Oklahoma

Budgets In Brief - June 19 2017 | 06-16-2017

IL Gov Calls Special Budget Session ILLINOIS Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) has called a special session to try to end the state’s unprecedented budget impasse that has already drug on for two years and will enter its third on July 1. The special session...

Budgets In Brief - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

GA Gov Signs Rural Investment Tax Credit Bill GEORGIA Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed legislation ( SB 133 ) providing $60 million in tax credits for companies that invest in businesses in rural areas. The measure has been both criticized as a handout...

Tax Cuts Creating Distress In OK | 05-04-2017

A few years ago when Oklahoma’s economy was booming, Republicans who control the state’s government pushed through a permanent reduction in the state’s top income tax rate and slashed the oil production tax rate by 5 percent (from 7...

Education - May 1 2017 | 04-28-2017

Oklahoma Approves HB 1693 The OKLAHOMA Senate approves HB 1693 , which would overhaul the Sooner State’s public school accountability system to give equal weight to student performance in English language arts and mathematics as well as student...

Governors In Brief - May 1 2017 | 04-28-2017

AK Lawmakers Dodge Walker Call for Action On Appointments Saying it was “time to bring [them] to a close,” ALASKA Gov. Bill Walker (I) issued a proclamation last week calling for a joint session of the Last Frontier Legislature to force...

Budgets In Brief - April 17 2017 | 04-14-2017

NH HOUSE FAILS TO PASS BUDGET NEW HAMPSHIRE’s Republican-controlled House failed to pass the budget proposed by the chamber’s Finance Committee for the first time since the 1960s, due to limited Democratic support and a “large faction”...

Opioid Overdose Rates Up and Rising in States | 03-31-2017

Between 2014 and 2015 death rates due to opioid overdose rose by over 25 percent - more than twice the national average (11 percent) - in five states and the District of Columbia. The five states with the highest opioid death rates in 2015 were West Virginia...

Health & Science - April 3 2017 | 03-31-2017

Oklahoma Senate Declines SB 226 The OKLAHOMA Senate Judiciary Committee declines to hear SB 226 , so-called “Good Samaritan” legislation that would have allowed Sooner State law enforcement discretion to not arrest someone who calls for...

This Could Explain A Lot | 03-17-2017

If you have ever seen legislation come out of a statehouse and wondered, “What is wrong with those folks,” freshman Rhode Island Rep. Moira Walsh may have the answer. As radio station WPRO in East Providence reports , when asked during a recent...

Crime & Punishment - March 13 2017 | 03-10-2017

US Supreme Court Rules Overturn Colorado Supreme Court Ruling The United States Supreme Court rules that reports of racist comments by jurors may require setting aside a verdict and holding a new trial. The ruling overturns a COLORADO Supreme Court...

Conditions Ripe For State Gas Tax Hikes | 02-17-2017

With gas prices at their lowest point in over a decade, gas tax-fueled transportation funding having failed to keep pace with mounting road repair needs and a chaotic post-election period providing a chance to take on controversial issues, there may never...

Budgets In Brief - February 6 2017 | 02-03-2017

Indian Gaming Boosting OK Economy Native American tribes have paid the state of OKLAHOMA over $1 billion in exclusivity fees since 2006, according to a report from the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association. The report also indicated that tribal gaming...

OK Dem Wants to Eliminate Straight-Party Voting | 12-16-2016

Oklahoma Sen. J.J. Dossett (D) has filed a bill ( SB 9 ) that would do away with straight-party voting in the state. “I think it is unnecessary to have the straight-party option,” he said. “I think it is something that might have...

Social Policy - December 19 2016 | 12-16-2016

Social Policy In OH OHIO Gov. John Kasich (R) vetoes HB 493 , which would have made it a fifth-degree felony, punishable by up to one year in prison, for a physician to perform an abortion without checking for a fetal heartbeat or performing the procedure...

Consultants Recommend OK Curb Wind Power Incentive | 11-11-2016

The most significant recommendation this month from a consulting firm hired by Oklahoma to review the hundreds of millions of dollars in business incentives it doles out every year was to limit an income tax credit for wind-power electric generating plants...

Citizen Initiatives Push Ballot Measures Left This Year | 10-14-2016

In addition to state legislative elections that could flip party control of 18 chambers across the country, 157 statewide ballot measures will also be contested in 35 states on Nov. 8. The measures include an unusually high number of citizen initiatives...

Social Policy - October 10 2016 | 10-07-2016

Social Policy In Oklahoma The OKLAHOMA Supreme Court rules that a 2015 law ( SB 642 ) that would have made it a felony for someone to help a minor obtain an abortion without parental consent is unconstitutional. The court ruled that the law, which...

States Sue To Block Federal Overtime Rule | 09-30-2016

Twenty-one predominantly Republican-governed states have filed a federal lawsuit challenging a new Obama administration rule extending mandatory overtime pay to millions of American workers. The rule, which was finalized in May and takes effect in December...

Business - September 19 2016 | 09-16-2016

Business In Oklahoma The OKLAHOMA Supreme Court rules that a 2013 law giving Sooner State employers the power to “opt out” of the state workers’ compensation system and write their own plans is unconstitutional. The law, which supporters...

Public Pension Return Rates Lagging In States | 08-19-2016

Investment returns for large public pension plans in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015 were significantly lower than the plans’ assumed rates of return, according to money management news source Pensions & Investments . The one-year return...

Budgets In Brief - August 22 2016 | 08-19-2016

Medical Marijuana Could Give Big Budget Boost to OH Annual medical marijuana sales in OHIO , legalized by Gov. John Kasich’s (R) signing of HB 523 in June, could reach $400 million in two or three years, making the state one of the nation’s...

Most States Allow Transportation Network Companies | 08-12-2016

Thirty-seven states have passed laws regulating transportation network companies (TNCs), according to the R Street Institute and LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking database. The most recent addition to that group is Delaware, where Gov...

Texas et al Win Challenge To Obama Immigration Policy | 07-15-2016

Twenty-five states joined Texas in challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration policy in November 2014, expanding temporary relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants. Fifteen states also filed amicus, or “friend...

Little Correlation Between Gun Laws and Worst Mass Shootings | 07-08-2016

Three of the eight states where the deadliest mass shootings since 1984 have occurred - California, Connecticut and New York - are among those with the strictest gun laws, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. None of those shootings took...

Federal Judge OKs OH Voter Purge | 07-01-2016

A federal judge ruled last month that Ohio Secretary of State John Husted (R) had the authority to purge thousands of inactive voters from the state’s voter rolls. The American Civil Liberties Union had alleged that Husted’s policy of removing...

Hoop Bribery | 06-17-2016

Kevin Durant of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder is set to become a free agent soon. As one of the league’s best players, he is for sure gonna cash in big time. But while teams in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago or Dallas might be able to offer...

Business - June 13 2016 | 06-10-2016

CA Approves AB 1676 The CALIFORNIA Assembly approves AB 1676 , which bars employers from asking job applicants for their salary histories. The measure is now in the Senate (LEXISNEXIS STATE NET). PA Gov Signs HB 1690 PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom Wolf...

Budgets In Brief - June 13 2016 | 06-10-2016

OK Revenues Hit 6-Year Low OKLAHOMA Treasurer Ken Miller reported last week that state revenues fell to a six-year low in May, with collections in every major revenue category, including income taxes, sales taxes, motor vehicles taxes and taxes on...

Social Policy - June 13 2016 | 06-10-2016

OK Gov Signs HB 2797 OKLAHOMA Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signs HB 2797 , which requires Sooner State education officials “to establish, operate and maintain a public information program to educate the public about the humanity of a child in utero”...

Crime & Punishment - May 23 2016 | 05-20-2016

AZ, OH, OK Delay Executions Pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer announces it will enact protocols to ensure states are no longer able to use drugs it provides as part of carrying out a lethal injection execution. At least 20 other U.S. and European...

Health & Science - May 23 2016 | 05-20-2016

NC Approves SB 734 The NORTH CAROLINA Senate approves SB 734 , which allows the state’s Health Director to issue a statewide standing order making the anti-overdose drug Naloxone and other “opiod antagonists” available in drug stores...

Social Policy - May 23 2016 | 05-20-2016

OK Approves SB 1552 The OKLAHOMA Senate approves SB 1552 , legislation that would outlaw all abortions and subject providers to a loss of license and jail time. It moves to Gov. Mary Fallin (R) for consideration (OKLAHOMAN [OKLAHOMA CITY]). KS Gov...

Majority of States Looking at Daily Fantasy Sports | 05-13-2016

Thirty-three states have considered legislation related to daily fantasy sports this year, according to LegalSportsReport.com and LexisNexis State Net legislative data. DFS bills have been passed in four states, including Virginia, which enacted two....

OK Governor Signs Justice Reform Package | 04-29-2016

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signed a quartet of bills last week aimed at reducing the Sooner State’s burgeoning prison population. Oklahoma leads the nation in incarceration rate for women and is second nationally for men. The measures,...

Budgets In Brief - May 2 2016 | 04-29-2016

Internet Tax Bill Advances in OK The OKLAHOMA Senate passed an amended version of HB 2531 last month that will require out-of-state companies to provide Oklahoma customers a statement at the end of the year indicating the amount of their purchases...

Flurry of Remote Sales Tax Bills in States This Year | 04-08-2016

At least a dozen states have introduced legislation in 2016 related to out-of-state, or remote, sales taxes, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking database. Most of the bills have been aimed at expanding the definition of a state...

Education - April 11 2016 | 04-08-2016

Education in MA The MASSACHUSETTS Senate endorses SB 2203 , legislation that would gradually lift the cap on the number of charter schools in the Bay State but tie that to increased funding for all public schools. The measure now moves to the House...

Politics In Brief - April 4 2016 | 04-01-2016

High Court Denies Challenge of CO Pot Laws The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear NEBRASKA and OKLAHOMA’s challenge of COLORADO's marijuana legalization laws. The 6-2 vote means COLORADO’s first-of-their-kind cannabis laws will...

More States Oppose Obama Immigration Policy Than Support | 03-18-2016

Texas and twenty-five other states have filed suit to block President Obama’s executive actions in November shielding undocumented immigrants from deportation for three years, according to the Pew Research Center. Twelve states have filed an amicus...

Budgets In Brief - March 21 2016 | 03-18-2016

KY House Approves Constitutional Tax Hike On a 60-31 vote, the KENTUCKY House approved an amendment to the state’s Constitution this month (HB 2) that would authorize local governments to increase their sales tax by up to 1 percent to provide...

OK House Endorses Fallin Justice Overhaul | 03-11-2016

The Oklahoma House passed a four-bill package of sentencing and justice reforms backed by Gov. Mary Fallin (R). The measures would: raise the dollar amount needed to make a property crime a felony (HB 2751); allow district attorneys discretion in filing...

Fallin Bans the Box in OK | 03-04-2016

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) issued an executive order (EO 2016-03) on Feb 24 making the Sooner State the 20th to “ban the box” by requiring state agencies to eliminate questions about felony convictions from employment applications. ...

Budgets In Brief - February 22 2016 | 02-19-2016

Christie Rolls Out Budget Proposal Gov. Chris Christie (R) returned to NEW JERSEY from the presidential campaign trail on Wednesday to propose a $34.8 billion budget for the coming fiscal year. That marks a $1 billion, or 3.1 percent, increase in spending...

States take action on Mental Health First Aid | 02-04-2016

During the 2013-14 legislative year, 14 states enacted bills related to Mental Health First Aid - CPR-like training to help emergency personnel, teachers and others recognize and respond to mental health disorders - according to the National Council for...

Lottery-Fixing Investigation Spreads Nationwide | 01-08-2016

Last summer, Eddie Tipton, a former security officer for the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), which administers several multi-state games including Powerball and Mega Millions, was convicted of rigging a jackpot in Iowa in 2010. Now Tipton is facing...

Most States Increasing Spending in 2016 | 12-18-2015

States enacted budgets for fiscal 2016 that will increase general fund spending by an average of 4.1 percent, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers. The biggest spending bump, New York’s 14.7 percent increase, is largely...

Budgets In Brief - December 21 2015 | 12-18-2015

KY Teacher Pension Liability Tops $24B: KENTUCKY’s ailing Teachers’ Retirement System announced an unfunded liability of $24.4 billion for 2015. That sum is a nearly $3-billion increase from the $21.5 billion unfunded liability for 2014...

Medicaid Expansion Big Factor in State Insured Rates | 11-20-2015

Massachusetts had the lowest percentage of residents without health insurance last year, 3.3 percent, according to a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Texas had the highest percentage of such residents, at 19.1 percent. All five of the states...

OK Dems Opening Primaries to Independents | 11-20-2015

The Oklahoma Democratic Party announced last week - on the 108th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood - that it will open its primary elections to independent voters, who have long been disenfranchised during primaries. Republican voters slightly outnumber...

Budgets In Brief - November 23 2015 | 11-20-2015

SC Expecting Big Budget Surplus SOUTH CAROLINA budget forecasters say the state will have an extra $1.2 billion to spend in the 2016-17 budget year. About $380 million of that sum will come from the state’s growing economy, with the rest coming...