In the final days, legislators approved three key revenue bills, saying they passed muster with the state constitution. But lawmakers’ earlier comments may put those bills at risk of being overturned in court, which would throw the state back into a budget crisis.
ByTrevor Brown, Jennifer Palmer, Mollie Bryant and Warren Vieth |
In one of the wildest sessions in recent memory, the state Legislature passed its 2018 budget and adjourned. The budget, which Gov. Mary Fallin is expected to sign, will have real-life ramifications for just about every state agency.
Oil and gas companies, along with their trade groups, have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations to lawmakers over more than two years, with top Republican leaders at the forefront of budget talks taking in some of the largest amounts.
Of 10 payday lending bills identified in seven states this year, Oklahoma’s legislation appears to have had one of the higher potential interest rates — 204 percent annually. The bill likely represented a payday lending industry push nationwide.
Each year, Oklahoma legislators and statewide elected officials must report details about their personal finances to alert the public to potential conflicts of interest. This year, however, they generally will be asked to report fewer facts than ever.
Although the state does not post public officials’ financial disclosure forms online, Oklahoma Watch is offering easy access to them on its website. Do you know more than what is revealed on one or more forms?