Governor Stitt

Oklahoma City Area Indian Health Service

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — More than 1 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Oklahoma, state health officials announced on Friday.

The White House

President Joe Biden late Wednesday approved Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt's second request for federal aid to help address damages caused by this month's winter weather emergency.

"The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties Canadian, Carter, Cherokee, Comanche, Cotton, Hughes, Jefferson, Le Flore, McIntosh, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Pittsburg, Stephens, Tulsa, and Wagoner," the White House said in a Thursday morning release.

Gov. Kevin Stitt

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Tuesday he is seeking a second federal emergency disaster declaration as a result of a winter storm the dropped snow and ice on the state and resulted in subfreezing temperatures and power outages.

Stitt said he is asking President Joe Biden for a declaration for federal aid for homeowners, renters and business owners in all 77 of the state’s counties.

City of Tulsa

State officials are asking Oklahomans and county, municipal and tribal governments to report damages caused and costs incurred during the recent winter weather emergency to support requests for further federal aid.

File photo

Updated Feb. 23, 11:50 a.m. to clarify only unregulated gas utilities may not spread out increased costs.  

State officials said Monday most Oklahomans will not see utility bills in the thousands of dollars after last week’s historic winter storms that plunged the state into subzero temperatures and strained the regional power grid.

Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma House committees advanced legislation this week that would accomplish public education policy changes Gov. Kevin Stitt pushed in his state of the state address.

House Bill 2078 would change the statewide funding formula so initial allocations are based on districts’ average weighted attendance from the preceding school year, rather than letting them use the higher of the past two years.

The White House

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues its gradual improvement nation- and statewide, Oklahoma remains in the top ten for all four metrics the White House uses to measure outbreak severity.

Gov. Kevin Stitt

On Friday, Gov. Kevin Stitt declared a state of emergency for all 77 of Oklahoma's counties, warning of dangerous conditions from an approaching severe winter storm. He activated the National Guard, posted a video message warning of "dangerous cold," and in a news release asked Oklahomans to "please heed the recommendation of public safety and transportation officials." 

Then he and his family left the state for the ski slopes of New Mexico.

At the direction of the Southwest Power Pool, the regional transmission organization that manages the power grid for parts of 14 states including all of Oklahoma, electric companies statewide on Tuesday morning resumed intentional, "controlled" service outages for thousands of customers.

Winter.jpg

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt declaring a state of emergency on Friday for all 77 of the state’s counties ahead of a major winter storm expected to push into the state during the weekend.

The declaration suspends requirements for oversized vehicles used for emergency relief and utility restoration. It also activates the state’s Emergency Operations Plan and allows state agencies to make storm-related emergency acquisitions without regard to bidding requirements.

Governor's office

Oklahoma public bodies from city councils to nonprofits can once again meet virtually to minimize risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Kevin Stitt signed Senate Bill 1031 on Wednesday morning, reinstating that provision. It took effect immediately.

Stitt thanked Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat (R-Oklahoma City) and House Speaker Charles McCall (R-Atoka) for getting the bill to his desk less than two weeks into session.

A legislative watchdog has issued a report that’s highly critical of how Gov. Kevin Stitt’s administration spent millions of dollars of federal coronavirus relief.

The Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency, or LOFT, issued a draft report Wednesday night that criticizes the Stitt administration’s CARES Forward entity for incomplete documentation and spending on pre-existing needs like government modernization.

Tulsa Public Schools

Tulsa Public Schools students could be one step closer to returning to the classroom.

"We will be adding a special meeting to the calendar on February 16th that will allow for discussion and voting regarding students returning to in-person learning on February 22nd," said President Stacey Wooley at a Monday board meeting.

Gov. Kevin Stitt released his $8.3 billion spending plan Monday morning ahead of his state of the state address.

The flat budget was described as "very conservative" by the governor's staff because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor's office does, however, anticipate a slight increase in revenue estimates at the next State Board of Equalization meeting on Feb. 16.

Legislative Service Bureau Photography

Gov. Kevin Stitt led off his third state of the state Monday afternoon with a review of Oklahoma’s COVID-19 response, repeating his belief the state is "months and months ahead of other states."

Tulsa Public Schools

Updated Feb. 1, 8:10 p.m.

After nearly a year of pandemic disruption, Tulsa Public Schools students at all grade levels could return to in-person instruction by the end of February according to the district's superintendent. 

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma


Public Radio Tulsa will carry the governor's State of the State address live at 12:30 p.m. Monday on 89.5 FM and via our livestream above.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt will deliver his third State of the State speech to lawmakers Monday as the 2021 legislative session begins.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt is hopeful for an improved relationship with his fellow Republicans in the Legislature when the 2021 session begins Monday after an acrimonious split last year over a breakdown in budget negotiations.

The mortgage company CEO-turned-governor was able to accomplish much of his legislative agenda during his first year in office, including a broad expansion of his appointment powers that gave him firmer control over state agencies.

Tulsa Public Schools

With the district a frequent target of criticism from Gov. Kevin Stitt for not offering in-person instruction due to high local rates of COVID-19 infection, representatives from Tulsa Public Schools' administration, faculty and support staff issued a joint statement Thursday calling for educators to be placed higher in the state's vaccine priority structure.

The White House

The Biden White House announced Wednesday it will publicly release weekly, state-level COVID-19 reports previously kept from view of anyone but state officials. 

“We are now sharing previously hidden weekly COVID-19 state profile reports with the public,” Dr. Cyrus Shahpar, the new White House COVID-19 data director, wrote on Twitter

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma attorney general’s office is attempting to return $2 million worth of a malaria drug once touted by former President Donald Trump as an effective treatment for COVID-19, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Alex Gerszewski, a spokesman for Attorney General Mike Hunter, said Hunter is attempting to negotiate a return of the 1.2 million hydroxychloroquine pills Oklahoma acquired in April from a California-based supplier, FFF Enterprises. He said the office was acting on a request from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, which authorized the purchase.

PickPik

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled against Gov. Kevin Stitt in another gaming compact lawsuit brought by the state’s top Republican lawmakers.

The court issued a ruling finding Stitt did not have authority to strike agreements offering sports betting and other new provisions with the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians and the Kialegee Tribal Town in July without legislative approval.

Tulsa Public Schools

Tulsa Public Schools students could return to their classrooms sooner than planned.

"I feel very hopeful that we can return our students to in-person learning at a date that's earlier than the one that we currently have, and I know that the members of the board would want that as well as soon as we are able to," TPS Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist said at a Monday meeting of the TPS Board of Education.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Friday invited leaders of the Five Tribes of Oklahoma to begin formal negotiations related to last year’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on tribal sovereignty.

Stitt said in a statement he will welcome the leaders of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole nations to begin discussions “to address and resolve the potential issues that have arisen” as a result of the ruling. Stitt didn’t say when those discussions might begin.

State officials held a ribbon cutting Thursday at the Oklahoma Pandemic Center for Innovation and Excellence in Stillwater.

The center was announced in October, and its more rural location was always the plan. State Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur said human and animal health are closely related because of diseases that jump from animals to humans or that affect food supplies.

American Academy of Pediatrics Oklahoma Chapter

Public health experts and physicians' groups said Thursday that Gov. Kevin Stitt is misrepresenting research to justify his push for all school districts in Oklahoma to offer in-person learning despite the state's severe and dire COVID-19 situation.

Pixnio

Insisting on in-person options statewide, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced a new policy Tuesday aimed at reducing school quarantines for COVID-19.

"Students and teachers exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 in school will no longer be required to quarantine as long as the exposure happened in a classroom setting [and] everyone was wearing masks and following other appropriate protocols, like social distancing," said State Health Commissioner Dr. Lance Frye.

Twitter

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A new member of Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s communications staff faced fierce criticism Tuesday for a tweet last week in which she praised a national Republican group for putting “House Democrats in body bags.”

Youtube / Gov. Kevin Stitt

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Bars and restaurants across Oklahoma will be able to stay open past Gov. Kevin Stitt’s ordered 11 p.m. curfew while a lawsuit brought by a group of bar owners is litigated.

White House coronavirus task force

Gov. Kevin Stitt and the Oklahoma State Department of Health, or OSDH, will no longer make publicly available weekly reports for the state prepared by the White House coronavirus task force.

The Center for Public Integrity reported on Dec. 17 that the reports, previously automatically sent each week to all 50 states, are now available only by request.

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