Oklahoma Capitol briefs for March 2

Oklahoma Capitol briefs for March 2
Published: March 2, 2013
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Capitol briefs

House Democrats seek increase

in funding for public schools

All 29 House Democrats and one Republican House member have joined three Senate committee chairmen who have written a letter to Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders asking to increase funding for public schools by $75 million to $100 million for the 2014 fiscal year, which starts July 1. House Minority Leader Scott Inman, D-Del City, said that lawmakers signing the letter agree that Oklahoma's public schools should be the top priority this session. Rep. Arthur Hulbert, a freshman legislator from Fort Gibson, was the only Republican to sign the House letter. Last month Sens. Jim Halligan, R-Stillwater, chairman of a Senate education subcommittee, John Ford, R-Bartlesville, chairman of the Senate Education Committee and Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, wrote to Fallin and legislative leaders after meeting with local school superintendents and state schools Superintendent Janet Barresi that they are convinced increased education funding must be the top priority when writing the 2014 fiscal year budget.

State treasurer starts online checkbook website for spending

State Treasurer Ken Miller has launched a website that provides a quick and easy way to examine state government's spending. The Oklahoma Treasury Online Checkbook may be found by clicking on the online checkbook graphic on the treasurer's office's homepage, www.treasurer.ok.gov. Information can be found on expenditures and collections by function of government or by agency. Payments to businesses and state employees are included and can be viewed collectively or searched by individual. Deposits include total receipts by day and by agency, but do not disclose the names of taxpayers. The online checkbook contains almost 6 million expenditures made since July 2007 and about 200,000 entries of revenue collections since April 2010.