Once the snow melts, Oklahomans should be seeing more crews working on state highways and bridges.
The Oklahoma Transportation Commission will begin awarding contracts on about $340 million projects Monday. The money for the work comes from the federal economic stimulus package.
Gov. Brad Henry and state transportation officials are holding a news conference this afternoon at the Capitol to show where federal stimulus funds will be spent.
The $340 million in federal stimulus dollars will pay for a number of highway improvement projects across the state, including interstate repairs, major bridge rehabilitations and safety initiatives such as cable barriers.…
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When you’re in the minority party, it’s pretty hard to push your weight around. Democrats were reminded of that Thursday when the Senate Health and Human Services committee passed House Bill 1595 that bans abortions based on the sex of a child, and carries a requirement that doctors take information from women chosing to end a pregnancy and submit it to the Department of Health.
Sen. Tom Adelson, D-Tulsa, summed up the Democratic opposition of this bill simply saying: We’re not against the first five pages of this bill, it’s the remaining 35 that I have a problem with.”
The remaining 35 pages of the bill include a list of questions doctors must ask, including, race, martial status, and the reason a woman wants to end her pregnancy.…
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Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, questioned Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner at a hearing today about the plan to use public money and private investors to clear toxic assets off the books of banks, and about executive compensation.
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Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, is scheduled to talk about colorectal cancer on the House floor today. Looks now like it will be about 3:30 p.m. (central), but I’ll update you. Boren has authored legislation to require insurance companies to cover the costs of screening for the cancer, from which Boren’s mother, Janna, died ten years ago. Boren’s speech will be on C-SPAN.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, is expected to be speaking about the same time today on the Senate floor, C-SPAN 2, regarding Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.…
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It appears John Albaugh, the long-time aide to former Oklahoma Congressman Ernest Istook, won’t be sentenced in federal court in Washington anytime soon for conspiring to help a lobbyist get road projects in exchange for meals and tickets to concerts and other events.
Albaugh’s attorneys filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Washington last week asking permission for Albaugh to move from South Carolina, where he’s having trouble finding work, to Colorado Springs.
In that motion, his attorneys wrote, “In light of his cooperation with the government, it does not appear that the sentencing will take place in the near future.”
Albaugh was Istook’s chief of staff for many years and his top aide on the House Appropriations Committee.…
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Some of Oklahoma’s lawmakers have been alarmed at the idea that prisoners now being held in Guantanamo Bay could be moved to the United States, possibly even Oklahoma, if the Cuban prison is shut down by the Obama administration.
The stockade at Fort Sill has been mentioned as a possible holding place for Gitmo prisoners. However, the correctional facility was ordered to be shut down by the 2005 base closure commission; the operations were to be consolidated at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.…
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Former Oklahoma congressman Mickey Edwards, a Republican, argues in a piece in Politico today that Congress should examine the expansion of executive branch power in the Bush administration.…
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Oklahoma’s congressional delegation has six Republicans and one Democrat, meaning that most of its members are in the minority.
Moreover, the delegation is relatively young in terms of its seniority.
Neither of those two factors bodes well for its clout in Congress. But Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, says the state’s clout moved up dramatically in the last couple of months, from near the bottom to closer to the middle of the pack.…
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Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said Tuesday that he’s glad a government investigator is pursuing his request to probe the leak of a sensitive document last year.
Inhofe said the Inspector General at the Commerce Department has issued a subpoena to the National Wildlife Federation as part of the investigation.
The leaked document was a draft of a new proposal by the Bush administration regarding the Endangered Species Act.
Inhofe requested an investigation of the leak last August.…
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Many people here expect Sen. Tom Coburn to seek another term next year, but the Muskogee Republican isn’t ready to make an announcement.
In an interview last week, Coburn said, “I ran for the Senate (in 2004) because I felt like I was called to run for the Seante. It was something I’m supposed to do. And I’m not about to announce to run again until I know I’m called to do that. And until I know that, I’m sitting tight.”
Coburn said he didn’t want to be here if his heart wasn’t in it.…
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