Major items passed by the Oklahoma Legislature, which was working Friday to wrap up its 2013 session:
— Tax Cut: Lawmakers adopted legislation that reduces the state's top income rate from 5.25 percent to 5 percent beginning Jan. 1, 2015, with a second cut to 4.85 percent set for 2016 if state revenues continue to rise. The measure has been signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.
"When it comes to making sure that school kids have access to tornado shelters, Oklahoma’s state government has kept its distance. The state does not require public schools to install shelters, does not keep track of which schools have them, has provided limited state tax dollars to build them and has not assessed the cost of installing them statewide."
When it comes to making sure that school kids have access to tornado shelters, Oklahoma's state government has kept its distance. The state does not require public schools to install shelters, does not keep track of which schools have them, has provided limited state tax dollars to build them and has not assessed the cost of installing them statewide.
"When last Sunday’s tornado tore through Shawnee, the tribe began to round up their emergency personnel, and the Red Cross made sure they had what they needed, items such as food, cots and volunteers."
Public agencies in Moore have opened streets to residents and resumed mail delivery to as many addresses as possible.
At a news conference Friday, police said residents in the hardest-hit areas can go back into their neighborhoods without having to deal with police checkpoints. Some road closures may still occur as utility crews work to restore service.
Moore's postmaster said 85 percent of mail delivered from the Moore station is being delivered, and that mail deliveries from the Santa Fe station are up to 95 percent.
The Oklahoma Senate has approved a bill to provide various tax breaks to property and vehicle owners who suffered losses in Monday's tornado that tore through Moore and left 24 people dead.
The bill approved unanimously in the Senate on Friday also provides sales tax breaks for businesses that donate inventory to help storm victims and property tax credits for property that increases in value after it's rebuilt.
Please listen in for the forthcoming edition of All This Jazz, which happens Saturday the 25th here on Public Radio 89.5-1, from 10pm till midnight. Our show delivers modern jazz, both recent and classic --- "all killer, no filler," like the poet said --- and there's always a next-day re-broadcast of ATJ on Sunday at 7pm on Jazz 89.5-2, which is our station's all-jazz HD Radio channel.
State Representative Doug Cox says his fellow Republicans are trying to enact legislation that would harm women in Oklahoma. He says one example is a bill that would effectively de-fund Planned Parenthood, which provides important services.
"Cervical cancer screening for women, breast cancer screening for women, (Planned Parenthood) provides family planning services for women so that they can prevent unwanted pregnancies," says Cox. "In my mind the best way to prevent abortions is to prevent unwanted pregnancies."
Additional tests reveal no new cases of hepatitis or the virus that causes AIDS among patients of a Tulsa oral surgeon accused of running dirty clinics.
The pace of people seeking testing has slowed. About 3,900 patients of Dr. W. Scott Harrington have gone to state clinics for testing. In March, health departments urged testing for 7,000 patients. Just 54 patients sought tests within the past week.
Inspectors said they found unsanitary conditions inside Harrington's clinics at Tulsa and Owasso.