Governor Mary Fallin
Governor Mary Fallin today said the Legislature must return in special session to deal with the $215 million shortfall caused by a proposed smoking cessation fee being struck down.
“No money can be spent from any state fund unless the Legislature specifically appropriates it,” said Fallin. “Let’s be clear. The Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) does not have the authority to transfer monies to the affected agencies from different sources without legislation directing him to do so.” Continue reading
The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled today that a $1.50 cigarette fee scheduled to go into effect this month is an unconstitutional tax.
In an opinion that drew support from every justice, the Court noted that the Legislature introduced four bills that would have created a similar cigarette “tax,” but abandoned them because of lack of support. Late in session, lawmakers finally adopted a “smoking cessation fee.” Continue reading
Governor Mary Fallin
Analysis: Governor Mary Fallin Monday issued an executive order establishing a task force to undertake an organizational analysis of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
Claimed to build on last month’s changes made by the Commission to streamline operations and realign divisions, this analysis will look at what steps can be taken to improve the operations of the agency, but no citizen outside government is named nor is the OK Auditor and Inspector included. Continue reading
In discussions of funding for public education, an important point is often overlooked: the sheer number of school districts within Oklahoma and the administrative costs that accompany them.
Caddo County—a 1,200 square mile county in southwest Oklahoma—has almost as many school districts as the entire state of Nevada. Continue reading
Oklahoma student talks with Superintendent Hofmeister
The Oklahoman is reporting today that charges against State Schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister and four other defendants have been dismissed.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater on Tuesday dropped the felony case against all defendants “pending further investigation.”
DA Prater has often looked to political cases and select public issues to advance his visibility and name recognition – in this case, failing miserably. Continue reading