2018 legislative session

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections was a frequent topic for lawmakers during this year’s legislative session. The department was given an additional $8.75 million to balance its books for fiscal year 2018 and more than $517 million for fiscal year 2019 that began July 1. 

Rachel Hubbard / KOSU

Every year, the foster care system in the U.S. is home to nearly half a million kids. A debate is now brewing in state legislatures and Congress about the best way to get these kids in permanent homes and who has the right to take care of them.

Kris Williams and Rebekah Wilson have been dating for four years. They live together in a modest white house on the west side of Oklahoma City with their two dogs and Ozzy, Kris’s son from a previous relationship.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about Governor Fallin vetoing Senate Bill 1212 which would have allowed anyone over the age of 21 to carry a gun without a permit while signing Senate Bill 1140 allowing private adoption agencies to deny services to anyone based on religious preferences and the newly created and funded agency which will audit state agencies and decide how they should spend their money and which services to provide.

This week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Poltical COnsultant Neva Hill about the 2018 legislative session ending three weeks ahead of schedule with several controversial bills heading to Governor Fallin's desk and the lawmakers might not be finished in this year.

The trio also discusses the numerous bills on the governor's desk, as well as the ones she has signed and the ones she has vetoed.

ROD WADDINGTON / FLICKR/CC BY-SA 2.0

A bill that would allow Oklahomans to carry handguns in public without getting permission from the state is on Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk.

State senators gave Senate Bill 1212 their final approval late Wednesday night on a measure that allows gun owners to carry their firearms openly or hidden from view without a permit, passing state background checks or paying the related fees. They also won’t have to take 16 hours of firearms safety training currently required before carrying a gun in public.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about an attempt by a group backed by former Senator Tom Coburn to veto the tax increases which are funding pay raises for teachers, support staff and state workers and lawmakers push through some questionable bills and leaves some on the table in its plan to end the 2018 legislative session three weeks early.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

State Senators sent Gov. Mary Fallin new standards for sentencing teens to life without parole Wednesday.

The standards were requested by state district attorneys and are a response to a U.S. Supreme Court ban on mandatory life without parole sentences for teens.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Tucker McGee is in prison for murdering teenager JaRay Wilson. McGee was days away from turning 18. Now, more than five years after the murder, Legislators and district attorneys fear his sentence of life in prison without parole is on the verge of being reduced.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a budget deal at the State Capitol could lead to an early end to the 2018 legislative session, the state House passes an amended criminal justice reform bill which makes it easier for juveniles to get life without parole and Governor Fallin vetoes a measure which would have allowed people to take selfies with their ballots.

QUINTON CHANDLER/STATEIMPACT OKLAHOMA

Gov. Mary Fallin signed seven criminal justice reform bills this week ending a bumpy ride for legislation designed to curb prison population growth in Oklahoma.

Fallin says the measures represent smart ways to protect public safety, keep families together — and save taxpayer money.

Most of the legislation was introduced in 2017 but stalled in committee. This year, the bills were reconsidered after compromises between legislators, district attorneys and other government agencies.

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