Claremore Daily Progress

Top Stories

January 29, 2014

Gov. Fallin proposes election for school safety plan

OKLAHOMA CITY —

 Gov. Mary Fallin said Wednesday that Oklahoma voters should have a chance to weigh in on efforts to improve school safety in the wake of killer tornadoes last year, suggesting a one-time increase in local bond limits as long as the money raised is used for storm shelters or increased safety on campuses.
Local governments are limited in how much debt they can carry, but Fallin suggested allowing school districts a one-time chance to borrow enough money to build shelters or make other improvements.
Speaking at the Associated Press Legislative Forum, a gathering of Capitol leaders held annually before each session of the House and Senate, Fallin said she was heartbroken when seven schoolchildren died during a May 20 storm at Moore.
Many have proposed a state bond issue to raise $500 million, but Fallin said Wednesday that wouldn’t be enough money, could cut into other state programs and, at 700 districts, would be moot because they already have shelters.
“There are schools that may already have safe rooms that may want to look at other safety needs and evaluate those,” she said, suggesting bulletproof glass or metal detectors. “The schools may just want help in reviewing and looking at emergency plans they have in place.”
Increasing local bonding authority would require a vote of the people. Fallin said her proposal would set an election for November.
Earlier Wednesday, the head of the Oklahoma Senate said balancing next year’s budget will be challenging because Oklahoma hasn’t enjoyed economic growth of late. Senate President Brian Bingman said legislators may have to consider tax credit changes and other reforms to balance the state’s books for the 2015 fiscal year.
Another issue likely to come up in the session that begins Monday is whether Oklahoma should cut income taxes. The Legislature approved a tax cut last session, but the Oklahoma Supreme Court later found the measure unconstitutional.
House leaders presented different takes on whether Oklahoma should slash income taxes. House Minority Leader Scott Inman said a proposed tax cut would harm state services, but House Speaker Pro Tem Mike Jackson said a reduction would help grow the economy.
Compared to this year’s budget, legislators will have about $170 million less to spend on state programs next year.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • Students paint mural Catoosa High School artists paint mural to instill respect, inspiration

    Catoosa High School students, Devin Jackson and Spencer Plumlee, recently put the finishing touches on a mural that took more than a year to complete. 

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local attorneys fight to eliminate judgment

    Claremore attorneys — Thomas H. Williams and Jack E. Gordon Jr. —   filed a petition Tuesday to vacate the $27.9 million judgment awarded to Material Service Corp. 

    April 18, 2014

  • Rogers County Water Dist. 16 receives grant

    Rogers County Rural Water District No. 16 received a $24,999 grant Tuesday to help finance expansion of the district’s water supply infrastructure.  

    April 18, 2014

  • Grand Jury recesses until June 24

    The multicounty grand jury charged with investigating accusations of misconduct by Rogers County officials recessed Thursday until June 24-26, saying it needed to hear from more witnesses before returning a finding in the matter.

    April 17, 2014

  • Harps Food opens new store in Inola

    On April 23, Harps Food Stores will reach a new milestone in their company’s history with the opening of its 75th store. 

    April 17, 2014

  • helping children Tri-County CASA seeks additional volunteers as child abuse cases increase

    From 2010-2013, Oklahoma has seen an increase in children entering foster care. According to Oklahoma Department of Human Services reports, approximately 11,000 children are in state’s custody because of child abuse or neglect — 4,000 in the Tulsa area alone and more than 100 in Rogers County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Judge refuses to dismiss Grubowski in DA suit

    A judge has denied businessman Myron Grubowski's motion to remove him from the defamation lawsuit filed by District Attorney Janice Steidley against sponsors of last fall's unsuccessful citizens petition for a local grand jury investigation of her  office.

    April 17, 2014

  • Controversial schools chief attracts crowd of opponents

    The field of candidates running for state school superintendent is unusually large — a sign of broad interest in what observers say is sure to be a referendum on the incumbent, Dr. Janet Barresi.

    April 17, 2014

  • Jennifer Hodges Claremont Elementary teacher named the winner of $2,500 classroom grant

    Jennifer Hodges, a fifth grade teacher at Claremont Elementary, has been named winner of a $2,500 grant through the Farmers Insurance Thank A Million Teachers program. The national initiative invites citizens to offer thanks to teachers, past and present, who have made a difference in their lives.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commissioners hire outside counsel

    The Rogers County Commissioners hired outside legal counsel Monday to contest the $28 million civil judgment paid to Material Service Corp.

    April 16, 2014