Kevin Stitt

Ryan LaCroix / KOSU

This session was far less contentious than last session in part because lawmakers were working with a budget surplus. Oklahoma teachers didn’t stage any walkouts, but education was still a dominant topic.

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 final agreement on a budget between legislative leaders and Governor Stitt and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, a conservative think tank, levels a constitutional challenge against an initiative petition to put Medicaid expansion before voters on the 2020 ballot.

oksenate.gov

A Senate panel has advanced Governor Kevin Stitt’s nominee for Secretary of the Budget.

The process was halted last week after a fiery debate in the Senate Appropriations Committee, but, on Monday, members voted unanimously to support Mike Mazzei for the job.

Part of the contention last week involved worries the new governor was telling agencies not to talk to lawmakers, but Mazzei immediately calmed concerns in his opening statement.

Ryan LaCroix / KOSU

Oklahoma lawmakers are facing a deadline to finish their work in the next three weeks.

The most important duty before the 2019 legislature ends is crafting a budget for the 2020 fiscal year, which starts on July 1. But, so far, nothing has been released.

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 row in a Senate committee over a gubernatorial nomination for Finance Secretary as worry grows concerning executive power over state agencies, criminal justice advocates worry about a former corrections reform opponent working on Stitt's team and the House opens an investigation against a Republican lawmakers leveled by the co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party.

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.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Criminal justice measures moving through the legislative process got a boost this week as Gov. Kevin Stitt announced a new initiative Wednesday focused on giving offenders second chances.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and siting in for Ryan Kiesel is ACLU Oklahoma Political and Advocacy Director Nicole McAfee about the State Supreme Court overturning a law limiting abortion-inducing medication, Governor Stitt signing a bill forcing abortion clinics to put up signs saying a drug induced abortion is reversible and the governor vetoing a bill giving overtime pay to state workers making less than $31,000 a year.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about a ruling by the State Supreme Court saying the lawmakers can't put a $350M cap on pain and suffering, supporters of Medicaid expansion file an initiative petition to get it put on the ballot in 2020 and Governor Stitt recognizes his first 100 days in office.

 

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.

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