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.…
Read the rest of Senate approves date of birth secrecy bill
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.…
Read the rest of Bills for the blind
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
Read the rest of Budget process underway
The trim Cahill told senators Oklahoma needs to put healthy choices in their school lunch program and make physical education mandatory.
Cahill, who once weighed 439 pounds, said the Biggest Loser television show gave him a “second chance” at life, and Oklahoma children deserve the same.
Cahill, of Broken Arrow, lost 239 pounds in seven months on NBC’s reality television program. To date, Cahill has lost more weight than any other contestant on the show.…
Read the rest of Biggest Loser honored by Senate
Capitol Bureau reporter Michael McNutt and editorial writer Owen Canfield’s video wrap-up of this week’s Capitol news is now online. You can watch it below.
Read the rest of Capitol recap video
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.…
Read the rest of Police: Former senator arrested with beer can in hand
Capitol Bureau reporter Michael McNutt today is writing about Oklahoma legislators reversing themselves already this legislative session. The House on Wednesday voted down an appropriations bill for the state Space Industry Development Authority, which oversees the Oklahoma Spaceport near Burns Flat. After some apparent political wrangling and arm-twisting, House members changed course today and approved the measure. An interesting angle in McNutt’s story in terms of the usefulness of a spaceport in Oklahoma is a comment from Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell, whose district the spaceport is in.…
Read the rest of Timeline set on Oklahoma Spaceport?
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).…
Read the rest of Morning highlights: Bibles and beers
The Corporation Commission had averted employee furloughs, but apparently the funds have run out. Business reporter Jay Marks’ story says employees will be furloughed eight days.
Agencies are furloughing employees to absorb budget costs as the state’s revenues have dropped.
Other agencies with furlough plans in place include:
→Food, Forestry and Agriculture
→Office of Disability Concerns
→Fire Marshalls Office
→Indigent Defense System
→Office of Juvenile Affairs
→Pardon and Parole Board
→Tourism and Recreation Department…
Read the rest of More furloughs come to state government