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AM NewsBrief: Feb. 16, 2024

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Friday, Feb. 16, 2024

Update On Tax Cuts Following Certification Of State Budget

Legislative leaders remain at an impasse on approving tax cuts. That’s after the latest certification of the state budget Thursday

The Oklahoma State Board of Equalization certified lawmakers will have $11.1 billion in authorized funds for Fiscal Year 2025. That is money they can allocate to state agencies and programs for that year.

House Speaker Charles McCall points out his chamber has moved income and grocery tax cuts forward.

"The house has already passed a number of inflationary bills last session that sit in the Senate today, they could be brought up for a vote at any time," said McCall

Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat says there is not enough money in next year’s budget to justify both tax cuts. He says eliminating the state grocery tax would mean more immediate inflation relief for Oklahomans.

McCall says the income tax cut will protect Oklahomans better in the long run.

Oklahoma Lawmakers Advance Bill Allowing Pharmacists To Dispense Certain Contraceptives

A bill that would allow pharmacists to dispense certain types of birth control is advancing in the Oklahoma Legislature.

Senate Bill 1541 was authored by Duncan Republican Jessica Garvin. It says pharmacists can dispense self-administered hormonal contraceptives, which the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists defines as including the pill, patches, vaginal rings and an injectable form.

The bill could make contraceptives more accessible and affordable because there would be no need for Oklahomans to visit a provider to get a prescription.

It would also allow pharmacists to test, screen and treat minor, non-chronic health conditions. That includes things like strep, the flu, COVID-19 and lice. The bill unanimously passed through the House Health and Human Services Committee and is now waiting to be heard on the House floor.

QuikTrip Opens First Store In OKC Metro

A longtime Tulsa-based convenience store has opened its first location in the Oklahoma City metro.

QuikTrip welcomed customers this morning (Thursday) to their new location in Moore at I-35 and NW 27th.

Another store is being built in Oklahoma City near I-35 and Hefner Road. It’s expected to open later this year.

Oklahoma Music Hall Of Fame To Induct New Musicians This Weekend

A new class of musicians will be inducted Saturday into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in Muskogee.

Known for up-tempo tunes and tight harmonies, country group Ricochet headlines this year’s class. Led by Vian singer Heath Wright, Ricochet’s self-titled debut earned them a certified gold record in 1996, behind the strength of a number one country hit in “Daddy’s Money.”

Also being inducted into the hall is Oklahoma City singer Bryan White, who landed four number-one country hits in the mid-90s with songs like “Someone Else’s Star.”

Rounding out the class are songwriter Verlon Thompson, conductor Timothy Long, educator Jerry Huffer, guitarist Shelby Eicher and business manager David Webb.

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