"Days of Reckoning" Arrive at the State Capitol: A Chat with Wayne Greene of the Tulsa World

May 11, 2016

On this installment of ST, we speak with Wayne Greene, the editorial pages editor at the Tulsa World. As noted at the World's website, Greene is a "fourth-generation Oklahoman in his third decade with the [newspaper]. As a reporter he covered several bank failures, one prison riot, three executions, and every aspect of state government during four years at the World's state capitol bureau. He became the World's city editor on April 1, 1995, and served in that post for nearly 13 years. He led the city desk's award-winning coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing, the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the 2002 collapse of an Interstate 40 bridge over the Arkansas River, several natural disasters, and six general elections." We speak with Greene about a piece that he had in the World recently under the headline, "Days of reckoning approach at the state Capitol, where political courage is in short supply." That piece begins thus: "It's May, and that means it's time for the Legislature to man up. From February through April, the state Capitol is a land of unlimited possibilities. Ideas are floated, fiery social notions are debated for later use in campaigns, and there's always a nice dinner waiting at the end of every day with a smiling lobbyist attached. Those are the happy times. But now the days of reckoning are here. The legislative session must end by the last Friday of May. The [Oklahoma] Constitution forbids any revenue bills from being passed in the final five days of the session. So, the Legislature has two weeks to take steps to deal appropriately with a gaping $1.3 billion state budget hole. There are options. None is easy. Some of the harder ones accomplish considerable good, and some of the easy ones create considerable harm...." We chat about these options, and what they might mean if they're taken up by the State Legislature, on today's program.