KGOU

2017 Oklahoma Legislative Session

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Lawmakers will take another stab at increasing teacher salaries, will attempt to stymie four-day school weeks and try to eliminate the end-of-year exam in U.S. history.

With the filing deadline on Jan. 19, bills have been streaming in, including many related to common education. Additional bills could surface later because of exceptions to the deadline and shell bills whose language is often replaced mid-session.

State Rep. Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa, speaks on the floor of the Oklahoma House in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. The House has voted to seat Kirby, who rescinded a letter of resignation he submitted after being named in a sexual harassment complaint.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

The Oklahoma House voted Tuesday to seat a lawmaker who walked back his resignation after being named in a sexual harassment complaint.

State Rep. Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa, spoke publicly for the first time about the situation, and said he had done nothing wrong.

“There was an investigation into the allegations and it was determined there was no sexual harassment,” Kirby said.

The complaint by a legislative assistant resulted in a nearly $45,000 settlement on Nov. 22.

A drilling rig in northwestern Oklahoma's Mississippi Lime oil and gas play.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma legislators are under pressure to fund teacher raises and pay for health insurance coverage, workers comp, criminal justice initiatives and state prisons from a pool of money that could be $600 million short of what’s needed.

Oklahoma Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger speaks during a meeting of the State Board of Equalization in Oklahoma City, Monday, June 20, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahoma's top budget official says he's not worrying about a revenue failure… yet.

This time last year, lawmakers were wringing their hands over sales tax figures that painted a dim view of state revenue. That’s when revenue was about 3 percent below the estimate used to build their budget.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice John Reif administers the oath of offices to all 101 members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives at the state Capitol Wednesday.
Provided / Oklahoma House of Representatives

Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice John Reif administered the oath of office to all 101 newly elected House members during a ceremony at the state Capitol Wednesday morning.

The state's lower chamber includes 32 new state Representatives, including seven new Democrats. The new members of the minority caucus include a former assistant to the mayor of Tulsa and a former schoolteacher.

State Rep. Monroe Nichols, D-Tulsa, said his biggest priority is education, but he’s also concerned about economic development and state tax policy.

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

Oklahoma's House Republicans picked their leadership for the next legislative session Tuesday, and formally elected state Rep. Charles McCall, R-Atoka, as the next House Speaker.

At the end of the 2016 session in May the caucus elected McCall as Speaker-designate, but yesterday allowed the 25 new GOP House members to weigh in on the leadership.

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