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As "the 11th Hour" Approaches, We Consider Certain Efforts to Balance the State's Woeful Bugdet

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Aired on Monday, May 23rd.

In a budget year with a predicted $1.3 billion shortfall, today is a major day in the Oklahoma Legislature; it's the last day (ostensibly) during which the state legislature can consider revenue bills. So far, very few bills have passed that have narrowed the budget gap...and time, of course, is seriously running out at this point. So, what is going through the minds of state lawmakers today? We put this question to Steve Lewis, who joins us by phone from the State Capitol Building. Lewis is a political analyst and former State House Speaker; he served in the Oklahoma Legislature from 1981 to 1993. We are also joined on this edition of StudioTulsa by the Rev. Dr. William Tabbernee, the executive director of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches and former president of Phillips Theological Seminary. Dr. Tabbernee is one of several religious leaders from across the state who have lately been urging Oklahoma lawmakers to avoid balancing the state budget on the backs of those who are least able to afford it.

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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