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Mary Fallin

Col. Michael Teague, Secretary of Energy and the Environment
Oklahoma Governor's Office

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed Col. Michael Teague to the position of Secretary of Energy and Environment. 

Fallin announced Teague's appointment on Friday and he will begin his new role on Sept. 3.

The position of secretary of energy and environment is new, combining the positions of secretary of energy, previously held by Michael Ming, and secretary of environment, previously held by Gary Sherrer. Fallin says the two policy areas are linked, making it practical to combine them under one cabinet post.

Provided (Photo Illustration by Brian Hardzinski) / Gov. Mary Fallin

Gov. Mary Fallin has reissued a call for a special legislative session to address changes in Oklahoma's civil justice system after she made reference to a part of the state constitution that doesn't exist.

Fallin issued an amended executive order on Tuesday that advised the Legislature not to violate Article 5, Section 57, which requires that each bill address only one subject.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court referenced that section of the Oklahoma Constitution when they overturned a 2009 civil justice bill two months ago.

Gov. Mary Fallin prepares to deliver her 2013 State of the State address, flanked by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, and House Speaker T.W. Shannon.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin says she won't include the fate of Insure Oklahoma as a topic for a special legislative session if one is called.  

The Tulsa World reports that a spokesman for Fallin told the paper Tuesday in an email that the health insurance program wouldn't be considered.

Oklahoma has submitted a plan to the federal government to end the program.

Governor Mary Fallin's Office

Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed two new officials to her cabinet and restructured the posts to add a tourism position and consolidate two others. 

Fallin on Tuesday named Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education Director Robert Sommers to the newly created cabinet position of Secretary of Education and Workforce Development.

The governor also appointed the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department's Executive Director Deby Snodgrass to the new position of Secretary of Tourism.

State of Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin's Secretary of Education Phyllis Hudecki is the latest member of the governor's cabinet to announce her resignation, becoming the third to step down in as many months.

Fallin's office announced Tuesday that Hudecki planned to resign her post effective July 15 so that she could resume full-time duties as head of the Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition. Hudecki had been serving part-time as an OBEC executive while she served on the governor's cabinet.

GovMaryFallin / Twitter

Gov. Mary Fallin says the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved public assistance for 16 counties hit by May storms that brought tornadoes and flooding to Oklahoma.

Fallin said FEMA approved the request on Friday that she submitted Wednesday.

The storms caused an estimated $40 million in uninsured infrastructure losses, and debris removal and response costs.

FEMA says disaster assistance for the state now tops $25 million dollars.

GovMaryFallin / Twitter

Governor Mary Fallin joined Newcastle lawmakers and officials Friday to view storm damage and recovery efforts in the community following last month's storms.

Fallin took a driving tour of the community Friday afternoon. After viewing the area, the governor met with responders and local officials at the City Command Center.

Provided

Gov. Mary Fallin's Secretary of Environment Gary Sherrer is resigning.

Sherrer says in a letter to Fallin dated Friday that he plans to resign by Monday, the start of the new fiscal year.

“Gary Sherrer is a strong voice for sensible, common-sense policies that have helped to protect Oklahoma’s environment while also making room for job growth and economic development,” Fallin says. “He has worked well with both Republicans and Democrats and was skilled at achieving consensus among people with diverse interests and agendas."

Fallin plans to consolidate the secretary of environment and energy positions into one cabinet post and Sherrer said he didn't feel like he had the knowledge and expertise to handle both positions.

Legislative Session Over, But Health Questions Remain

May 28, 2013
Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

Gov. Mary Fallin gave lawmakers an 'A' grade for approving much of her agenda during the recently concluded legislative session, but at least one key issue remains unresolved, which is how the state plans to address the more than 630,000 Oklahomans without health insurance.

Fallin rejected the opportunity under the federal health care law to expand Medicaid coverage to nearly 200,000 people without health insurance, saying last November that doing so would prove too costly to the state and the country.

Fallin Signs Sweeping Workers' Compensation Bill

May 6, 2013
Back injuries are a common workers' compensation claim.
Darcie / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law Monday a sweeping overhaul of the way Oklahoma treats workers hurt on the job. Senate Bill 1062 changes the state’s court-based workers’ compensation system to an administrative plan.

Supporters of the bill, including its authors, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman and House Speaker T.W. Shannon, say it will reduce costs for businesses.

But detractors, including many Democrats, say the new law saves money at the expense of injured workers and does nothing to reduce medical costs associated with workers’ compensation claims.

Okla. Legislators, Governor Reach Deal on Budget

May 3, 2013
Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

Lawmakers have until the end of this month to complete their work, including the passing of a state budget. The adjournment date might come sooner with the announcement of an agreement on how to spend the state’s money.

The budget to pay for Oklahoma’s government will be $7.1 billion for the fiscal year beginning July 1, under an agreement between Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders. For most state agencies the amount of money they’ll receive in the new budget year is the same as last, but Fallin says the largest increase in the budget is for public schools in Oklahoma.

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill Monday allowing cities and counties to restrict tobacco use at parks, libraries, golf courses, baseball fields and other properties beginning Nov. 1.

The bill by State Sen. Frank Simpson (R-Ardmore) and State Rep. Pat Ownbey (R-Ardmore) also formalizes Fallin’s executive order issued last year banning tobacco use in state-owned buildings and on state property.

Ownbey says putting the governor’s executive order into statute needed to be done, and local control is something lawmakers always talk about.

The waiting list for Oklahomans seeking state-paid care for developmental disabilities has jumped to more than 7,000, and some families have been on that list for nearly a decade.

Okla. GOP Leaders Agree on Tax Cuts for 2015

Apr 24, 2013
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 Republican leaders at the State Capitol gathered in the Blue Room Tuesday to announce what they’re calling major agreements on several key proposals before lawmakers this session.

Gov. Mary Fallin, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman (R-Sapulpa) and House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) each took turns describing the plan to cut state income taxes, change the workers’ compensation system and repair the State Capitol.

State Property Smoking Ban Approved

Apr 23, 2013
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

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.

Provided

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.”

Fallin: Oklahoma’s Energy Plan Showing Success

Apr 15, 2013
CALI2OKIE / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Building new markets for Oklahoma energy products is a goal of Gov. Mary Fallin’s energy plan.

Several speakers at the Governor’s Energy Conference praised Fallin’s administration for developing a plan for the state energy sector.

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