives struck up a conversation. Obama said the people of Oklahoma have been "well-served by this 'country doctor from Muskogee' over the past nine years."

Gov. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.) testifies before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee - January 14, 2013.
Provided / U.S. House

Gov. Mary Fallin testified Tuesday before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, urging lawmakers to negotiate a path forward on reauthorizing surface transportation.

"Well-managed dollars committed to infrastructure improvements directly impact our economy and enhance the ability of our industries to transport goods and provide services,” Fallin said. “Investing today in transportation is investing long term in our economic viability and the safety of our citizens."

Gov. Mary Fallin at a March 2013 press conference in the parking lot of the capitol, which marked the delivery of CNG-powered Dodge Ram pickups for the state's fleet.
Provided / Gov. Mary Fallin's Office

“Oklahomans talk a good game when it comes to compressed natural-gas powered vehicles,” the Tulsa World‘s Randy Krehbiel writes.

Gov. Mary Fallin has been particularly aggressive in pursuing CNG vehicles, and joined with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in a well-publicized effort to pressure major car manufacturers to make more CNG-powered models.

So how much progress are Oklahoma governments making on converting fleets to CNG vehicles?

K.G. Hawes / Flickr Creative Commons

About 400,000 mostly rural Oklahomans rely on propane to heat their homes, and demand for the fuel has skyrocketed along with prices, which are more than 50 cents higher than last year.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Tuesdayissued an executive order easing licensing requirements for propane truckers to address the shortage. Fifteen other states have issued similar orders.

Erin Stevenson O'Connor / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin has issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency to deal with a dwindling supply of propane in Oklahoma.

The order issued on Tuesday waives certain licensing requirements and other restrictions for those transporting propane in the state.

The brutally cold polar air that has descended across the United States has led to a spike in demand for propane, which an estimated 400,000 residents use to heat their homes, especially in rural areas.

Randy Brogdon / Facebook

A conservative Republican state senator who rode a tea party wave four years ago that nearly landed him in a primary runoff with Gov. Mary Fallin will face some added challenges in 2014, including dampened tea party enthusiasm and a popular incumbent governor.

Randy Brogdon
Randy Brogdon for Governor Website

A website attributed to former state Sen. Randy Brogdon says he plans to file paperwork this week to run against incumbent Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.

Brogdon lost to Fallin in the 2010 Republican primary. He announced his run through social media, and the Secretary of State says a "Brogdon for Governor" corporation was formed last week.

Brogdon told the Tulsa World on Thursday he is "compelled" to fight for liberty.

State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs)
Oklahoma House of Representatives

A Democratic state representative from Rush Springs says he plans to start raising money for a race against Republican Gov. Mary Fallin in 2014.

State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs) set the stage Tuesday for what he portrayed on one hand as only a possible run for governor. But he said he was confident he would seek the Democratic nomination for the state’s highest elected post.

Gov. Mary Fallin at the Tulsa Regional Chamber to announce a $170 million Macy's fulfillment center in the Tulsa area - December 17, 2013.
Gov. Mary Fallin / Facebook

A new Macy's fulfillment center to be built near Owasso is expected to create 2,500 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs.

Macy's vice president Frank Julian announced during a press conference at the Tulsa Regional Chamber Tuesday that construction on the the 1.3-million-square-foot facility is expected to begin next spring and shipping orders will start in summer 2015.

The facility is expected to create 1,500 full-time and part-time jobs as well as an additional 1,000 temporary seasonal workers to be hired each year.

Gov. Mary Fallin, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman (R-Sapulpa), and House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) announce their tax cut proposal in the Blue Room of the State Capitol - April 23, 2013.
Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled that a bill passed last session to cut the state's personal income tax and provide $120 million for repairs to the Capitol is unconstitutional.

In a unanimous decision released Tuesday, the court ruled the bill violated the state constitution's ban on logrolling, or including multiple subjects in a single bill.

Provided / Oklahoma Governor's Office

Gov. Mary Fallin has named Patrick Pickerill to a vacant associate district judge position in Pawnee County.

Pickerill, of Cleveland, has been in private practice since 1995 with Pickerill Law Offices, a general practice law firm that focuses on wrongful death cases, trusts and real estate. He also has served as a municipal judge for Oilton and city attorney for Jennings.

Pickerill has served the past eight years as president of the Pawnee County Bar Association. He also is a member of the Osage Nation Bar Association.

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