Heart disease, diabetes, and obesity are epidemic in Oklahoma, and lack of access to fresh, healthy food is a big reason why. Scarcity is most severe in regions known as food deserts, where going to the grocery store often means taking a road trip. But new legislation awaiting the governor’s signature could bring more healthy food to areas that need it.
In the struggle to come up with ways to fill Oklahoma’s nearly $900 million budget gap, some have suggested non-standard ideas to raise money — ideas that often die unceremoniously in the legislative process. Continue Reading
In March, the legislature asked state agencies how they would deal with worst-case budget reductions of nearly 15 percent. A cut that deep at the Department of Tourism could cost Oklahoma half of its state parks.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to roll back many Obama-era rules meant to combat climate change. Politico’s Alex Guillén reports many of the directives in the order are geared toward making it easier to produce coal used for power generation: Continue Reading
Pennington Creek in south-central Oklahoma is the only source of drinking water for the town of Tishomingo. Residents there are worried limestone mining operations threaten the creek. Now, the city council is taking on the companies doing the digging.
StateImpact has reported on the dwindling number of Oklahoma state parks since Gov. Mary Fallin took office in 2011. The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department says budget cuts are to blame, and as KSWO reports, the biggest spate of park closures yet could be on the way:
OK (KSWO)- Oklahoma is continuing to see some of the impacts from a major budget shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year and it’s the tourism industry that could be hit the worst. That’s bad news for our state parks. The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department told the staff to be prepared.
A bill passed by the state House of Representatives Wednesday would impose an annual fee on owners of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles in Oklahoma, and that’s leaving some electric car owners feeling singled out.
Frigid temperatures never fully took hold in Oklahoma this winter. February saw record high temperatures, and instead of ice and snow, wildfires were the main weather-related concern, and drought — though improved — has persisted across much of the state.
In a statement summarizing February’s weather highlights and looking ahead to March, State Climatologist Gary McManus says the first two months of 2017 broke the record for the warmest combined January and February in state history. Continue Reading
The crippling five-year drought Oklahoma finally broke out of in 2015 is still fresh in the memory of the state’s water regulators, which is looking for ways the state can better withstand future dry spells. The Water Resources Board this week approved new rules to allow water to be stored underground, in aquifers.
State Representative Leslie Osborn is the new chair of the powerful House Appropriations and Budget Committee, an influential position that gives her bills extra weight. StateImpact talked to Osborn about legislation she’s pushing to increase mining fees, and to explore the sale of the Grand River Dam Authority.