Oklahoma Politics

State Capitol
9:01 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Oklahoma Officials To Visit Bond Rating Agencies

Oklahoma Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger.
Credit Oklahoma PCA / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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Oklahoma Politics
11:55 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Panel Shoots Down Oklahoma Legislator Pay Hike

Credit russavia / Creative Commons

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.

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It's All Politics
7:04 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Monday Morning Political Mix

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.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 8:12 am

Good Monday morning, fellow political junkies. The partial shutdown of the government enters its second week and on Day 7 of the crisis neither side appears to have softened its position.

At least furloughed federal workers got the good news over the weekend that Congress had approved giving them backpay for the time they are locked out of their jobs.

Here are some of the more interesting news items with greater or lesser political import that caught my eye this morning.

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Oklahoma Politics
1:40 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Pay Increase Recommended For Oklahoma Judiciary

Credit Ronny Richert / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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Oklahoma Politics
11:07 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Oklahoma Lawmakers’ Salaries Set For Review

Credit KellyK / Flickr Creative Commons

The Board on Legislative Compensation will review state lawmakers’ salaries in October.

Oklahoma is one of 19 states with compensation commissions designed to “…provide independent and impartial recommendations” on lawmakers’ pay, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

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Affordable Care Act
3:34 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Oklahoma Panelists Field Questions On Affordable Care Act

Andrew Rice, executive director of Variety Care Foundation, and Terry Cline, Oklahoma commissioner of health, discuss the Affordable Care Act at Oklahoma Watch-Out.
Credit Clifton Adcock / Oklahoma Watch

Apprehension and optimism abound in Oklahoma as the Affordable Care Act shifts into higher gear with the opening of the federally-run health-care marketplace on Oct. 1.

At the same time, residents and business owners are awaiting the unveiling of an “Oklahoma Plan” to expand health coverage and improve health outcomes that Gov. Mary Fallin promised in her State of the State speech earlier this year.

These and other topics were discussed Tuesday evening during Oklahoma Watch’s first “Oklahoma Watch-Out” community forum at Kamps 1910 Café in Oklahoma City.

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Women's Rights
8:57 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Oklahoma Women Fare 48th In National Study

Red-colored states, including Oklahoma, are the bottom ten in the rankings of how women fare in a variety of indicators.
Credit Center for American Progress

A new analysis ranks Oklahoma 48th in the nation for how women are faring in 36 different economic, leadership and health indicators.

The report was released on Wednesday by the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C.,-based non-partisan research and educational institute.

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Politics and Government
12:49 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Oklahoma Lawmakers Say More Pension Changes Needed

State Rep. Randy McDaniel (R-Edmond)
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives

Changes to Oklahoma's public pension systems in recent years have reduced their unfunded liability, but a state lawmaker says more changes are needed to assure their long-term financial health.

State Rep. Randy McDaniel of Edmond said Thursday the $11.6 billion unfunded liability of the state's pension systems poses a major financial challenge to state government. McDaniel says lawmakers must do more to secure retirement pensions for public employees because people are living longer and more people are receiving benefits.

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It's All Politics
5:03 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Conservative Lobbyist Derails Bipartisan 'Science Laureate' Bill

The U.S. Capitol at sunrise.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 10:24 am

No one who's been paying attention for, say, the past few decades, needs to be reminded of how extremely polarized Washington is.

So it's usually good news when Democrats and Republicans can come together on an issue, as they did recently to support the idea of creating the new honorary position of "Science Laureate of the United States."

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Corrections
9:40 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Oklahoma AG: Pardon And Parole Board Can Continue Considering More Crimes Violent

Credit mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

The Pardon and Parole Board can continue its practice of treating some offenders’ crimes as violent even though the offenses are not included in two statutory lists of violent crimes, board members were informed Monday.

Tracy George, Pardon and Parole Board interim executive director, said a recent attorney general’s opinion reaffirmed the practice of treating some crimes as violent although they are not among the violent offenses listed in statute.

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