Governor Stitt

Matt Trotter / KWGS

In response to an order from the Oklahoma Supreme Court, a budget board led by Gov. Kevin Stitt will meet Monday afternoon.

House Speaker Charles McCall and Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat asked the high court to weigh in on the dispute between them and Stitt. The lawmakers want the court to order the Board of Equalization, chaired by Stitt, to meet and declare a revenue failure.

Chief Justice Noma Gurich also set oral arguments in the case for Tuesday before a Supreme Court referee.

Governor Stitt Facebook page

Speaking alongside his COVID-19 task force outside INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center Portland in Oklahoma City, Governor Kevin Stitt presented more details on how the state will begin its attempt to reopen its economy.

"I know how badly many of you want to get back to normal, get back to a normal way of life," Stitt said.

"Our cases are trending down and our curve is flattening," Stitt said. "That is great news." But Stitt was also careful to add that there is still a chance that things could take a turn. 

As Oklahoma responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, residents and businesses across the state have been affected by executive orders from Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Attorney General Mike Hunter told lawmakers on Thursday that could create a lot of work for his office in the near future.

"We’re getting a lot of demand letters that we’re trying to handle in a diplomatic fashion, but our assessment is those demand letters are in the nature of laying the groundwork for future litigation," Hunter said.

Courtesy

Gov. Kevin Stitt said Wednesday he and his COVID-19 response task force are working on plans to reopen Oklahoma.

That will start with Stitt lifting a ban on elective surgeries and other minor medical procedures on April 24. Stitt said the state has a sufficient supply of personal protective equipment for health care workers and others that may be exposed to the coronavirus, and hospitals are struggling with the dip in patients.

From Flickr, licensed uncer CC BY 2.0.

Governor Kevin Stitt's proposal to retool Oklahoma's Medicaid system closed its 30-day public input period on Wednesday, but some Oklahomans say the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic made that timeframe inadequate for such a consequential policy change.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Governor Kevin Stitt’s office said last week 404 inmates with sentences commuted to time served will be getting out of prison Thursday, but that’s not the case.

According the the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, 111 inmates will be released.

Others are serving time for felonies other than drug or property crimes that have since been reduced to misdemeanors, and discharging those other crimes requires more steps from the parole board, not just those Stitt took Friday.

Gov. Kevin Stitt appeared on Fox News over the weekend and defended his decision not to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order.

Stitt said his orders telling the elderly and those with compromised immune systems to stay home, prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people, and closing nonessential businesses are sufficient.

Stitt told "America's News HQ" host Leland Vittert Oklahomans are taking personal responsibility by following social distancing guidelines.

Oklahoma State Capitol

Oklahoma may use hundreds of millions of dollars from savings to deal with the impacts of an oil slump and the pandemic over this fiscal year and the next. While the state has reserves, the amount of the shortfall is unclear.

Josh Goodman, state economic development officer at the Pew Charitable Trusts, says states can get a better picture of potential problems by running budget stress tests, which banks started doing after the federal Dodd-Frank Act.

Tribal leaders from across Oklahoma sent Gov. Kevin Stitt a letter on Friday urging him to issue a shelter in place order for the entire state.

A total of 26 tribal leaders signed the letter, including Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby, Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton and Muscogee (Creek) Nation Chief David Hill.

Oklahoma Governor's Office

Updated April 10, 7:23 a.m.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Thursday signed two out of three bills lawmakers sent him this week to close a projected $416.8 million hole in the current fiscal year budget.

Stitt did not sign Senate Bill 199, which would have made $302.3 million in the state Rainy Day Fund available to spend.

OSBI

Correctional officers, law enforcement, firefighters and other first responders working for the state of Oklahoma are guaranteed up to 80 hours of sick leave for COVID-19 under a new executive order from Gov. Kevin Stitt.

The order clarifies that sick leave provisions in the federal coronavirus relief bill apply to Oklahoma’s first responders. So, they can take that leave if they fall ill, are quarantined or must care for a child if their daycare has closed.

Our guest on ST is Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, who joins us to discuss the new brand for the State of Oklahoma: "Imagine That." Pinnell led the lengthy, multifaceted process that came up with this recently-announced brand, which will soon start appearing on t-shirts, stickers, roadside signs, posters at airports, newly-designed license plates, and so on. He describes this brand-development process, and the thinking and planning that went into it, while also explaining what he believes this new brand will accomplish for our state.

Our guest is the veteran and award-winning Oklahoma journalist, John Wylie, former publisher of the Oologah Lake Leader. He recently wrote a blog post -- headlined "Mother Earth's Guardian Angel or Corporate Greed"s Satanic Shield?" -- about the controversy surrounding the now-under-consideration Senate Bill 1003, which would protect internal corporate environmental, health, and safety audits from public exposure or even court view.

In the immediate wake of Governor Stitt's State of the State Address, and as the 2019 legislative session gets underway in OKC, we welcome back to StudioTulsa our longtime colleague David Blatt, who's been the Executive Director of the non-partisan, non-profit OK Policy think tank since 2010. Blatt chats with us in detail about what lawmakers at the State Capitol might attempt or accomplish regarding education, criminal justice, health, economic opportunity, taxes, and the state's budget.

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