Local & Regional

KWGS News Photo

The Oklahoma Legislature has adjourned its 2016 regular session after lawmakers passed a $6.8 billion budget bill to fund state services during the upcoming year.

The Oklahoma House adjourned Friday after giving final approval of the general appropriations bill for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The bill was sent to Gov. Mary Fallin to be signed into law.

The Senate adjourned earlier Friday after approving a $200 million bond issue to pay for road and bridge construction — a move that frees up $200 million to fund general state operations.

State of Oklahoma

The Oklahoma House has passed and sent to the governor a $6.8 billion budget for the upcoming year, the last major piece of legislation in the 2016 Oklahoma Legislature.  
 The House voted 52-45 Friday for a general appropriations bill for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Failure to pass the measure would have forced a special legislative session to complete work on next year's budget. The Senate approved the bill on Wednesday.  

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Federal disaster assistance has been approved for five Oklahoma counties hit by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding earlier this month.

Gov. Mary Fallin said Thursday the that U.S. Small Business Administration has agreed to provide low-interest disaster loans for homeowners and business owners in Murray County to replace property not covered by insurance or other programs that was damaged by storms May 9-13.

The program also helps businesses that sustained storm-related economic injury.

 

A man charged in the death of a Talala man who had been missing has been sentenced to life in prison.

Vernon Smith was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced Thursday in the death of 27-year-old Chazz Holly.

Holly's family had been searching for him for about a month after he was last seen in Tulsa. A police investigation led authorities to Longview, Texas, where his father's pickup was found. Holly's body was found by family members in June 2015 along a highway near Antlers in Pushmataha County.

1 Dead in Tulsa Pike Crash

May 27, 2016

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says one person is dead in an overnight crash on the Turner Turmpike near the Tulsa Gate.

The OHP says a tractor-trailer rig went out of control and slammed into a wall. The truck burst into flames. Part of the wreckage fell below to the New Sapulpa Road or Route 66.

It is unclear what caused the truck to go out of control. It may have been a blown tire. The truck was hauling fresh produce.

KWGS News/Oklahoma House

 

The Oklahoma Legislature is meeting for its final day of the regular session with one big-ticket item left on the agenda — passage of a $6.8 billion budget bill to fund state government for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Senate approved the general appropriations bill Wednesday, but the House has yet to pass it.

Because the Legislature is constitutionally mandated to adjourn by 5 p.m. Friday, if they are unable to get the 51 votes needed to pass it, a special session will be required.

In the local news:

  • A fiery crash on the Turner Turnpike at Tulsa leaves a truck driver dead.
  • State House members must approve the new budget today or face a special session.
  • A new dispute at the Tulsa Jail.
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.

Pages