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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 85,724

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

'Schools are feeling like theyre in free fall' says State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said a shortfall in one of the main state revenue sources for public schools will easily top $100 million before the end of June — and the impact of that loss is widely misunderstood.

Hofmeister addressed the topic among others at Public Radio Tulsa’s “Give and Take” on education event, held Thursday evening at the Central Library.

“Schools are feeling like they’re in free fall right now,” Hofmeister said. “Just for education, we have lost $82 million since February, and that will exceed $100 million by June.”

She explained to the 50 or so people gathered at the event that the greatest loss of funding isn’t from state budget cuts, but from tax revenues that simply haven’t come into the 1017 Fund, or Education Reform Revolving Fund, anywhere close to the levels anticipated by state leaders.

Read more: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/education/schools-are-feeling-like-they-re-in-free-fall-says/article_0a8730e7-7227-5ef8-9806-8c96ae104c77.html

[font color=330099]I'm surprised that Hofmeister had time to comment since she was indicted for conspiracy and accepting illegal campaign contributions.[/font]

State senator admits campaign fund mistakes, resigns

OKLAHOMA CITY — Facing new accusations that he embezzled his own campaign funds, state Sen. Kyle Loveless resigned Thursday and admitted he made mistakes.

The conservative Oklahoma City Republican stepped down two days after his defense attorney, Mack Martin, met with Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater about the accusations.

He became the third Oklahoma senator in the past two years to resign in disgrace after coming under criminal investigation. His resignation is effective immediately and is irrevocable.

A criminal investigation into his campaign finances has been underway since February.

Read more: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/government/state-senator-admits-campaign-fund-mistakes-resigns/article_e9e72ffa-5a53-5f62-9e89-83504517f369.html

Lawmakers make little progress closing $878 million budget hole

OKLAHOMA CITY — With one month left in the legislative session, lawmakers have made little progress on closing an $878 million budget hole.

Last week, legislators postponed and rescheduled several budget committee meetings, added and dropped bills from agendas and gave the public little notice of what tax and revenue-raising measures were under consideration.

Despite that, legislative leaders say they are confident they will come up with a budget and avoid a special session.

“Meetings have been productive this week,” Senate Majority Floor Leader Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, said Thursday. “You may not see all results of the productivity. This time of year there are always rumors flying around of war and gnashing of teeth.”

Read more: http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/lawmakers-make-little-progress-closing-million-budget-hole/article_ea51fc98-95d9-5ba2-b0ef-a824f44c3090.html

Black judge says repeating 'N' word in appellate opinion was 'unnecessary'

The lone black judge on the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has rebuked Presiding Judge Gary Lumpkin for repeatedly quoting a murderer's use of the "n" word in a published opinion.

The opinion, released Friday, upheld the Tulsa County conviction of Charles Gustaves Johnson Jr., 71, in the 2013 murder of Duchone Whitworth.

"I concur in the decision reached by the court in this matter. However I write separately to point out that the author of this opinion did not have to repeat the repugnant language used by the appellant," Vice Presiding Judge David Lewis wrote in his concurring opinion. "The repeated use of the 'n' word in this opinion was unnecessary to the reader's understanding of the language used by the appellant, and unnecessary to the court's resolution of this case."

Judge Lumpkin quoted the racial slur verbatim in his opinion, while Lewis used the euphemistic expression "'n' word" in his criticism.

Read more: http://newsok.com/black-judge-says-repeating-n-word-in-appellate-opinion-was-unnecessary/article/5547323

Some Oklahoma lawmakers and business leaders are calling for increased gross production taxes

In late March, faced with an $868 million budget shortfall and with few revenue-raising bills passed through the state Capitol, Oklahoma House Democrats crafted a budget plan to repair the state’s revenue problem by reversing specific tax cuts, including for oil and gas production.

In its Restoring Oklahoma Plan, which lays out a strategy for funding a teacher pay raise as well as protecting key government services from further budget cuts, the Democratic caucus determined raising the gross production tax, or severance tax, from 2 to 5 percent would generate an estimated $312 million in state revenue.

“For decades, the state of Oklahoma had a stable tax rate on gross production by taxing wells at 7 percent,” Vinita Rep. Chuck Hoskin told members of the press. “In recent years, the legislature has created more and more tiers and incentives for oil and gas production, including historically low tax rates when a well is at its most productive [time]. … While we understand and agree that oil and gas [industry] is very important to our state’s economy, investing in our children and our infrastructure is mutually beneficial.”

While this isn’t the first proposal floated to increase state’s tax rates on oil and gas production, the idea has found some support among some small oil and natural gas producers and a former state Republican chairman.

Read more: http://okgazette.com/2017/04/21/some-oklahoma-lawmakers-and-business-leaders-are-calling-for-increased-gross-production-taxes/
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