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AM NewsBrief: Apr. 25, 2024

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Thursday, Apr. 25, 2024.

Senate Overrides Governor's Veto of Oklahoma Survivors' Act

Despite sailing through the Senate and the House, Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoed a sentencing reform bill for survivors of domestic violence on Tuesday evening. Less than 24 hours later,The Senate voted to override Stitt’s veto.

In his veto message, Gov. Stitt said Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat’s Oklahoma Survivors’ Act was — quote — “bad policy”, and included a hypothetical scenario in which a victim of domestic abuse goes on to commit a crime against uninvolved people years later and is able to submit evidence of their prior abuse as mitigation in sentencing.

However, prior to the Senate voting 46-1 to override Stitt’s veto on Wednesday afternoon, Treat said he had no communication from the Governor’s office regarding the bill during the session prior to the veto.

The language of the bill directs the courts to reduce the sentences of survivors of domestic violence who were being abused at the time they committed a crime and whose abuse can be proven to be a substantial contributing factor to said crime.

The veto override can now be taken up by the House.

Governor Vetoes Expansion of Oklahoma's Noxious Weed List

Gov. Kevin Stitt opposes the expansion of Oklahoma's noxious weeds list. Stitt vetoed a bill that would have added two new plants to a list of invasive species that landowners are required to keep under control.

Thistles are the only weeds included in Oklahoma's Noxious Weed Law.

This law requires landowners to control and eradicate three types of thistles on their property to prevent them from spreading.

House Bill 3186 would have added kudzu, a vine that overruns other plants and structures, and poison hemlock, which is toxic to humans and animals, to that list.

The measure passed the House of Representatives in an 86-3 vote and the Senate 41-2 vote, but Gov. Stitt vetoed the bill.

He wrote in his veto notice that the noxious weed control is a “worthy endeavor,” but he would prefer to entrust plant control to individual landowners rather than the state.

OU Stephenson Cancer Center to Expand to Tulsa

A major Oklahoma health provider is coming to the eastern part of the state.

"We will be expanding and extending NCI-level cancer care to thousands more in Oklahoma because we are bringing Stephenson Cancer Center to Tulsa," University of Oklahoma President Joe Harroz said Wednesday at a press briefing.

According to a press statement, the new branch will start seeing patients and conduct clinical trials as soon as this summer.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum joined the announcement, praising the move. Bynum says the facility will not only help those in his city, but all throughout eastern Oklahoma.

"Most of the people who receive treatment in our healthcare ecosystem here in Tulsa don’t live in Tulsa. It’s a minority population," Bynum said.

Cherokee Nation Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner also praised the move, highlighting its potential impact on his tribe.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Oklahoma has one of the highest cancer death rates in the country.

Thunder Dominate Pelicans in Game 2, Secure 32-Point Victory

The Oklahoma City Thunder cruised to a 32-point victory over the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday night in Game 2 of their opening NBA Playoff series 124 to 92 .

OKC jumped out to a lead early in the game, and never looked back, capitalizing on the Pelicans’ 17 turnovers, with 22 points coming directly from them.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the way for the Thunder with 33 points, while Chet Holmgren added 26 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks.

Holmgren emphasized it was a team effort.

“It took everybody that touched the floor tonight. Everybody came ready," Holmgren said. "Keyed in on the game plan, keyed in on, ya know, their skills, getting ready for the game and we came out ready. We were making shots, we were clicking, getting out in transition and getting stops on defense. That’s a good recipe”

OKC now takes their two to nothing lead in the best-of-seven series to New Orleans on Saturday afternoon.


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