Matt Trotter

Reporter

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN. 

He has a master's degree from Arizona State University, where he spent a semester on the first reporting staff of Cronkite News Service's Washington, D.C., bureau. As a grad student, he won awards for multimedia journalism and in-depth TV reporting.

Matt is from Southern California, so he's slowly following Route 66 across the United States. He would have made it Chicago by now, but he's not a fan of long drives.

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Matt Trotter / KWGS

Vision Tulsa will bring in almost $900 million for public safety, economic development, streets and transportation, but it may cost the city in other ways.

City Manager Jim Twombly said, for example, 160 new police officers will mean increasing the fleet of cars by 25 percent.

"That's going to impact fleet management, obviously, in terms of the ... repairs," Twombly said. "HR — hiring police officers and firefighters, testing, getting people through that process. I think the police department is maybe the largest user of the litigation division."

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa fell 16 spots to 60th in the Trust for Public Lands’ fifth-annual city park rankings.

The ParkScore index grew from America’s 75 largest cities to its 100 largest. The rankings should stick to America’s 100 largest cities in the future. Tulsa tied for 60th with four other cities, earning 2.5 park benches on a 5 bench scale.

The Trust for Public Lands' Peter Harnik said access remains an issue, with just 56 percent of Tulsans living within a half mile of a park.

A complete overhaul of Oklahoma’s liquor laws is approved by both chambers of the legislature in one day.

Senators last month passed a resolution to call a public vote on amending the state constitution. Thursday, House members did the same, and both chambers approved Sen. Stephanie Bice and Rep. Glen Mulready’s 285-page companion bill.

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State lawmakers did some shuffling to maintain public school funding at the current level in next year’s budget.

A $33 million dollar textbook fund for local schools is gone. The State Department of Education is losing $6.6 million for administrative costs. The biggest loss, however, is 30 percent of the public school activities fund.

That’s nearly $40 million less for alternative and remedial education, the Teachers Retirement System, an early intervention program for disabled infants and toddlers, Teach for America and other programs.

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A Tulsa bike share program in the works since 2015 shifts into high gear.

Tulsa Bike Share has received nearly 70 resumes for its executive director position. Jennifer Haddaway with INCOG said someone will be hired by mid-July, then they’ll ask vendors for bids on their equipment contract.

"We'll get that done August to September, and then we'll move forward into station placement and programming and hopefully get us set to launch in the spring of 2017," Haddaway said.

Courtesy OCCA

State senators send the governor a bill changing tax credits for oil and gas leases deemed "at risk."

The Senate proposed eliminating the tax credit but approved House amendments that just cap it. Sen. Brian Bingman said the difference in the proposals isn’t that much revenue.

"Elimination would provide $133 million next year. With this change, it's $120 million, approximately," Bingman said.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Oklahoma’s last-gasp budget cleared one hurdle Wednesday by getting Senate approval.

Tulsa Democrat Kevin Matthews was among several senators who wanted the budget bill laid over and lawmakers to enter special session to work on it. He said their priorities have been off.

State of Oklahoma-File photo

The Oklahoma legislature wraps up this week, and though a flurry of budget measures is in the queue, a vetoed abortion bill is hanging around.

Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed Senate Bill 1552 late last week, calling it vague and possibly unconstitutional. Sen. Nathan Dahm’s bill would make performing an abortion a felony for doctors and make it cause to strip them of their licenses. It contained an exception only for the life of a mother.

Dahm says he’s trying to talk to Fallin about her veto, even with lawmakers scrambling to fix the state budget before the session ends Friday.

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A bill meant to ease future budget crises goes to the governor.

State senators passed a measure setting up a revenue stabilization fund, which socks away extra gross production and corporate income taxes in good years for withdrawal during revenue failures or ahead of down years.

Sen. David Holt said lawmakers are often criticized for a lack of long-term planning.

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On a 95–1 vote, Oklahoma’s House passed a measure Monday to abolish end of instruction exams.

Warner Democrat Jerry McPeak was the lone "no" vote. He said Republicans for years ignored Democrats’ proposals to do away with the high-stakes tests.

"You guys thought up EOIs. You guys passed EOIs. You guys got EOIs, and we gave you multiple opportunities to get rid of EOIs, reduce EOIs and no. They wouldn't even get heard in committees," McPeak said.

Rep. Lee Denney presented the bill to her colleagues.

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