McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State news

February 5, 2013

A User's Guide to the Oklahoma Legislature

OKLAHOMA CITY — The first session of the 54th Oklahoma Legislature convenes Monday for its regular legislative session, with legislative leaders talking about ways to fund necessary infrastructure repairs and improve the state's business climate through a reduction in the state's personal income tax and changes to the workers' compensation system.

A rundown about the lawmakers and the issue's they'll face during the session:

WHAT'S AT STAKE? — As always, the biggest issue is how lawmakers will divide state revenue, currently projected to be about $7 billion. Although the final amount the Legislature will have to appropriate won't be approved until later this month, it's expected they will have roughly $170 million more to spend on this year's budget than last year. But state agencies already have requested more than $1.4 billion in new spending, which leaves it up to lawmakers to determine winners and losers when it comes to the budget.

WHO'S IN CHARGE? — Republicans increased their majorities in both the House and Senate and currently control every statewide elected office. The GOP holds 36 of the 48 seats in the state Senate and 72 of the 101 seats in the state House — both the largest Republican majorities since statehood. Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, will lead the Senate for the third consecutive session, while new House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, is beginning his first term as the leader in the House. Shannon is both the first African-American speaker and, at age 34, the youngest in state history. Gov. Mary Fallin is a Republican halfway through a four-year term.

HOW LONG WILL IT LAST? — Oklahoma's constitution says the Legislature must begin its regular session at noon on the first Monday in February and adjourn "sine die" no later than 5 p.m. on the last Friday of May. (Sine die is Latin for "indefinitely." It is literally translated "without day.")

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State news
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.