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AM NewsBrief: Oct. 11, 2022

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022.

Oklahoma's five tribes to endorse Hofmeister for Governor

Leaders of Oklahoma's five largest tribal nations will endorse Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister in her bid for Governor.

Leaders of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Muscogee, Choctaw and Seminole nations plan to announce their endorsement at a press conference in Oklahoma City later today.

The leaders say Hofmeister has shown respect for tribal sovereignty and a commitment to work with the state's 39 federally recognized tribes.

Stitt is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation, but has a strained relationship with the tribes, following constant battles over tribal sovereignty, gaming compacts and hunting and fishing license compacts.

Rate hikes for Oklahoma Gas and Electric customers

OG&E customers will soon see higher prices on their energy bills.

OG&E points to rising natural gas prices as the reason for the recent price increase. Beginning this month, customers will see an increase of 7.4% on fuel charges. That adds up to a little under $10 more each month for the average customer.

The company says the rate hike is to recover fuel costs incurred in August that haven’t yet been collected from customers. It plans to spread out that cost increase over the next 2 years.

OG&E says things could change, though. While unlikely, if fuel costs decrease, it’ll refund customers the amount that was over-collected and reduce fuel costs in monthly bills.

Lawmakers let Stitt's COVID funding vetoes stand

Lawmakers are letting the governor’s vetoes on COVID spending stand.

Legislative leaders tell The Oklahoman they won’t be coming back in special session this week to override Gov. Stitt’s veto of more than $24 million for three projects.

The vetoes impact funding for the Oklahoma Arts Council, OETA and the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

The legislature plans to take up the remaining American Rescue Plan funds in the next session starting in February.

Voter registration deadline

Oklahomans wanting to vote in the November general election need to register by this Friday, Oct. 14.

The Nov. 8 election will include races for Governor, State Superintendent, federal and state offices, and more.

Eligible voters can download a registration application online at elections.ok.gov, or pick up one at any county election board, and most tag agencies, post offices and libraries.

As of the end of September, nearly 2.3 million Oklahomans are registered to vote. Every recognized party in the state, except the Democratic Party, has seen gains in registered voters since the beginning of the year.

Oklahoma farmers and ranchers will soon see more drought relief money

Gov. Kevin Stitt has approved $20 million to help farmers and ranchers who have suffered crop and livestock loss during the drought.

Josh Emerson is a livestock producer in McIntosh County, and says the drought relief funds will especially help farmers and ranchers with water supply.

“Some runoff… I’ve got probably 20 to 25 ponds, and I would say eight of them are dry and several others will be dry in a few weeks if we don’t get some runoff.”

The Oklahoma Emergency Drought Commission will decide how to disperse the relief funds to farmers and ranchers.

If the commission allocates the money similar to the cost-share share program it recently approved, Emerson says he and other ranchers will be happy to get a percentage of their drought project paid off.

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