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Today In The News
Lawmaker calls for study of ‘unconstitutional legislation’: For years, State Sen. Kay Floyd (D-Oklahoma County) has kept a list handy when bills become law. It’s a list of bills she expects to be challenged and eventually struck down in court. “I have had constituents come to me and say, ‘There were three pieces of legislation that were found unconstitutional the last couple years. Do y’all not know what you’re doing?'” she said. “I think when lawmakers are perceived as not knowing how to make law, that that hurts the perception people have of how our government is supposed to work.” [KFOR]
Lagging sales tax collections blamed for 11 percent drop in state revenue for July: Funding for state government continued spiraling downward in July as weak sales tax collections in the first month of the state’s 2017 fiscal year dragged general revenue collections 4.4 percent below expectations and 11.1 percent below the same month a year ago. The general revenue fund is the state’s basic operating account. The Office of Management and Enterprise Services reported that state sales tax receipts were 7.5 percent below expectations and 8.4 percent below the same month a year ago [Tulsa World].
Indian tribes, Oklahoma reach deal on water rights dispute: Negotiators for two Indian tribes and the state of Oklahoma said Wednesday they have reached a settlement that would end a modern-day water rights and tribal sovereignty dispute that has its roots in the 19th century. The Chickasaw and Choctaw nations have claimed Oklahoma isn’t abiding by the 1830 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, which gave them authority over water in their jurisdiction. The state claimed the tribes are ignoring an 1866 pact in which they gave up certain rights after backing the Confederates in the Civil War [Chicago Tribune].
Survey finds more homeless OKC residents: Despite increased efforts to provide housing, the homeless population in Oklahoma City is on the rise, according to the latest census by the Homeless Alliance. The agency’s most recent Point in Time head count found about 1,500 people this year living on the streets, local shelters and makeshift camps. Homeless Alliance Executive Director Dan Straughan said that sample statistically suggests a total homeless population of 6,000-7,500 and a 16-percent increase from the 2015 census [Journal Record]. The 2016 Point-in-Time report is available here.
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