Oklahoma News

Oklahoma News
11:54 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Sen. James Lankford To Give First Senate Floor Speech Thursday

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK)
OversightAndReform Flickr Creative Commons

U.S. Sen. James Lankford is scheduled to deliver his first formal address on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

The first-term Republican plans to give his maiden floor speech at 10 a.m. central time on Thursday.

Lankford says his speech will focus on challenges that lie ahead for America and how the nation can address them.

He is an advocate for streamlining federal government, especially simplifying the federal tax code, and has been a fierce critic of the new federal health care law.

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Oklahoma News
5:16 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Gov. Fallin Signs Texting While Driving Ban

Credit Jason Weaver / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin has signed legislation that makes it illegal to text message while driving in Oklahoma.

Flanked by lawmakers and state troopers, Fallin signed the measure into law Tuesday. The law goes into effect on Nov. 1.

The legislation makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while using a hand-held electronic device to compose, send or read electronic messages while driving. Violations are punishable by a $100 fine.

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Oklahoma News
4:09 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Oklahoma Groups Ask That Scheduled Income Tax Cut Be Rescinded

Credit 401(K) 2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

With the state facing a $611 million budget hole, more than 90 Oklahoma businesses, foundations and nonprofit agencies are asking the governor and Republican legislative leaders to halt a scheduled income tax cut.

The Oklahoma Policy Institute delivered a letter Tuesday to Gov. Mary Fallin, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman and House Speaker Jeff Hickman.

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Oklahoma News
4:46 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Fallin Signs Bill Allowing Judicial Discretion For Some Nonviolent Crimes

Credit Wesley Fryer / Flickr.com

Governor Mary Fallin signed legislation Monday allowing judicial discretion for a number of nonviolent crimes.

House Bill 1518, known as the Justice Safety Valve Act, permits judges to lessen mandatory minimum sentences when the term is “not necessary for the protection of the public” and could “result in substantial injustice to the defendant.”  

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Oklahoma News
4:25 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Tulsa Sheriff Will Not Resign But Has No Plans For Seeking Re-election

Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz
Credit tcso.org

Embattled Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz says he has no plans to resign, but doesn't plan to seek re-election in 2016.

Glanz told the Tulsa World Monday that he won't resign over last month's shooting of an unarmed man by his close friend and volunteer deputy Robert Bates, who has been charged with second-degree manslaughter. Glanz has refused repeated requests for interviews by the AP.

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Oklahoma Voices
11:02 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Oklahoma Watch-Out: Challenges In South Oklahoma City

Left-to-right: Oklahoma Watch executive editor David Fritze, attorney Michael Brooks-Jimenez, Oklahoma City school board member Gloria Torres, Oklahoma City coucilwoman Meg Salyer
Jacob McCleland KGOU

Oklahoma Watch and the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication presented a public forum on April 16 about challenges in low-income neighborhoods in south Oklahoma City.

The Q&A forum with local leaders focused on the needs and concerns of south Oklahoma City communities and is tied to a mobile video news project, “Talk With Us: Poverty in Oklahoma City Neighborhoods.”

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Oklahoma News
7:19 am
Sat May 2, 2015

Oklahoma Awarded $1.3 Million For Family Violence Victims

Credit Ben Pollard / Wikipedia Commons

A federal grant of more than $1.3 million has been awarded to Oklahoma to support domestic violence victims in the state and the organizations that support them.

The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration through the Children and Families Family Violence Prevention and Services Act.

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Oklahoma News
5:38 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Gov. Mary Fallin Vetoes Bill That Would Require Development Of Plan To Meet EPA Rules

Gov. Mary Fallin
Credit ok.gov

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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Oklahoma News
3:39 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Lawmakers Send 72-Hour Abortion Wait Time Bill To Gov. Fallin's Desk

Credit ana branca / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma House has passed legislation that would make Oklahoma the fourth state in the nation to require women to wait at least 72 hours before receiving an abortion.

House members voted 75-3 Thursday for the bill by Republican Rep. Lisa Billy of Lindsay and sent it to Gov. Mary Fallin's desk to be signed into law.

Under current law, a doctor is required to provide a patient with numerous details at least 24 hours before the procedure, including the age of the fetus, risks involved and that ultrasound and heart tone monitoring are available.

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Death Penalty
9:44 am
Thu April 30, 2015

Manufacturer Asks Oklahoma To Return Execution Drug

James Heilman, MD Wikimedia Commons

One of the pharmaceutical manufacturers that produces a drug used in Oklahoma’s botched execution last year has asked the state to return all of the doses of the drug.

Illinois-based Akorn is one of several manufacturers that makes the sedative midazolam, which is part of a three-drug cocktail used in lethal injections in Oklahoma and other states.

The company sent a letter to state Attorney General Scott Pruitt on March 4 demanding that any of the company’s midazolam be returned for a full refund. The company said its drugs are not approved for executions.

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