Gary Jones

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and sitting in for Ryan Kiesel is Democratic State Representative Forrest Bennett.

Caroline Halter / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

People over 65 are the most likely to vote. They’re also the group that’s most likely to point to government issues — like mismanaged taxpayer money — as their biggest political concern, according to a poll commissioned by Oklahoma public radio stations.

Martha Buehring, a 71-year-old Republican and former military wife, is one of many older Oklahomans who are frustrated with the state budget.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Polls have closed in Oklahoma. We'll be updating this post as results come in.

Updated 12:28 a.m.

Former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett will face Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt in a runoff for the Republican nomination for governor.

Cornett, Stitt and Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb were all polling closely leading into Tuesday's primary election. There had to be an odd man out to reach to the runoff. The odd man out was Lamb.

Cornett finished with near 29 percent of the vote. With 1948 of 1951 precincts reporting, Stitt led Lamb 24.43 to 23.88 percent.

oag.ok.gov

The six-month investigation into financial mismanagement at the Oklahoma State Department of Health is complete — and no criminal charges will be filed.

A grand jury started probing the agency in November after officials reported a sudden budget shortfall. The resulting financial crisis led to the layoffs of nearly 200 employees and an emergency infusion from lawmakers of $30 million to help the agency stay solvent.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter on Monday released an audit and other documents related to a corruption probe his office fought to keep secret.

The records stem from an investigation launched in 2011 of the Lead-Impacted Communities Relocation Assistance Trust, which was set up to buy contaminated properties and relocate residents near the Tar Creek Superfund site, a former lead and zinc mine in northeastern Oklahoma.

Oklahoma state auditor Gary Jones testified Thursday that whistleblowers warned his office of possible fraud months before the State Department of Health nearly missed payroll due to alleged mishandling of $30 million dollars.

Jones provided a detailed timeline describing early efforts to unravel how funds were mismanaged, who knew and when. He told the house investigative committee that an unnamed health department manager came forward in late July to alert his office of financial mismanagement at the state health department. Within days, four more employees came forward.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A watchdog group is suing two state officials to force them to hand over documents related to corruption allegations at the Tar Creek Superfund site in northeastern Oklahoma.

Washington, D.C.-based Campaign for Accountability requested documents related to a 2011 investigation of the Lead-Impacted Communities Relocation Trust, a public trust set up with government money to buy contaminated properties and relocate residents near the abandoned lead and zinc mine.

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 special election for a House seat which stays in Republican hands after the GOP gets a win in Seminole and Pottawatomie Counties, a $430M revenue bill stalls after a fight over expansion of tribal gaming and Governor Fallin reiterates her threat to veto a bill which just contains more cuts to already suffering state agencies.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

Superintendents across Oklahoma are begging lawmakers to do something about school funding. Ultimately, school officials want more money, but that requires raising taxes, which is a tough thing to do in Oklahoma—for many reasons. However, this year, solutions are popping up in unexpected places.

The Superintendent of Ponca City Public Schools, David Pennington, said if education funding is cut next year he is going to have to drastically change the way his school functions.  

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The 2017 legislative session is beyond the halfway point and the clock is ticking on lawmakers who have until the end of May to set the state’s budget and plug an $870 million funding hole. Legislators say every option is on the table, including one with growing public support: Increasing taxes on oil and gas.

First, it was state Democrats like minority leader Scott Inman, who have long argued Oklahoma’s taxes are too generous for oil and gas companies.

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