State Capitol

Local & Regional
12:48 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Oklahoma committee reconsiders & approves teacher stipend

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Legislation that would fund stipends for Oklahoma public school teachers has been approved by the same House budget subcommittee that earlier rejected the bill.

Rep. Ann Coody of Lawton asked members of the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Education Monday to reconsider the bill. The same committee defeated the measure a week ago over concerns about replacing the current system with a performance-pay system.

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Local & Regional
1:16 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

DHS overhaul plans released at Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A plan to improve Oklahoma's troubled child welfare services includes seeking 500 new foster families by the end of June 2013 and the restructuring of the Department of Human Services' child welfare staff.

Gov. Mary Fallin, House Speaker Kris Steele and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman praised the five-year plan Friday during a news conference at the state Capitol.

The plan was developed as part of a January settlement agreement reached with a children's advocacy group that sued over DHS' treatment of foster children.

Local & Regional
8:10 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Suit filed over Oklahoma personhood ballot measure

KWGS News File Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union and a New York abortion rights group are suing on behalf of several Oklahoma doctors to stop an initiative petition that seeks to define a fertilized human egg as a person.

The group filed a protest with the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Thursday that contends the proposed constitutional amendment is unconstitutional because it threatens the rights of women. The group also maintains the proposal violates the state's single-subject rule and that the explanation of the amendment is unclear.

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Local & Regional
7:01 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Panel OKs drug testing of Oklahoma welfare recipients

State of Oklahoma-File photo David Holt

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Senate panel has approved a bill to require drug testing for certain welfare recipients.

The bill by Oklahoma City Republican Sen. David Holt passed 5-3 on Monday in the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, with Democrats opposing the measure. The bill already has been approved in the Republican-controlled House.

Holt removed from the bill an amendment added in the House that would have required drug tests for those seeking elected office. He described that amendment as a "stunt" by those who oppose the concept.

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Local & Regional
6:58 am
Tue March 27, 2012

State Capitol Watch: Personhood bill moves to House Committee today

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — State lawmakers are considering legislation that would grant "personhood" status to human embryos.

Members of the Oklahoma House's Public Health Committee are scheduled to debate and vote Tuesday on the Senate-passed measure.

The bill provides embryos and fetuses "all the rights, privileges and immunities" of other citizens. Supporters say it's modeled after a 1986 Missouri law that the U.S. Supreme Court has said is constitutional.

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Local & Regional
8:53 am
Sun March 25, 2012

State Capitol Watch: Bonds considered for repairs

State of Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — State lawmakers are considering a bond issue to repair Oklahoma's nearly century-old state Capitol and prepare it for its next 100 years.

Legislative leaders are developing plans to ask the House and Senate to authorize up to $200 million in bonds to repair both the Capitol and the nearby Jim Thorpe State Office Building.

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Local & Regional
5:12 pm
Sun March 18, 2012

Oklahoma lawmakers pass key legislative deadline

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma lawmakers have passed a key deadline and approved hundreds of bills from the floor, but still have no agreement on a plan to cut the state income tax.

Last week was the deadline for bills to be heard on the floor in the house of origin, and this week begins the second round of committee work in the House and Senate.

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Local & Regional
6:42 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Speaker: Open records for Oklahoma lawmakers unlikely

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — House Speaker Kris Steele says he doubts a bill to require the Oklahoma Legislature to be subjected to provisions of the state's Open Records and Open Meetings laws will pass this year.

Steele told reporters it's "unlikely" the bill would be considered before Thursday's deadline for hearing bills on the floor. A House committee already approved the bill by Guthrie Republican Rep. Jason Murphey.

The plan was likely to face resistance in the Senate, where a similar measure was not granted a hearing in committee.

Local & Regional
7:58 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Oklahoma Senate OKs bill to cut, eliminate income tax

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Senate has approved a bill to slash and eventually eliminate the state's personal income tax over the objection of Democrats who maintain it will decimate funding for critical state services.


The Senate voted 30-17 on Monday, mostly along party lines, for a bill that will immediately slash the top state income tax from 5.25 percent to 2.5 percent, beginning in January. Based on a study by conservative economist Arthur Laffer, the bill continues to cut the income tax by one-quarter of 1 percent until it's eliminated by 2022.


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Local & Regional
10:15 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Veterans jobs bill clear State House Committee

The Oklahoma State Capitol
KWGS News Photo

A bill that will assist veterans seeking employment after serving in the armed forces passed unanimously out of Government Modernization committee. “This is a jobs bill for veterans who have honorably served our country,” said Democratic Leader Scott Inman, co-author with Rep. Chuck Hoskin, D-Vinita, on House Bill 1985. “Today our state is home to more than 329,000 veterans of all ages and backgrounds, and now that military operations in Iraq have ended, men and women who have served our state are returning to jobs in the civilian world.

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