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AM NewsBrief: Dec. 6, 2023

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2023.

Oklahoma Senate Leader Details Plans To Make State Budget Process More Transparent

Oklahoma Senate leaders are vowing to make the state budget process more transparent.

Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat told reporters his chamber will unveil a budget proposal in mid-March, more than a month before they have in the past.

Oklahoma Voice reports lawmakers have long faced criticism for the state's opaque budget process. Often, the budget will be hammered out behind closed doors by members of the House and Senate, leaving the public in the dark.

OKCPS Moves Forward With New High School

A new high school for Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) will be built on the city’s northeast side.

The Oklahoma City council Tuesday approved a rezoning request for OKCPS to build the Belle Isle Enterprise High School.

The school will be built near Wilshire and the Broadway Extension.

Construction will be funded through a bond that voters approved in November 2022.

According to official plans, the school will have a football field and two baseball fields on site.

The school is expected to open for the 2026-27 school year.

Oklahoma's Oldest College Going Up For Auction

The oldest college in Oklahoma is facing a murky future as its land is set to go up for auction this month.

Bacone College's entire campus could be sold off at a sheriff’s auction thanks to a contract lawsuit.

A judge ruled the college owed Utah-based HVAC company MHEC over a million dollars for unpaid work.

Now, the owner of the very company that sued Bacone, says he might bid on the college at the auction on Dec 14.

Dr. Nicky Michael is Bacone’s interim president. She’s unsure of her school’s future.

“I really am holding out hope and we're praying, but I have not heard from anybody that says, ‘yeah, we're going to help you out,’” said Michael.

Bacone serves students from many Indigenous nations. School officials say if they can’t continue operation, they’ll have to transfer students or get them into the workforce with partial education.

Early Voting Begins Soon For OKC Arena

Voters will start heading to the polls this week to decide whether to use taxpayer funds to build a new arena in downtown Oklahoma City.

The arena would be built at a minimum cost of $900 million, with the majority of funds coming from a 72-month penny sales tax that would start in 2028.

Early voting takes place Dec. 7 and 8 from 8am to 6 pm. Counties participating in the Oklahoma City arena vote - Canadian, Cleveland, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie - are holding early voting at their respective county election board offices.

Election Day is Tuesday, Dec. 12.

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