Governor Fallin

On this installment of StudioTulsa, with the Oklahoma State Legislature set to begin its new session on Monday of next week, we check in with David Blatt, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Policy Institute. This non-profit public-policy think tank recently posted a detailed list of legislative priorities for the new year at its website. Blatt reviews several of these goals with us today: from Budget and Taxes to Economic Opportunity and Security, and from Education and Criminal Justice to Health Care.

Yesterday at the State Capitol, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin offered her recommendations to the State Legislature on how to fill next year's estimated $1.3 billion budget deficit. Her "Budget 2.0" provides for exempting Common Education, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, and Mental Health Services from cuts -- while also exempting cuts in other areas, including higher education -- and offers significant revenue enhancements to the budget as well.


In Tulsa today, Governor Mary Fallin clarifies her position on a call for a study on possibly legalizing cannabis oil for medicinal purposes. Research shows it can be effective for treating some children who suffer seizures and strokes. She says it does NOT mean she is for legalizing medicinal marijuana.

She says she is just asking for a legislative study on the possible use of non-intoxicating cannabis oil for medical purposes and a recommendation from lawmakers.

On May 23rd, the Oklahoma State Legislature approved HB 3399, a bill which would, if it became law, withdraw this state from the Common Core State Standards initiative. This bill is now on Gov. Mary Fallin's desk, awaiting her decision; the Governor has until June 7th to sign the bill into law, or veto it, or do nothing (in which case the bill will not take effect).

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Governor Mary Fallin apparently can't get enough of political conventions, and is planning to head to North Carolina next week for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

A spokesman for the Oklahoma Republican governor said Friday the governor will be doing surrogate campaign work for the campaign of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Weintz says Fallin won't actually attend the convention, but will be doing interviews with various media outlets to offer a counterpoint to the Democratic message.

State of Oklahoma-File photo

LUTHER, Okla. (AP) — Firefighters in Oklahoma have under control a wildfire that's suspected to be the work of arsonists. The fire near Luther burned dozens of homes and forced evacuations Friday. Gov. Mary Fallin toured the community Saturday morning, saying the fire and damage are "heartbreaking." Officials estimate 56 homes and other buildings have been damaged by the blaze. Oklahoma County Sheriff's spokesman Mark Myers says deputies are searching for the driver of a black Ford pickup that witnesses reported seeing tossing a lit newspaper out of the vehicle about 4 p.m. Friday.

State of Oklahoma-File Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Governor Mary Fallin has tapped a Tulsa woman to advise her on Native American affairs.

Fallin announced Tuesday that Jacque Secondine Hensley will be her Native American liaison, an executive branch position created when the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission was eliminated in 2011.

Hensley has a bachelor's degree in education from Oklahoma State University and a master's degree in counseling and psychology from the University of Tulsa.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Mary Fallin will lead a delegation of seven Oklahoma aerospace companies to the Farnborough International Air Show in England next week.

Fallin will attend the air show on July 9 and July 10. Officials from the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, the Tulsa Metro Chamber and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce also will attend.

State of Oklahoma-File Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Mary Fallin will lead a delegation of eight Oklahoma oil and gas companies to the Global Petroleum Show in Canada.

Fallin will be joined by Oklahoma Energy Secretary Michael Ming and officials from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce at the trade show next week in Calgary.

The delegation includes energy companies from Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Enid and Pawnee.

KWGS News File photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Mary Fallin has vetoed a bill that would have given the director of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation more power to set his top executives' salaries.

The bill that passed in the waning days of the legislative session also would have removed the salary caps for director salaries at the Board of Dentistry, Board of Nursing, Teachers' Retirement System and State Banking Department.

State of Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Despite having strong GOP majorities backing her up in the House and Senate, Governor Mary Fallin ended this year's legislative session without the income tax cut she has championed.

Fallin entered the session with an ambitious plan to deeply slash the state's income tax.

However, Republicans in the Legislature started chipping away at the plan, first by balking at eliminating the numerous deductions and exemptions that were to be used to help offset the cost of the plan.

Some even began to wonder aloud if the time was right to cut taxes at all.