Commentary

Thu
31
May

Mary Fallin Requests Major Disaster Declaration Funding for Six Oklahoma Counties

By Connie Burcham

Gov. Mary Fallin announced May 26 that the state has requested a major disaster declaration from the federal government for six counties impacted by wildfires and severe weather that occurred April 11-20.

If approved, the designation would deliver federal funding to assist municipalities, counties and rural electric cooperatives with infrastructure repairs, debris removal, and other eligible costs.

The counties in the request are: Custer, Dewey, Harmon, Pushmataha, Roger Mills and Woodward.

Two deaths and multiple injuries were attributed to numerous wildfires that burned more than 350,000 acres statewide in April. Eastern Oklahoma also experienced severe weather on April 13, including damaging winds and large hail.

 

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Thu
17
May

Geary Police Department to Install Cameras around City to Thwart Thefts

By Connie Burcham

Aside from a lengthy discussion on issues inside the police department, the Geary City Council dealt with a full spate of issues in its May 10 meeting.

All council members, Johnny Burns, Trey Carter, Tabbitha Kiener, Craig Wright and Mayor Bobby Allen, were in attendance.

The first matter on the agenda was a suggestion that the council help the Canadian Rivers Museum with its utility costs.

 

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Thu
10
May

Mother’s Day’s Roots Can Be Traced Back to Civil War

By Connie Burcham

Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908 in Grafton W. Va. It was created by Anna Jarvis as a memorial to her mother, Ann, who had passed away the previous year. Ann Jarvis was a peace activist who nursed soldiers from both sides during the American Civil War.

The correct name is Mother’s Day, for a single person, rather than Mothers’ Day, for all mothers. Jarvis wanted the day to be for each family to recognize their own mother.

The second Saturday in May became the accepted day for the holiday when President Woodrow Wilson acknowledged it in 1914. Many other nations celebrate something similar, although those celebrations are held all around the calendar.

 

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Thu
04
Jan

Often at Odds, Trump and GOP Relish Tax Win

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump's unpredictable, pugnacious approach to the presidency often worked against him as Republicans navigated a tumultuous but ultimately productive year in Congress. Trump's major accomplishments, confirmation of conservative Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and a major tax cut, actually came with relatively little drama.

But Republicans often struggled to stay on the rails, particularly with a big pratfall on health care and repeated struggles to accomplish the very basics of governing

 

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Thu
04
Jan

Happy New Year to All Across Oklahoma Near and Far

By Mike Sanders State Representative District 59 Oklahoma House 

 

This past year presented some challenges for people in our House District, people throughout the state and for lawmakers at the state Capitol. There’s still plenty of work to do, but things already are looking better for the future. Revenue in the state is up for 11 of the past 12 months.

Employers say they are hiring – manufacturing, oil and gas, wind industries are among those increasing jobs. We’re getting some things cleaned up in our state agencies so they can operate more efficiently, saving taxpayer dollars. New leadership is in place in several areas, and light is shining bright on areas that need further restructuring.

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Thu
28
Dec

Tax Reform: A Christmas Gift to Oklahomans

By Markwayne Mullin

 

This week, the House and Senate delivered a gift to the American people— just in time for Christmas. Congress passed a historic overhaul of our nation’s tax code by way of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This Christmas, Oklahomans should be excited that four out of every five taxpayers are going to get a tax cut come the new year, according to the Tax Policy Center. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act roughly doubles the standard deduction and allows individuals to deduct the first $12,000 of their salary from their taxes.

Married couples who file jointly are eligible to claim the first $24,000 taxfree under the standard deduction. By increasing the child tax credit to $2,000 and maintaining the adoption tax credit, we’re encouraging families to grow—not discouraging people from having kids or adopting

 

Thu
28
Dec

House Special Investigation Committee to Continue

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Josh Cockroft (R-Wanette), the chair of the House Special Investigation Committee, today said he is pleased with how the investigation has unfolded to date and that the Committee intends to follow up on several revelations learned during the last two weeks. Cockroft said testimony from witnesses has revealed there is insufficient oversight in the executive branch, inadequate internal controls in both the Department of Health and the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) and a lack of communication between agency leadership and the Governor’s Office.

Thu
07
Dec

Governor Fallin’s Statement on House Committee Withdrawing Subpoena

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today issued the following statement after the House of Representatives Special Investigation Committee withdrew its subpoena on her chief of staff, Chris Benge:

“My office wants full transparency on what caused the serious financial issues at the Oklahoma State Department of Health. On October 30, I brought together the fiscal staff of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, the state attorney general’s office and the office of the state auditor and inspector to look into the matter to immediately investigate and bring forth clarity to the situation, and offer solutions to ensure proper fiscal management of the Department of Health. Legislative leaders have been briefed about the situation.

 

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Thu
07
Dec

The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, Explained

By Markwayne Mullin United States Congressman Oklahoma District 2

Millions of Oklahomans work hard day in and day out to bring home a paycheck that fits the needs of their family. I believe they deserve better than a 70,000 page tax code full of loopholes and Washington special interests.

That’s why I voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act earlier this month. The House bill simplifies our tax code, reforms the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and delivers bigger paychecks and fairer taxes for all Americans. The new tax plan is fairer and simpler than before.

First and foremost, under our tax bill, each individual can claim a $12,000 standard deduction and each married couple can claim $24,000. Your standard deduction falls into the ‘zero’ tax bracket and is taxed at 0%.

 

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Thu
23
Nov

Can’t Support Cut to Transportation in Oklahoma

By Mike Sanders State Representative District 59 Oklahoma House

I voted no on the stop-gap budget bill this week.

From day one I have been a supporter of the County Improvements for Roads and Bridges (CIRB) Fund. I have voted against state budgets in the past because they dipped too heavily into transportation. It’s one thing when our partners in transportation tell us they have enough to complete their projects and that we can pull the excess for other necessary state services. But, when Western Oklahoma county commissioners tell me this will hurt projects currently in the five-year plan, I believe them, and I stand with them.

Safe and well-maintained roadways are a vital part of our infrastructure, allow for economic development in rural Oklahoma and, most of all, assure our families can travel safely in their daily routines.

 

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