KGOU

2019 legislative session

Lobbyist Spending Nears Record Levels

Jun 18, 2019
Members of the Senate are seen nearing the end of a session in May 2018.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Lobbyists seeking to influence elected officials in Oklahoma continue to spend some of the highest amounts ever in spite of rules intended to curb their practices.

Dick Pryor/KGOU

In this episode of Capitol Insider, freshman Democratic Senator Mary Boren shares her thoughts on Oklahoma's political process, including why she thinks the state legislature is not equipped to deal with "complex issues."

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services’ Human Services Center in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Gov. Stitt has decided to replace the head of the Dept. of Human Services, one of Oklahoma's largest state agencies, with Justin Brown, the CEO of a company that owns assisted living facilities in Oklahoma and neighboring states. In this episode, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss this and more. 

Vaccination has become a dirty word at the Oklahoma Capitol.

Sue Ogrocki/AP Images

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss the final week of the 2019 legislative session. After approving a budget, lawmakers passed several criminal justice reforms, but they left one on the table: bail reform. 

Lawmakers adjourned the 2019 legislative session Thursday. StateImpact reporters followed a number of issues this year. They sit down to talk about the bills that made it to the end of the session and those that are in limbo.

Oklahoma State Capitol Building
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Gov. Kevin Stitt and Republican leaders in Oklahoma's Senate and House of Representatives announced an agreement on the state budget last week. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss the deal, some of its sticking points for Democrats and what's next for legislators. 

Donations To Oklahoma Lawmakers Keep Flowing Even As They Vote On Bills

May 8, 2019
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Tulsa liquor wholesaler Bryan Hendershot had a lot of money on the line when the Senate voted 34-11 to pass Senate Bill 608 on Monday.

The legislation, which passed the House earlier by a single vote, seeks to roll back a narrow part of 2016’s voter-approved alcohol-sales reforms by allowing top wine and spirit brands to be sold by all distributors in the state, instead of allowing manufacturers to decide who can sell their wine and spirits.

Oklahoma Supreme Court chambers
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss the passage of judicial redistricting and whether additional changes to Oklahoma's judiciary are part of Gov. Stitt's agenda.

Supporters of Medicaid expansion gather at the state Capitol on April 24, 2019.
Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

A couple of hundred people rallied in support of Medicaid expansion at the state capitol on April 24. The rally was organized by a coalition of groups called Together Oklahoma, with the goal of pressuring state lawmakers to pass a bill expanding Medicaid in some form this legislative session. Supporters were bused in from Tulsa, Norman, Ardmore, McAlester, and Lawton.

Caroline Halter/KGOU

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley sit down with House Speaker Charles McCall. McCall says it's time for lawmakers to find a way to provide affordable health care to Oklahomans, and Medicaid expansion is one option. 

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss an ongoing effort in Oklahoma to reform occupational licensing. Right now lawmakers are considering making it easier for military spouses and for people with felony convictions to work.

Oklahoma State Capitol
LLudo / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss why lawmakers have once again failed to meet the legal deadline to fund public education and the Stitt administration's plan for more state agency audits.

It has been nearly one year since the teacher walkout, when thousands of educators flooded Oklahoma’s state capitol demanding better pay and more school funding. After nine days and little progress, they turned their attention to the 2018 elections.

The Red Bud dispensary in Marlow, Oklahoma.
Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Red Bud Dispensary in Marlow, Okla. looks like an Apple store, with white walls and track lighting. The dispensary is packed with people, but they aren’t here to buy medical marijuana. The dispensary hasn’t technically opened yet, so it doesn’t even have THC products – the mainly middle-aged crowd is standing around empty glass cases. They are here for something else – a doctor’s recommendation.

With a huge freshman class and a promise for less gridlock, Oklahoma lawmakers filed more than 2,800 bills this legislative session. With a third of the session now over, the StateImpact team has an update on some bills we’re following.

Sue Ogrocki/AP

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley interview Senate Democratic Leader Kay Floyd of Oklahoma City. Floyd explains her opposition to the Republican plan to give the governor more authority over state agencies and her hopes for increasing education funding.

Oklahoma state Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, works in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

In this episode of Capitol Insider, Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat speaks with Dick Pryor about key issues in the 2019 legislative session, including Medicaid expansion and his proposal to increase government transparency. 

Three former legislators who left office in November are now lobbyists, embodying a practice that state ethics officials have unsuccessfully tried to ban in the face of opposition from the Legislature.

Oklahoma Watch

Time is running out for efforts to have a bipartisan, citizen-led commission redraw Oklahoma’s legislative and congressional boundaries – a move that would take the process out of the hands of the Legislature.

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