Department of Public Safety

The coronavirus pandemic is hurting state revenues and public safety agencies in Oklahoma are preparing for a potential 3 percent cut to their budgets in the next fiscal year.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections could lose more than $16 million dollars. To adjust, the agency is considering moving prisoners out of private prisons into temporary holding areas in state prisons.

Corrections director Scott Crow told legislators this week they would also still have around $4 million meant to pay for prisoner Hepatitis C treatment.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU' Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the decision by the Secretary of State's office to move forward with counting signatures on a petition to stop permitless carry, rather than waiting on a ruling from the State Supreme Court.

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The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority will give $5 million to help fund the 2018 Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy.

The deal was announced in a press conference Thursday afternoon with state lawmakers and leaders from the OTA, OHP, and Department of Public Safety.

DPS Commissioner Mike Thompson says OHP is smaller today than it was in 1990. And with 125 troopers eligible for retirement, OHP anticipates as many as 30 troopers retiring each year.

Budget cuts are forcing McAlester’s Department of Public Safety Office to close two days a week.

Representative Donnie Condit says 30,000 to 40,000 of his constituents are facing hardships because of calls for smaller government.

"The cutting of the income taxes was not very wise at this time. We should have put it off, but we didn't. And then also there are a lot of tax credits and tax loopholes and things like that that companies can get such as the oil and gas industries and the banks that have hurt the states."