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AM NewsBrief: Sept. 12, 2023

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023.

Stitt Calls For Another Special Session

The Oklahoma Legislature is headed for another special session this fall. Gov. Kevin Stitt is asking for significant changes to the state’s tax system.

This will be the second special session of the legislature in 2023 following the official end of the regular session in the spring.

This time, Stitt is asking for three things: A tax cut that puts Oklahoma on a path toward zero state income taxes, a measure to increase budget transparency and a request sure to cause more friction between his administration and tribal nations.

Stitt wants a trigger law mandating if a state or federal court finds that because of an individual’s race, heritage, or political classification, that person doesn’t have to pay a state tax, then no Oklahoman will have to pay that tax.

Stitt’s executive order calls for the legislature to convene on Oct 3.

Teen Charged As Adult In Choctaw High School Shooting

An Oklahoma teen has been charged as an adult in a fatal shooting at a high school football game.

The Oklahoman reports 15-year-old Dayvion Hamilton was charged Friday in Oklahoma County District Court with first-degree murder.

Hamilton is accused of killing 16-year-old Cordea Carter at Choctaw High School on Aug. 25.

According to police, Hamilton was formerly a student in the Mid-Del school district, but was not attending at the time of the shooting. He was arrested Aug. 30.

The victim was a student at Midwest City High School

Oklahoma County DA Seeks To Drop Case Against Glynn Simmons

Oklahoma County District Attorney Vicki Behenna announced her office is seeking to dismiss their case against a man who, until recently, had been in prison for nearly 50 years.

In 1975, a 22-year-old Glynn Simmons was found guilty of murdering Carolyn Sue Rogers at an Edmond liquor store. He was sentenced to death by electrocution but was later given a life sentence following a 1977 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

After serving 48 years in prison, now 70-year-old Simmons was set free on bond in July after his conviction was thrown out when his trial was found to be unfair.

While DA Behenna originally requested a new trial for Simmons, on Monday she announced that since her office cannot prove that Simmons shot and killed Rogers, they are seeking to dismiss the case.

September Statewide Virtual Charter School Board Meeting

Oklahoma’s Statewide Virtual Charter School Board elected its last round of officers before the board dissolves next year.

Despite an open question about whether board member Brian Bobek can even begin his term on the board, he was still nominated to be Board Chairperson at Monday’s meeting. He ended up losing to current chair Robert Franklin, but did manage to get the Vice Chairperson position. William Pearson was elected as Board Clerk.

My only concern is, and I think I’ve said this since the beginning, is, I am worried about Mr. Bobek’s service on the board. I respect that he is here, I respect what he’s doing. But the technicality of whether that meets muster or not is, I think, my biggest concern," said Franklin.

The event underlines one of the big potential hangups to the board’s controversial split decision in June to approve the application for the St. Isidore of Seville Virtual Charter School, which would be the nation’s first publicly funded religious school.

The Oklahoma attorney general’s office says state law doesn’t allow Bobek to serve on the board until November. It’s unclear how many decisions Bobek has voted on that could be affected by his eligibility status.

Election Day In Oklahoma

Voters in 34 Oklahoma counties will head to the polls Tuesday or elections on school bonds, municipal propositions and more.

In Sapulpa, voters will consider a $279 million dollar school bond package, the majority of which will be used to fund the construction of a new high school campus, which is more than 60 years old. The property sales tax increase would also fund a new performing arts center, storm shelter and indoor athletic facility.

Oklahomans across eight counties will vote on a $75 million dollar bond to fund improvements to two Canadian Valley Technology Center campuses. The El Reno campus is seeking to build a new public safety training facility for law enforcement cadets, firefighters, paramedics and EMTs. Meanwhile, Canadian Valley’s Chickasha campus is seeking major renovations to its facilities.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

You can check your polling location and view a sample ballot at elections.ok.gov

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