May 2016

Fallin vetoes bill: ‘Pro-life’ Gov. Fallin vetoes a bill because it is too ‘vague’

 

Gov. Mary Fallin, who ran for office twice on a “pro-life” platform, has vetoed a bill to ban abortion that passed by large margins in the Oklahoma House and Senate. Fallin’s excuse for the veto was that is was “ambiguous” and could not withstand a “criminal constitutional legal challenge.” Fallin claims that as governor, she […]

GOP legislators push for a $5k teacher pay increase

 

Over 20 members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, representing all four quadrants of the state, are supporting a $5,000 pay raise for all classroom public school teachers statewide while protecting Oklahomans – including teachers – from tax increases. The estimated cost to give the 42,027 classroom teachers in Oklahoma a $5,000 raise would be […]

Out-of-state retailers’ sales tax bill

 

Legislation to place restrictions on out-of-state retailers was signed by Gov. Mary Fallin. House Bill 2531, by state Rep. Chad Caldwell, the Retail Protection Act, will require online retailers that do not have a physical presence in Oklahoma to either begin voluntarily collecting sales tax at the point of consumer purchase or sending each of […]

Capping pay for state employees

 

State Rep. Scott Biggs said a conference committee report will be filed for House Joint Resolution 1062 that would give Oklahomans a chance to vote to limit the salaries of the top-paid state employees. Biggs said he is amending a constitutional amendment that was going unused to include language that would ask voters to approve […]

Senate hikes taxes to generate income

 

The full Senate voted to approve a group of bills aimed at raising taxes to offset the budget gap for the 2017 fiscal year. The finance reform measures will generate more than $250 million in additional taxation that can be appropriated in the 2017 budget as part of a comprehensive effort to address the state’s […]

Mental illnesss bill will affect pleas

 

Defendants suffering from mental illness will be able to enter two new pleas beginning November 1 following the signing of Senate Bill 1214. The bill, by Sen. Ron Sharp and Rep. Justin Wood, modifies the “not guilty by reason of insanity” (NGRI) defense by creating the “guilty but with mental defect” and “not guilty by […]

Religious liberty decision is praised

 

State Rep. John Paul Jordan applauded a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to remand Zubik v. Burwell back to the lower courts: “Zubik v. Burwell consolidated Southern Nazarene v. Sebelius a case I originally filed for a number of Christian universities challenging the requirement for contraception coverage in Obamacare,” Jordan said. “I want […]

Election may be overturned

 

A mistake in the legal publication of a notice concerning the April 5 county sales tax election may result in a new vote. Per state law, Tulsa County officials scheduled a legal notification to run in the Tulsa World for four issues to satisfy state law. It ran only once, a clear violation of the […]

Heavy traffic expected on Memorial Day weekend

 

More Americans are planning to hit the road this summer compared to 2015, according to the annual summer travel study conducted by GasBuddy. Over 75 percent said they would be traveling this summer, a 2.2 percent increase from last year, with an overwhelming majority (79 percent) doing so by car. The staggering differences in gas […]

Raising state taxes will be bad for Oklahoma businesses

 

Raising taxes is the wrong way to solve Oklahoma’s budget shortfall, according to state businessmen. A proposal to put a one cent statewide increase on sales tax will be on the ballot in November. And legislators are looking at a number of what they call “revenue enhancements” that will increase the tax burden, including taxes […]