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Oklahoma Politics

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Two bills to increase teacher pay have sailed through a House committee, although a projected shortage of revenue this year makes it's unlikely the measures will ever reach the governor's desk.

With educators from across the state packed into a committee room on Monday, a House budget panel unanimously approved the bills. They next will be scheduled for consideration by the full House Appropriations and Budget Committee.

Patrick Damiano / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma schoolchildren would be required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day under two bills that cleared a legislative committee on Monday.

The Senate Education Committee passed both bills on Monday with just one dissenting vote. Both measures can now be scheduled for a hearing before the full Senate.

OETA - The Oklahoma Network

The 2014 Oklahoma legislative session kicked off two weeks ago Monday, with an income tax cut, reduced agency budgets, repairing the state Capitol, and employee compensation all facing lawmakers as they return to NE 23rd Street and Lincoln Blvd. in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma State Senate

A Democratic state senator from Oklahoma City formally announced his candidacy Thursday for the 5th Congressional District seat being vacated by Republican U.S. Rep. James Lankford.

State Sen. Al McAffrey formally unveiled his plans during a 1 p.m. press conference at the Myriad Botanical Gardens in downtown Oklahoma City.

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

Feb 12, 2014
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.

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.

House Speaker Jeff Hickman (R-Fairview) at Gov. Mary Fallin's State of the State address - February 3, 2014.
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.

Oklahoma state Capitol
LLudo / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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.

Gov. Mary Fallin enters the House chamber of the state capitol shortly before delivering her State of the State address February 3, 2014.
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.

House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) shakes Gov. Mary Fallin's hand shortly before her State of the State address - February 3, 2014.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

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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