The Norman Transcript

State/Region

February 4, 2013

State revenue, funding on legislators’ plates

OKLAHOMA CITY — The first session of the 54th Oklahoma legislature convenes today for its regular legislative session, with legislative leaders talking about ways to fund necessary infrastructure repairs and improve the state’s business climate through a reduction in the state’s personal income tax and changes to the workers’ compensation system.

A rundown about the lawmakers and the issue’s they’ll face during the session:

· What’s at stake: The biggest issue is how lawmakers will divide state revenue, currently projected to be about $7 billion. Although the final amount the legislature will have to appropriate won’t be approved until later this month, it’s expected they will have roughly $170 million more to spend on this year’s budget than last year. But state agencies already have requested more than $1.4 billion in new spending, which leaves it up to lawmakers to determine winners and losers when it comes to the budget.

· Who’s in charge: Republicans increased their majorities in both the House and Senate and currently control every statewide elected office. The GOP holds 36 of the 48 seats in the state Senate and 72 of the 101 seats in the state House — both the largest Republican majorities since statehood. Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, will lead the Senate for the third consecutive session, while new House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, is beginning his first term as the leader in the House. Shannon is both the first African-American speaker and, at age 34, the youngest in state history. Gov. Mary Fallin is a Republican halfway through a four-year term.

· How long will it last: Oklahoma’s constitution says the legislature must begin its regular session at noon on the first Monday in February and adjourn “sine die” no later than 5 p.m. on the last Friday of May. (Sine die is Latin for “indefinitely.” It is literally translated “without day.”)

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State/Region
  • Fallin disappointed SBAdenied loans

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Mary Fallin said Thursday she is disappointed that a federal agency denied a request for loans to businesses in two Oklahoma towns affected by an emergency bridge closure....

    April 18, 2014

  • Oklahoma Senate approves limits on abortion drug

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to further restrict the use of abortion-inducing drugs in Oklahoma in a bill written in direct response to a recent state Supreme Court decision....

    April 16, 2014

  • March Oklahoma revenue misses mark by 9.1 percent

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s finance secretary says collections by the general revenue fund fell 9.1 percent below the official estimate in March....

    April 16, 2014

  • University of Tulsa researchers find new species

    TULSA — A salamander first discovered by a University of Tulsa doctoral student in 2011 is being hailed as a new species in an international journal for animal taxonomy....

    April 16, 2014

  • Oklahoma House passes state trooper pay raise bill

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could get their first pay raise in seven years under a plan given final legislative approval Tuesday, though it remains unclear whether money will be available in the overall state budget to ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Barresi decries plan to eliminate Okla. tests

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma State Superintendent Janet Barresi is raising concern about a bill before the Legislature that would eliminate state testing in social studies and geography....

    April 16, 2014

  • State-mandated minimum wage draws ire across state

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Organizers seeking a higher minimum wage in Oklahoma are upset with Gov. Mary Fallin’s decision to sign a bill that prohibits cities in the state from establishing mandatory minimum wage or vacation and sick-day ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Oklahoma’s 8-month streak without tornado falls

    TULSA — After Oklahoma’s eight-month streak without a tornado was snapped this weekend by a pair of suspected twisters, the state’s wild weather jag continued into Monday, with blowing snow from the Panhandle to Tulsa and freezing ...

    April 15, 2014

  • 4 now charged in college player’s death

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A fourth person was charged Monday in the death of an Australian baseball player who was fatally shot as he jogged in a southern Oklahoma neighborhood last summer....

    April 15, 2014

  • Fallin signs minimum wage increase ban

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Cities across Oklahoma are now prohibited from establishing mandatory minimum wage or vacation and sick-day requirements under a bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Mary Fallin....

    April 15, 2014