Claremore Daily Progress

Top Stories

May 8, 2013

House, Senate panels OK $7.1B budget bill

OKLAHOMA CITY —

A $7.1 billion general appropriations bill to fund state government for the upcoming fiscal year cleared its first legislative hurdles among rank-and-file legislators, easily passing House and Senate committees on Wednesday.

The bill next will be considered by the full House and Senate and is expected to pass, despite opposition from Democrats and some Republicans that it didn’t place enough of a priority on public safety entities.

Some members from both parties voiced concern that the budget included about $5 million for the House and Senate to renovate office space, but failed to include funding for pay raises for prison workers or state troopers.

“My concern is that the troopers and public safety is a core function of government,” said Rep. Sally Kern, R-Bethany, the lone Republican who opposed the bill in the House committee. “I think that should have been a higher priority.”

The House and Senate each received a $1 million boost in their budget for operational costs, plus the Legislative Services Bureau received a $5 million appropriation to pay for renovating space on the second floor of the Capitol that was vacated when the Oklahoma Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals moved to a new building.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Scott Martin, R-Norman, said most of the nearly $270 million of new funding spent on the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 went to public education, health care and human services.

“I really think the budget does reflect the will of the body,” Martin said. “I think we have created a fair, balanced budget that we can be proud of.”

The bill passed the House committee on an 18-8 vote.

In the Senate, where the bill passed 16-6, two Republican opposed the measure, voicing concern that a $30 million fund set up to pay for renovations to state buildings could be used to complete work on the unfinished Native American Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City. That project stalled after the Oklahoma Legislature declined to issue $40 million in bond funding to finish construction. Several legislators have been critical of the museum’s total costs, which are estimated at $171 million.

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