State Capitol

Politics and Government
11:09 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Tax Cut And Capitol Repair Bills Take Effect

Credit ensign_beedrill / Flickr Creative Commons

More than 70 bills take effect Monday, including legislation that will ultimately provide for a 2015 Oklahoma income tax reduction and fund repairs to the State Capitol.

ECapitol’s Shawn Ashley reports the bill apportions $60 million to the fund in fiscal year 2014 and FY2015.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:55 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Lawmakers Fail to Stop Fee Increases: What You'll Be Paying More For This Fall

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 2:51 pm

Republican House Speaker T.W. Shannon says user fees have gone up by about $100 million since 2007, and he wanted to ban most fee increases this past legislative session.

But in the end, it was more of a technicality than worry over how to fund the government that killed House Bill 1914.

Shannon’s bill passed the House and Senate, but was never sent to Gov. Mary Fallin to be signed into law. So, the fees agencies charge for their services can continue to go up … and they are.

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State Capitol
8:08 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Lawmakers Approve Income Tax Cut Despite Threat of Reimbursment Costs

Credit 401(K) 2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

A lawsuit by an out-of-state company that challenges a tax break on capital gains for Oklahoma-based businesses is causing some concern at the state Capitol.

An analysis on the potential costs of a tax reimbursement show Oklahoma could be on the hook for as much as $480 million if the court rules in favor of tax payers.

Republican State Rep. Jeff Hickman raised the issue during questions on a tax cut bill approved by the House last week. But budget negotiators said any repercussions of the capital gains issue should be worked out apart from the state budget.

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Tax Cut Proposal
10:18 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Okla. GOP Leaders Agree on Tax Cuts for 2015

Gov. Mary Fallin, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman (R-Sapulpa), and House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) announce their tax cut proposal in the Blue Room of the State Capitol - April 23, 2013
Credit Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

The Republican leaders at the State Capitol gathered in the Blue Room Tuesday to announce what they’re calling major agreements on several key proposals before lawmakers this session.

Gov. Mary Fallin, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman (R-Sapulpa) and House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) each took turns describing the plan to cut state income taxes, change the workers’ compensation system and repair the State Capitol.

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State Capitol
1:26 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

No "Black Helicopters" at State Capitol

Credit Marshall Astor / Flickr (Creative Commons)

A state environmental group says Oklahoma lawmakers are wasting their time focusing on legislation intended to feed an extremist agenda. The Oklahoma Chapter of the Sierra Club specifically targeted a bill by Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City dealing with an international takeover of Oklahoma the environmental organization says doesn’t exist.

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State Capitol
11:17 am
Fri March 15, 2013

OHP Pay Bill Passes, Hopes to Avoid Impending Trooper Staffing Crisis

Troopers from the 60th Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy
Credit Oklahoma Highway Patrol

 The Oklahoma House has overwhelmingly approved a $7.3 million plan to give state Highway Patrol troopers a pay increase.

The House voted 90-0 on Thursday for the bill by Dacoma Republican Rep. Jeff Hickman. It now goes to the state Senate.

Hickman says one-third of the roughly 770 troopers currently are retirement eligible and that there's a critical "manpower issue."

The bill would boost the starting salary of a cadet from $33,192 to $38,602. Starting troopers who have completed their probation would see their pay boosted from $38,000 to $44,194.

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State Capitol
5:43 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Parole Board Members Plead Not Guilty

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Members of Oklahoma's Pardon and Parole Board have pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of violating the state's Open Meeting Act.

The five board members appeared with their attorneys before Oklahoma County Special Judge Russell Hall Thursday. They are due back in court on April 18.

The charges were filed Wednesday by Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater.

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State Capitol
2:28 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Gov. Fallin Staying Quiet on Teachers With Guns

Credit shannonpatrick17 / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Gov. Mary Fallin says for now, she won't comment on legislation that would allow educators with special training to carry guns inside the state's public schools.

Fallin says it's too early in the legislative process, since bills frequently go through a lot of changes between now and closer to the end of session.

House Bill 1062 is headed to the Senate after winning approval in the House this week.

The proposal would let administrators or teachers in Oklahoma's public schools have a loaded handgun inside the school building after passing special school resource officer training.

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Developing
2:04 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Steele, Prater Resign from Justice Group, Cite Dishonesty from Fallin's Office

Former House Speaker Kris Steele
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives

The two leaders of a working committee overseeing Oklahoma's plan to lower the state's prison population have resigned, saying they would no longer chair the group and couldn't ask other members to keep serving.

Former House Speaker Kris Steele and Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater resigned Thursday as chairmen of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative group. They cited what they call dishonesty from Gov. Mary Fallin's office and a House vote creating a committee that could replace them.

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State Capitol
12:55 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

It's Deadline Day! Lawmakers Push to Hear Bills

Oklahoma State Capitol

Oklahoma's state representatives and senators are set to enter the final day to hear bills in their original chamber, resetting the stage for the rest of this year's session.

Thursday is the deadline for the House to hear House bills and the Senate to hear Senate bills. Only those proposals that have been approved by Thursday are likely to advance to the other chamber, moving one step closer to becoming law.

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