ByTrevor Brown, Warren Vieth, Jennifer Palmer and Clifton Adcock |
Oklahoma Watch writers annotate key parts of Gov. Mary Fallin’s “State of the State” address Monday, offering context and analysis. Fallin called for eliminating the sales tax on food and the corporate income tax, while endorsing a teacher pay raise and hiking the tobacco and gasoline taxes.
Online retail giant Amazon will start charging sales taxes to Oklahoma customers in March – a move that will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to state and local governments. However, it won’t address next fiscal year’s budget shortfall.
State lawmakers will have their hands full dealing with bills to change the state’s education system when Oklahoma’s legislative session begins two weeks from Monday. Check our visualization of bill topics for the past three years.
Perhaps concerned about possible cuts to state programs and business incentives, lobbyists again have spent more on gifts for legislators and state officials in the months heading into the legislative session.
A recent federal court ruling, and a new calculation, could open a wave of redistricting challenges across the country. And that includes Oklahoma, where Republicans now control nearly 80 percent of the statehouse seats.
A law firm representing law enforcement agencies across the state has issued advice to some agencies that they have the right to withhold many records from public view, including agency budgets, payroll, contracts and inventory.
Nearly half of the contributions given to a federal political action committee closely tied to Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt came from the energy industry, according to Federal Election Commission documents.