While Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders waited for the completion of an independent study on state employee pay, House Speaker T.W. Shannon approved more than a quarter of a million dollars in annual pay increases for his staff.
Figures released by House officials on Monday show about half of the 117 full-time House employees received raises totaling more than $280,000. The pay hikes for 52 House employees ranged from about 2 percent for a housekeeper to more than 30 percent for three staff attorneys.
The state employee remuneration study ordered by HB1717 is set to be released Friday, depending on the weather, said John Estus, Office of Management and Enterprise Services public information officer.
Estus said if the weather does not cooperate, the study is set to be released Monday.
A Republican state senator from Yukon says he won't seek re-election to his Senate seat in 2014.
Sen. Rob Johnson said Thursday he plans to leave the Legislature to spend more time with his family and focus on building his law practice in downtown Oklahoma City.
Johnson's Senate Dist. 22 seat includes most of the cities of Yukon, Piedmont and Deer Creek, along with parts of far west Edmond and Oklahoma City. It was previously held by his father, Republican Sen. Mike Johnson of Kingfisher.
Oklahoma's Republican House speaker wants to add a chapel inside the Capitol that celebrates the state's "Judeo-Christian heritage," a plan that's raising the eyebrows of libertarians and legal scholars who wonder if it's constitutional.
Lawton Republican T.W. Shannon says several GOP members urged him to consider using some newly acquired House space on the second floor of the building to House the chapel, which he said would be paid for with private funds. Shannon says his plan is to commemorate the faith community in Oklahoma.
Buchanan also says the coast of South Carolina is seeing an influx of immigration from other states, changing the politics of the area.
The Democrats lost the south, in part, because they failed to develop their party, according to the University of Georgia’s Charles S. Bullock III. He says they took their dominance for granted and did not develop candidates in the face of a rising GOP presence.
Oklahoma drivers will have to pay an extra $12 for a license renewal under one of about 240 new laws signed by the governor and scheduled to take effect on Friday.
Among the others are three abortion-related laws, one that allows convicted criminals to seek a DNA test to prove their innocence, and another that expands the practice of noodling, or fishing by hand. Other bill topics include criminal penalties, pensions, elections, and the regulation of various professions.
Gov. Mary Fallin, Treasurer Ken Miller and other state officials will meet Wednesday with representatives of the nation’s leading bond rating agencies.
Fallin, Miller, Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston Doerflinger, Secretary of State Larry Parman and State Bond Advisor Jim Joseph are scheduled to meet with representatives of Standard and Poor’s Corporation, Fitch Ratings and others.
Oklahoma state legislators — who earn $38,400 annually plus benefits and expenses — won't be getting a raise any time soon.
The Legislative Compensation Board voted 7-1 on Tuesday for the base pay, retirement and benefits package for Oklahoma's senators and House members to stay in place. Former Republican state Sen. Charles Ford of Tulsa was the lone dissenting vote. Ford urged the panel to consider hiking the base pay for legislators to $44,000 annually. The board meets every two years.
People who for years had planned to be boating down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon right about now instead found themselves on Saturday camping in a parking lot because of the government shutdown.
A panel is recommending a 12 percent increase for members of the Oklahoma judiciary — a recommendation that could lead to similar raises for all statewide elected officials.
The Board of Judicial Compensation meets every two years to review judicial pay and make recommendations. Gov. Mary Fallin and the Legislature rejected the board's proposal two years ago, and in 2009, the board didn't recommend any raises.