Oklahoma state Capitol briefs for Jan. 12

Oklahoma state Capitol briefs for Jan. 12
Modified: January 11, 2013 at 10:27 pm •  Published: January 12, 2013
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MICHAEL MCNUTT, CAPITOL BUREAU

Bill will target state plane use

A legislator said Friday he will file a measure to prohibit any statewide elected officials, other than the governor and lieutenant governor, from using state airplanes. Sen. Harry Coates, R-Seminole, said there is no reason for state elected officials or agency directors to charter state aircraft. None of the elected officials the past couple of years have used them, except for Insurance Commissioner John Doak, Coates said. Doak, a Republican, has used the aircraft to travel across Oklahoma to survey storm damage, as well as to attend speaking engagements and various meetings. Coates said Doak is wasting taxpayers' money.

MICHAEL MCNUTT, CAPITOL BUREAU

Flags lowered for disabled advocate

American and Oklahoma flags on state property are being flown at half-staff until 8 a.m. Monday in honor of Steve Stokes, the longtime director of the state Office of Disability Concerns who died this week. Gov. Mary Fallin ordered the flags lowered to honor Stokes, who she said “worked tirelessly to promote the interests of all individuals with disabilities.” Stokes had served as head of the state agency since 1989. His funeral is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Stufflebean-Coffey Funeral Home in Pauls Valley.

MICHAEL MCNUTT, CAPITOL BUREAU