State Capitol

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Two state lawmakers are asking Republican Governor Mary Fallin to block tax dollars from being used to fund non-profit groups.

State Representatives Paul Wesselhoft of Moore and Sally Kern of Oklahoma City say more than $12 million appropriated to four state agencies this year are intended for non-profits. Examples of the spending include the IPRA National Finals Rodeo, which has received $50,000 over a two-year period, the Rural Enterprise Institute, which has received $2.25 million over three years, and the OK Expo, which got $2 million this year.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A state lawmaker who was awarded more than $61,000 in workers' compensation due to a collision as he drove to the state Capitol is appealing for more money.

And the state House and its insurance carrier are also appealing — asking that the $61,560 awarded to Republican Representative Mike Christian in July be thrown out.

The Oklahoman reports that Christian's appeal asks the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Court "to adequately compensate" Christian for injuries suffered in the 2009 collision.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Senate is launching a study into reports of problems at the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs' and its seven veterans' centers.

The study will begin Tuesday at the State Capitol. The first meeting will focus on administration issues including the structure and responsibilities of the agency and the War Veterans Commission. Lawmakers also will be looking into the role of the War Veterans Commission and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in relation to oversight of the agency.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Millions of dollars in tax credits and incentives handed out by the state each year to businesses and industries will once again by scrutinized by a special House committee.

House Speaker Kris Steele on Wednesday announced the formation of the bipartisan House Tax Credit and Economic Incentive Oversight Committee. The panel will conduct several hearings in the coming months to analyze some of the dozens of tax credit and incentive programs the state offers.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma House Speaker Kris Steele has approved a list of 59 topics that will be studied by lawmakers before the next legislative session begins in February.

Steele announced the studies on Friday, saying he pared the final list from initial requests for studies of 89 separate topics.

Interim studies give lawmakers an opportunity to receive testimony and examine issues in depth to decide whether to draft legislation on a particular topic.

Among the topics to be studied are education, government modernization, veterans' issues and public finance.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma finance officials project a deposit of nearly $350 million into the state's Rainy Day Fund after the fiscal year ends June 30, bringing the total balance of the fund to about $600 million.

Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger reported Tuesday that total collections to the state's general revenue fund through May exceeded last year's collections by nearly 10 percent.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Outgoing House Speaker Kris Steele had his hands full trying to keep control of a nearly 70-member strong Republican caucus in the Oklahoma House.

First the House balked at an income tax cut agreement, and then a deal on the state budget nearly fell apart in the waning days of the session.

Now the job of shepherding this diverse caucus falls to House Speaker-Designate T.W. Shannon, a 34-year-old Republican from Lawton who is in line to become the first African-American speaker in Oklahoma's history.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — About 250 demonstrators marched on Oklahoma's state Capitol to protest legislation restricting reproductive rights.

UniteWomen.org organized "United Against the War on Women" marches and rallies across the nation Saturday in response to bills that it perceives as attacking reproductive and voting rights.

Demonstrators said measures such as the personhood act take away a woman's control over her own body. Senate Bill 1433 would declare that life begins at conception. Protesters said they want lawmakers to focus on education and health care issues.

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There is a month left in the legislative session and Tulsa leaders go to the state capitol to lobby for regional priorities.

There are six items on the list for action wanted by business, education and civic leaders in the area. At the top, education funding, health care expansion and transportation infrastructure dollars.

It is hoped the regional approach will work in directing more money for needs in the Tulsa area.

The Tulsa delegation heard from Governor Fallin and other state leaders.

Voter Fraud Bill is Signed By Governor

Apr 24, 2012
State of Oklahoma-File photo

State Senator John Ford said he is gratified that Oklahoma is continuing to pursue ways to further ensure the integrity of the state’s election process. Ford, who represents Washington, Nowata and northern Rogers counties, was the author of a state question requiring voters to provide identification when casting their ballots. The proposed law was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2010.

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