Budget & Tax
Criminal Justice

Bail bill rejected in House

Members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives rejected legislation Wednesday that would have allowed more criminal suspects to be released from jail without bail after critics said it would lead to more crime and the bill’s author admitted he did not know how much the measure would increase taxpayer costs.

Ray Carter
May 23, 2019
Budget & Tax

Democrats’ anti-savings argument: People are ‘dying’

Urging lawmakers to spend rather than save money, Democrats painted an apocalyptic picture of Oklahoma’s future if government spending is not increased further.

Ray Carter
May 22, 2019
Education

PLAC’s partisanship becoming obvious

Oklahoma PLAC this year endorsed the House Democrats' plan to spend every penny of this year’s historic surplus and to enact millions of dollars in new taxes on income and investment. PLAC also opposed Gov. Kevin Stitt’s efforts to put qualified women and minorities on the State Board of Education.

Staff
May 22, 2019
Budget & Tax, Education

Lawmakers vote to junk April 1 school-funding deadline

A seldom-obeyed law mandating passage of a public school budget by April 1 may soon be a thing of the past. House Bill 2769, which repeals the funding deadline, has passed both chambers of the Legislature and is headed for the governor’s desk.

Ray Carter
May 22, 2019
Budget & Tax, Education

Democrats call for dramatic education spending increase

This year’s state appropriation for K-12 schools was above $3 billion for the first time ever. It’s now estimated K-12 schools will have received a $638 million increase in appropriations in just two years, including money for an average combined two-year pay raise of $7,320 for teachers.

Ray Carter
May 22, 2019
Education

In education funding, appropriations don’t tell the whole story

Non-appropriated revenue has accounted for more than 64 percent of new education revenue every year since fiscal year 2006. This revenue has grown from $3.4 billion to $4.1 billion when adjusted for inflation. While state appropriations have remained relatively flat other sources of revenue have grown. Local revenue sources have grown 36 percent since 2006.

Curtis Shelton
May 21, 2019
Budget & Tax

Department of Health finances defy budget critics’ claims

Legislative Democrats have argued state government should not set aside $200 million into savings, as provided for in the Republican-authored budget. Instead, Democrats say the money would be better spent at agencies. But in making that case, Democrats have chosen an odd agency to champion.

Ray Carter
May 20, 2019
Budget & Tax

Total state revenue collections hit record high

Total gross receipts collected in April 2019 were $1.58 billion—an increase of 12.7 percent, or $178 million, from the same month in the prior year. The General Revenue Fund (GRF) grew 25.5 percent from the same month the previous year, collecting $509 million.

Curtis Shelton
May 20, 2019
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