State Capitol

KWGS News File Photo

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.

State of Oklahoma-File photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A state lawmaker has tried unsuccessfully to override a veto of his bill by Republican Governor Mary Fallin.

Democratic Representative Eric Proctor of Tulsa attempted the veto override on Monday, but his motion was tabled in the Republican-controlled House.

KWGS News File Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The chairman of Oklahoma's powerful House Appropriations Committee says a deal may be at hand with the Senate on a $200 million state bond issue that would fund repairs to the state's crumbling Capitol and other nearby buildings.

Representative Earl Sears told The Associated Press on Wednesday that a bill containing the proposal will be unveiled soon. His Senate counterpart wouldn't confirm the price tag.

Yellow barricades currently block the Capitol's south steps to prevent pedestrians from being hit by feared falling chunks of limestone and mortar.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Legislation that would fund stipends for Oklahoma public school teachers has been approved by the same House budget subcommittee that earlier rejected the bill.

Rep. Ann Coody of Lawton asked members of the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Education Monday to reconsider the bill. The same committee defeated the measure a week ago over concerns about replacing the current system with a performance-pay system.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A plan to improve Oklahoma's troubled child welfare services includes seeking 500 new foster families by the end of June 2013 and the restructuring of the Department of Human Services' child welfare staff. Gov. Mary Fallin, House Speaker Kris Steele and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman praised the five-year plan Friday during a news conference at the state Capitol. The plan was developed as part of a January settlement agreement reached with a children's advocacy group that sued over DHS' treatment of foster children.

KWGS News File Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union and a New York abortion rights group are suing on behalf of several Oklahoma doctors to stop an initiative petition that seeks to define a fertilized human egg as a person.

The group filed a protest with the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Thursday that contends the proposed constitutional amendment is unconstitutional because it threatens the rights of women. The group also maintains the proposal violates the state's single-subject rule and that the explanation of the amendment is unclear.

State of Oklahoma-File photo / David Holt

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Senate panel has approved a bill to require drug testing for certain welfare recipients.

The bill by Oklahoma City Republican Sen. David Holt passed 5-3 on Monday in the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, with Democrats opposing the measure. The bill already has been approved in the Republican-controlled House.

Holt removed from the bill an amendment added in the House that would have required drug tests for those seeking elected office. He described that amendment as a "stunt" by those who oppose the concept.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — State lawmakers are considering legislation that would grant "personhood" status to human embryos.

Members of the Oklahoma House's Public Health Committee are scheduled to debate and vote Tuesday on the Senate-passed measure.

The bill provides embryos and fetuses "all the rights, privileges and immunities" of other citizens. Supporters say it's modeled after a 1986 Missouri law that the U.S. Supreme Court has said is constitutional.

State of Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — State lawmakers are considering a bond issue to repair Oklahoma's nearly century-old state Capitol and prepare it for its next 100 years.

Legislative leaders are developing plans to ask the House and Senate to authorize up to $200 million in bonds to repair both the Capitol and the nearby Jim Thorpe State Office Building.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma lawmakers have passed a key deadline and approved hundreds of bills from the floor, but still have no agreement on a plan to cut the state income tax.

Last week was the deadline for bills to be heard on the floor in the house of origin, and this week begins the second round of committee work in the House and Senate.

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