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Today In The News
Oklahoma officials say no agreement on tax hike despite earlier rumors: Finger pointing returned to the state Capitol Thursday as House Democratic leader Scott Inman strongly denied an online media report that the governor and House Democrats were close to reaching an agreement to raise $1 billion in taxes to resolve the state’s budget problems. House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, said such a deal would have no chance of obtaining approval in the Republican-dominated House. “It would appear to me that somebody within the House Republican leadership probably leaked this plan as a way to try to torpedo or sabotage the current budget negotiations,” Inman said at a news conference [NewsOK]. With the doomsday clock ticking, how might the state’s budget emergency be solved? [OK Policy]
Oklahoma has more than 1,400 emergency certified teachers now: Less than a month into a new school year, Oklahoma has already set a new record for the number of emergency certified teachers in public school classrooms. The state Board of Education approved 574 new emergency certificate requests at its Thursday meeting, bringing the total for this year to 1,429. The board approved 1,160 emergency certificates all of last year. “Even if they perhaps have certification in another field … they are walking in the door without the training or experience to be able to meet the needs of kids on Day One,” said state schools superintendent Joy Hofmeister [NewsOK].
Oklahoma inmates sue Gov. Fallin, parole board over unsafe conditions: A group of Oklahoma inmates filed a lawsuit against Gov. Mary Fallin in federal court on Thursday. The lawsuit alleges unfair parole hearings and corruption among top Oklahoma lawmakers. According to recent data, Oklahoma incarcerates women at a higher rate than any other state in the country. Also, there are more African-American men behind bars in Oklahoma per capita than anywhere else in the United States. According to the plaintiffs, Oklahoma prisons are the most dangerous in the country [KFOR]. Oklahoma’s prisons are still on a path to disaster [OK Policy].
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