Mary Fallin

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Oklahoma’s efforts to plug its massive budget gap were dealt a serious blow this week by the state Supreme Court.

As Oklahoma Watch reports, earlier this year, the state Legislature passed a $1.50 per-pack cigarette fee that was supposed to bolster the state’s finances.

But last week, the state Supreme Court ruled that the fee was unconstitutional.

Stephen Pingry / Tulsa World

Oklahoma began its new budgetary year on Friday, and Gov. Mary Fallin published an editorial in the Stillwater News Press defending her state’s accomplishments. While she acknowledged that the past session was challenging, she asserted that Oklahoma lawmakers were able “to fund core mission services such as education, health and human services, and public safety.”

Duncan Banner

Those who choose to drink and drive in Oklahoma will soon face a tougher penalty.

As The Duncan Banner reports, Governor Mary Fallin has signed a law that will result in an ignition interlock on all Oklahoma offenders’ vehicles after their first offense. Previously, the state only required the interlock for multiple offenders and first-timers with a .15 blood-alcohol level.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Last week Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law a new budget, and green groups were cheered to see what appeared to be a boost in funding to environmental agencies.

However, as StateImpact reports, it appears those funding boosts were nothing but smoke and mirrors.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Back in 2012 when voters swept a wave of Tea-Party Republicans into power, Oklahoma lawmakers looked admiringly to their neighbor to the north. Gov. Sam Brownback and his fellow Kansans had begun drastically cutting taxes in expectation that the move would result in a windfall of state revenue.

KFOR

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is growing  frustrated with the slow pace of criminal justice reform in her state.

As KFOR reports, last week Fallin lamented the fact that 10 separate criminal-justice bill had failed to make it to her desk.

Flickr Creative Commons

Yesterday HPPR looked at the balance of power among Republicans and Democrats in state legislatures across the High Plains. Today we thought we’d have a look at the tally when it comes to governorships and national officeholders in our listening region.

Jim Beckel / The Oklahoman

Attempts in the Oklahoma Legislature to fix the state’s massive budget shortfall fell apart this weekend, reports The Oklahoman.

Both chambers had hoped to reach a last minute deal to avoid a special session. But by the end of Saturday it was clear that Oklahoma lawmakers were not going to find enough common ground to avoid working overtime.

KGOU

Oklahoma lawmakers continue to struggle with how to lessen the state's onerous budget shortfall.

As KOSU reports, Oklahoma's budget gap is inching back up toward the billion-dollar mark. Governor Mary Fallin has suggested a dramatic change to the state sales tax to eliminate certain exemptions, in hopes of turning the ship around. She says her long-term goal is to change the tax system to better fit the modern world.

Flickr Creative Commons

The State of Oklahoma reported a $141 million budget surplus this month, reports KOCO. The extra funds will be distributed to state agencies based on need, as determined by the 2016 fiscal year budget.

ncronline.org

Whatever state you live in, you might be wondering if your governor is gearing up for a run at the White House—or maybe it hasn’t occurred to you to ponder the possibility. In any case, The Texas Tribune has devised a handy flow chart to help you determine your governor’s political aspirations. I plugged the names of some High Plains governors into the chart, and here’s what I came up with.

Jacob McCleleand / KGOU

In the midst of Oklahoma’s budget crisis, Gov. Mary Fallin has adopted a one-time fix to fund the state’s public schools and prisons over the next year. The solution involved dipping into what is known as the state’s “Rainy Day Fund,” reports member station KGOU. Last week the governor signed two supplemental funding bills that would take $78 million dollars from Oklahoma’s constitutionally mandated savings account.

KOCO

Oklahoma appears to be in even more budgetary trouble than previously thought, reports KOCO. Last Thursday it was announced that the state’s budget deficit had ballooned to more than $1.3 billion. The new budget deficit is 13 percent larger than December’s estimate of about $900 million. In the face of the massive budget hole, Senate GOP leaders proposed suspending millions of dollars' worth of tax subsidies.

OK.gov

It’s been a tough year for Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin. And things won’t be getting easier anytime soon. When the Legislature convenes in February, it will face a projected budget shortfall of almost a billion dollars, reports Politico.

Fallin Proposes Water Conservation Group

Dec 9, 2015
Public Domain

Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin has revealed a new idea to save water—and reduce earthquakes. Member station KGOU reports that Fallin has announced a new panel called the “Water for 2060 Produced Water Working Group.” The idea is to find ways to meet the state’s goal of using less freshwater in 2060 than was used in 2010.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

State finance official in Oklahoma are worried about the plummeting price of crude.  State ImpactOklahoma reports they are projecting budget cuts and potential job losses.

In the oil field, some energy companies are slashing spending while others try to weather what they hope will be a short downturn.

Gov. Mary Fallin met with top officials in December to certify tax revenues for state budget planning.  Estimates now show a revenue loss of about $300 million.  If oil prices stay low, state agencies could face steep cuts.

Fallin signs abortion hospice care bill

Apr 29, 2014
Ben Ramsey / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill this week requiring caregivers to notify women of the availability of perinatal hospice services for fetuses diagnosed with conditions incompatible with sustaining life after birth.  The perinatal hospice services provide support from the time of diagnosis through the infant’s birth and death according to a report from KGOU.

futurewithinreach.com

Gov. Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 1456 into law recently.  The new measure allows regulated electric utility companies to charge customers who generate electricity from rooftop solar panels or small wind turbines reported StateImpact Oklahoma.

wvut.org

Folks living in rural areas across the High Plains know when the weather is warm, propane is cheap.  When it gets cold, both demand and the price go up.  But, this season the price skyrocketed to unheard of levels due to the combination of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster, wet corn, and a string of winter storms. according to a recent article from StateImpact Oklahoma.