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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Another bill to slash the state's personal income tax has moved through the state Senate over the objections of Democrats who say critical state needs will take a hit.
The Senate voted 31-15 on Tuesday for a measure that trims the top rate from the current level of 5.25 percent to 4.95 percent beginning in 2013. The bill also contains triggers to further reduce the income tax every year by one-quarter of 1 percent if certain revenue growth triggers are met.