State Capitol

State of Oklahoma-File Photo

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.

KWGS News File Photo

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.

KWGS News Photo

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.

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.

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