The $6.9 billion budget signed last week by Gov. Mary Fallin delivers 5 percent cuts to most state agencies. On paper, it looks like two environmental agencies received funding boosts, but a closer look at the numbers shows the increases aren’t what they appear.
The Oklahoma rye harvest gets underway within the next few days. Oklahoma is the country’s number one producer of what is occasionally referred to as the ‘poverty grain.’ Rye doesn’t have the best reputation, but demand is on the rise.
EPA Administrator and former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt was back in the Sooner State last week — to talk about what his agency plans to do about saltwater contamination in Bird Creek in Osage County that could be tied to the oil and gas industry.
The Tulsa World reports that saltwater contamination was first reported in August 2016 when an oily sheen appeared on North Bird Creek along with dead fish and turtles a few miles from the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve.
Low-income areas of rural Oklahoma are blotched with food deserts, where fresh, healthy food options are scarce. It’s a problem in cities, too, but entrepreneurs, educators and legislators say newly signed legislation could help fill grocery gaps with community gardens.
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.