State Rep. Shane Jett is expected to announce today he is running for the congressional seat being vacated by Mary Fallin.
Jett, R-Tecumseh, will become the second state lawmaker and the sixth Republican to enter the race for the open 5th Congressional District seat.
Jett is passing up re-election to serve in the congressional district that covers most of Oklahoma County and Seminole and Pottawatomie counties.
Jett, elected in 2004 to House District 27, will announce his congressional bid at noon today at the state Capitol, according to his campaign.…
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Gov. Brad Henry and legislative leaders tonight announced an agreement on how the state’s reserve funds should be used to fill the state’s budget hole for this fiscal year.
The agreement calls for using $223.5 million of the state’s savings account, the Rainy Day Fund, for this fiscal year and $223.5 million to be available for the upcoming 2011 fiscal year, which starts July 1. That would leave about $149 million in the Rainy Day Fund.
House and Senate budget committee members approved bills today that authorized where the money would be spent.…
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The Senate this morning unanimously approved a bill making the birth dates of public employees confidential.
Senate Bill 1753 passed 44-0. There was no discussion. The bill, authored by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City, now goes to the House for consideration. It does not have a title, which is needed to become law.
Open government advocates oppose the bill. Public employee groups support it.
Without dates of birth, it is nearly impossible to conduct accurate background checks of employees who are paid by taxpayer dollars.…
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Sounds like at least one state representative read Carrie’s stuff. Rep. Anastasia Pittman, D-Oklahoma City, has authored three bills that aim to fix the problem by providing better educational opportunities to the state’s blind students. Pittman recently won support for the bills from stakeholders in the state’s visually impaired community – many of the same people Carrie interviewed for her stories.…
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An agreement should be announced today on how state leaders will take care of a nearly $500 million deficit at the end of this fiscal year.
The agreement, which will show much of the state’s savings account will be tapped to balance this fiscal year’s budget, apparently was ready to roll out Wednesday, but legislative leaders were unable to show it first to all lawmakers.
A couple interesting things to note in the agreement will be how much of the state’s Rainy Day Fund was used for this fiscal year, which ends June 30.…
Read the rest of Fiscal year 2010 budget agreement reached; details to be announced today
Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee has named members to the General Conference Committee on Appropriations.
Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, announced the 23 members and ex-officio members yesterday. The committee is expected to meet Thursday to discuss 2010 budget issues and 2011 budget issues.
Sen. Mike Johnson, R-Kingfisher – Chair
Sen. David Myers, R-Ponca City – Vice Chair
Sen. Cliff Aldridge, R-Midwest City
Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid
Sen. Randy Bass, D-Lawton
Sen. Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa
Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso
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The property taxes for people over 65 would be frozen under a measure that passed the Senate Finance committee yesterday. The measure has to be approved by voters and would apply people of all incomes.
Senate Joint Resolution 57 would freeze the property valuations of people who are 65 or older at five percent. Currently property valuations freezes are allowed to people who make as much as $58,500 in Oklahoma City and $57,600 in Tulsa.
The legislation, by Sen. Jim Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, proposed the measure last legislative session, but the bill did not get a hearing in the House.…
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The folks over at the Oklahoma Policy Institute released a report this morning on Oklahoma’s numerous tax credits, incentives and rebates. In short, they call for greater transparency and more consistent reviews of existing incentives. From their conclusion:
Rather than accept all tax preferences that are currently in law, or reject them en masse as giveaways [...]
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The state’s online vehicle tag renewal system went online today.
The Oklahoma Tax Commission had wanted to launch the system last month, but it delayed the online service after legislative leaders asked the agency to postpone activating the service after hearing concerns from tag agents that the service would cut into their business.
The Tax Commission activated the system today with little fanfare. The system, called CARS for Convenient Auto Renewal System, allows for the online renewal of most vehicle tags.…
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The Senate has a busy Monday scheduled. On the Senate floor, lawmakers are expected to vote on a bill that would keep the birth date of public employees confidential and a bill that would create penalties for party bus operators who allow underage drinking on their rigs.
Sen. Debbe Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City, says she filed SB1753 after hearing about an Attorney General’s opinion that says birth dates are presumed to be a public record on the Oklahoma Open Records Act. The opinion said birth dates are only closed when the agency proves that releasing them would violate an employee’s privacy.…
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