Jeff Rabon, a former state senator from Hugo, was arrested on a public drunkenness complaint late Tuesday at an Oklahoma City hotel.
Rabon smelled of booze and could barely stand up when police found him in the lobby of Sleep Inn at 5200 N Classen, according to an Oklahoma City police report. He was holding an empty Bud Light can.
Hotel workers told police that Rabon stays there frequently and had been kicking a panel in an elevator and refusing to stay in his room.…
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Capitol-related highlights from Wednesday Feb. 3:
- The Bible bill passed a Senate appropriations subcommittee. Senate Bill 1338 establishes an elective Bible study class for state high school students – a class the bill’s author, Sen. Tom Ivester, D-Elk City, says is needed for a “well-rounded education.” Read the story.
- The beer bill passed a House committee. House Bill 2348 abolishes a seldom-enforced law that bans beer from being brewed at home. Home brewers raised a pint cheering the bill (even though most didn’t know, or care, the law existed).…
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Bryan Dean’s story today about Oklahoma City’s budget problems touched on why police officers and firefighters have been spared from layoffs in the cash-strapped city (for now). Dean reported that MAPS 3 is to thank:
Although most departments cut a full 2 percent from their budgets, police and fire were spared the full brunt of the cuts, thanks to passage of MAPS 3.
Because voters approved the MAPS 3 sales tax, the council was allowed to institute a corresponding use tax, which is charged instead of sales tax on items bought from outside the city for use within city limits.
Read the rest of OKC, Tulsa face similar public safety struggles
Highlights of Capitol-related happenings yesterday:
- A federal appeals court ruled that some parts of Oklahoma’s controversial anti-illegal immigration laws are enforceable, but others aren’t. The ruling paves the way for continued challenges of the law spurred by the infamous House Bill 1804, which was authored three years ago by Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore. Read the story.
- The state Corporation Commission will furlough employees. Read the story.
- The state’s chief medical examiner was put on leave by the agency’s board – yet another blow to the embattled agency.…
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Journalists and open government advocates in Oklahoma are following a bill scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee today at 2 p.m.
Senate Bill 1753 seeks to make confidential the dates of birth of public employees, which are currently open under the state Open Records Act. The bill was filed by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City.
Dates of birth are a key component used by reporters and others to conduct accurate background checks of people. We’ve written a couple stories lately about this issue that are linked below.…
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Washington Bureau Reporter Chris Casteel gave us the heads up on the Senate Armed Service Committee’s hearing today on the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, is a member of that committee.
If you want to watch the hearing, it begins at 11 a.m. and will be streaming online at the committee’s Web site.
If you want background, TIME Magazine just published a good article explaining how we got to today’s hearing on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.…
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Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland announced today that she will seek re-election this year. NewsOK has the story.…
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Here’s the promised wordcloud of Gov. Brad Henry’s final State of the State speech. As expected, budget is among the big words. Full text as provided by Henry’s office is below wordcloud.
Members of the House and Senate, Lt. Governor Askins, President Pro Tempore Coffee, Speaker Benge, Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court, distinguished Cabinet and elected officials, honored guests and my fellow Oklahomans and friends:
Facing Crisis with Resolve
As I stand before you today to deliver my final State of the State address, I am honored and humbled to have worked with you – my respected colleagues and friends – to improve the lives of Oklahomans.
Read the rest of 2010 State of State wordcloud
Talked to Steve Hunt this morning. Scratch that – talked to Oklahoma City mayoral candidate Steve Hunt this morning. Wow. As I told Hunt, that’s a phrase I never thought I’d hear, much less say.
But alas, Hunt made his candidacy official Friday when he filed the proper paperwork to take on Mayor Mick Cornett in the mayoral election in March. Bryan Dean wrote about Hunt’s candidacy in Saturday’s newspaper.
I met Hunt about eight years ago when we were both students at Oklahoma State University.…
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Education was the big theme when Gov. Brad Henry gave his first State of the State address seven years ago. During his final State of the State speech this morning, the big buzzword will undoubtedly be budget (or lack thereof).
Here’s a look at Henry’s past State of the State speeches through wordclouds generated from the transcript of those speeches. We’ll post a wordcould of the 2010 State of the State speech later today.
(Wordclouds are text-driven graphics that display words based on their prominence in a body of text.…
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