Oklahoma Politics

State Capitol
12:55 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

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

Barricades surround the Oklahoma State Capitol to protect bystanders from potential falling debris.
Credit 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.

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State Capitol
8:41 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Tulsa Teens Back Anti-Texting Bill

Credit Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

A group of teenagers who support a ban on texting while driving in Oklahoma are meeting at the Capitol to push for a new state law to prohibit the practice.

A group that calls itself "Generation tXt" has scheduled a news conference on Wednesday to advocate for a statewide ban on texting while driving. The group will be joined by legislators, law enforcement and insurance industry officials.

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State Capitol
11:04 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Hickman Replaces Shannon As House Speaker

State Rep. Jeff Hickman (R-Fairview) at Gov. Mary Fallin's State of the State address - February 3, 2014.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The 72 Republicans in the Oklahoma House of Representatives have selected 40-year-old state Rep. Jeff Hickman of Fairview as the next speaker of the House, one of the most powerful positions in state government.

The Republican caucus met behind closed doors Monday morning and selected Hickman via secret ballot.

The speaker's post was vacated last week when T.W. Shannon stepped down to focus on his race for the U.S. Senate.

Hickman previously served as speaker pro tem, the No. 2 spot in the House, and lost the speaker's race against Shannon by a razor-thin margin.

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State Capitol
9:31 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Republicans Voting On Next Oklahoma House Speaker

Credit LLudo / Flickr Creative Commons

The 72-member House Republican caucus is meeting behind closed doors to select the new Speaker of the House.

The House caucus is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Monday and will cast secret ballots to determine the winner.

Reps. Jeff Hickman of Fairview and Mike Jackson of Enid are vying for the post, one of the most powerful positions in state government. The speaker helps divvy up the state's $7 billion budget and helps shape the policy debate in the Legislature.

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State Capitol
12:31 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Most Oklahoma Agencies To Take 5 Percent Cut To Make Up Budget Shortfall

Gov. Mary Fallin enters the House chamber of the state capitol shortly before delivering her 2014 State of the State address Monday.
Credit 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.

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State Capitol
11:21 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Oklahoma House Speaker Steps Down From Top Post

House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) shakes Gov. Mary Fallin's hand shortly before Monday's State of the State address.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Listen to House Speaker T.W. Shannon's entire announcement on the House floor Tuesday morning.

Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon is stepping down from one of the most powerful positions in state government as he runs for a U.S. Senate seat.

Shannon announced Tuesday on the House floor that he was stepping down from the speaker's post immediately.

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State Of The State
4:35 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Fallin Proposes Income Tax Cut, Discusses Education In Annual Address

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.
Credit 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.

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State Capitol
8:44 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Five Things To Watch In The 2014 Oklahoma Legislative Session

The legislative session kicks off at noon Monday.
Credit Katsrcool / Flickr Creative Commons

KGOU's Kurt Gwartney leads a panel of legislative observers in a discussion of the 2014 legislative session.

The first Monday in February means the parking lots are full surrounding the domed building at the intersection of NE 23rd Street and Lincoln Blvd. in Oklahoma City. Here are five things political scientists and state capitol reporters expect to see between now and the end of May.

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State Capitol
11:40 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Fallin Proposes Election For School Safety Plan

Gov. Mary Fallin addresses reporters during Tuesday's Associated Press Legislative Forum at the State Capitol.
Credit 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.

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U.S. House
11:19 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Congressman Lucas Draws Republican Primary Challenger

Robert Hubbard
Credit hubbardforcongress2014

A Canadian County rancher and business owner says he will challenge 10-term U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas for the Republican nomination in Oklahoma's 3rd Congressional District.

Robert Hubbard told The Associated Press on Monday: "We need to make some changes."

The 69-year-old Republican will formally announce his candidacy Monday afternoon at the Oklahoma History Center.

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