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Oklahoma Senators Pass Preliminary 2025 Budget

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Oklahoma Senators Pass Preliminary 2025 Budget


The state senate has approved the preliminary state budget for 2025.

The $12.3 billion figure is the first number that will spark negotiations between the Senate, House, and Governor.

This is a major milestone of the state senate’s push for budget transparency this year.

Each state agency got the chance to meet with state senators this year, in an open meeting, to discuss their individual budget requests. In the past, these meetings have taken place behind closed doors.

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Today, senate committee chairs read line-by-line the senate resolution continuing the preliminary state budget for 2025. “Today I’m not asking for a vote on the budget this year, I’m asking for a vote of confidence that we’ve done our due diligence, that these numbers are within our balanced budget and they are our beginning numbers,” said Sen. Roger Thompson, ( R) Senate Budget Chair.

Senators have laid out a preliminary state budget of $12.3 billion. The figure includes the $300 million that the grocery tax cut will cost the state and put $1.2 billion into the state’s savings account. “It is time that we look at the need to have a balanced budget recognizing there are other needs within the state,” said Sen. Thompson.

The budget had bipartisan support on the Senate floor, but still had three ‘no’ votes from Senate democrats.

“I do however remain concerned about protecting our key investments in education, public safety and mental health, and childcare,” said Sen. Carri Hicks, (D) OKC. “I believe this budget falls short of reducing maternal mortality, tackling the housing crisis, and ending child hunger.”

Senators Julia Kirt and Carri Hicks say they don’t think the budget meets the needs of Oklahomans. “Unfortunately, agencies were artificially constrained to tell us what they really need, we did see the executive branch limited what those agencies could request so saw a lot of flat budgets,” said Sen. Kirt, (D) OKC.

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But, with overwhelming support from the Senate majority, the resolution is headed to the state house where the real negotiations begin. “Now we will turn and start finding where there is agreement on the budget with the other legs of the stool between the house, the governor, and the Senate to come up with a budget agreement,” said House Speaker Charles McCall.

Highlights from Senate budget proposal:

  1. Total Education: $5,705,903,603
  2. Total General Government and Transportation: $1,269,769,640
  3. Total Health and Social Services: $2,211,397,036
  4. Total Human Services: $923,744,407
  5. Total Natural Resources and Regulatory Services: $470,876,292
  6. Total Public Safety and Judiciary: $1,046,702,444
  7. Total State Agencies: $607,800,000
  8. Total FY’24 Supplementals: $92,450,000

The full Senate budget resolution document can be read below:





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Injury Report, Updated Odds (4/12): Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Milwaukee Bucks

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Injury Report, Updated Odds (4/12): Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Milwaukee Bucks


Game No. 81 is here. In the third of four straight home games to close out the regular season, the Oklahoma City Thunder hosts the Milwaukee Bucks. This game has plenty to do with the seeding and playoff positioning in both conferences.

The Thunder remains in the mix for the top three seeds in the Western Conference with the Bucks trying to protect the No. 2 seed from the New York Knicks.

Whichever way this game goes, there are implications toward the top of both conferences. For the Thunder, they’re on their third straight victory, looking for a fourth, after bouncing back from a three-game losing streak.

Injury Report

Thunder:

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Lindy Waters, Questionable (G League)

Ousmane Dieng, OUT (G League)

Adam Flagler, OUT (G League)

Keyontae Johnson, OUT (G League)

Olivier Sarr, OUT (G League)

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Bucks:

Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Probable (Hamstring)

MarJon Beauchamp, Questionable (Ankle)

Brook Lopez, Questionable (Rest)

Khris Middleton, Questionable (Ankle)

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Bobby Portis, Questionable (Rest)

Giannis Antetokounmpo, OUT (Soleus)

AJ Green, OUT (Ankle)

Jaylin Galloway, OUT (Ankle)

With the Bucks having plenty of questionable players, they could be without a good portion of their core rotation. It’s a unique approach to a game that could tie things up for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, but prioritizing health is important ahead of playoff basketball.

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The Thunder is finally back fully healthy with the exception of G League designations — as the Oklahoma City Blue is in game three of the G League Finals.

Updated Odds

The Thunder is a 15.5-point favorite after opening as a 9.5-point favorite. It’s hard to imagine the players listed as questionable for the Bucks end up playing, and Giannis Antetokounmpo being listed as out is the reason for the Thunder opening as such a big favorite.

All signs point toward the Thunder being able to take care of another contest down the final stretch of the regular season.

Want to join the discussion? Like Inside the Thunder on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest Thunder news. You can also meet the team behind the coverage.





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How does Oklahoma stack up in the SEC? All 16 colleges ranked academically by US News

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How does Oklahoma stack up in the SEC? All 16 colleges ranked academically by US News


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U.S. News recently released its 2024 college rankings, and while the University of Oklahoma didn’t rank in the top 100, the school did rank in the top 10 among universities in the Southeastern Conference.

OU and the University of Texas will move from the Big 12 to the SEC in time for the 2024 college football season.

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Here’s where every SEC school nationally ranks, according to U.S. News.

16. Mississippi State University

  • City: Starkville, Mississippi
  • Undergraduate enrollment in fall 2023: 21,988
  • U.S. News ranking: No. 216 (tied)
  • In-state cost: $9,815
  • Acceptance rate: 70%

15. Louisiana State University – Baton Rouge (LSU)

  • City: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Undergraduate enrollment in fall 2023: 32,666
  • U.S. News ranking: No. 185
  • In-state cost: $11,954
  • Acceptance rate: 76%

14. University of Arkansas

  • City: Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Undergraduate enrollement in fall 2023: 32,140
  • U.S. News ranking: No. 178
  • In-state cost: $9,748
  • Acceptance rate: 79%

13. The University of Alabama

  • City: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Undergraduate enrollment in fall 2023: 39,623
  • U.S. News ranking: No. 170
  • In-state cost: $11,900
  • Acceptance rate: 80%

12. University of Mississippi (Ole Miss)

  • City: Oxford, Mississippi
  • Undergraduate enrollment in fall 2023: 24,710
  • U.S. News ranking: No. 163
  • In-state cost: $9,412
  • Acceptance rate: 97%

11. University of Kentucky

  • City: Lexington, Kentucky
  • Undergraduate enrollment in fall 2023: 34,000
  • U.S. News ranking: No. 159
  • In-state cost: $13,212
  • Acceptance rate: 95%

10. University of South Carolina

  • City: Columbia, South Carolina
  • Undergraduate enrollment in fall 2023: 36,300
  • U.S. News ranking: No. 124 (tied)
  • In-state cost: $12,688
  • Acceptance rate: 64%

9. University of Oklahoma

  • City: Norman, Oklahoma
  • Undergraduate enrollment in fall 2023: 28,264
  • U.S. News ranking: No. 124 (tied)
  • In-state cost: $9,312
  • Acceptance rate: 73%

8. University of Missouri

  • City: Columbus, Missouri
  • Undergraduate enrollment in fall 2023: 23,629
  • U.S. News ranking: No. 124 (tied)
  • In-state cost: $14,192
  • Acceptance rate: 79%

7. University of Tennessee, Knoxville

  • City: Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Undergraduate enrollment in fall 2023: 36,000
  • U.S. News ranking: No. 216 (tied)
  • In-state cost: $13,244
  • Acceptance rate: 68%

6. Auburn University

  • City: Auburn, Alabama
  • Undergraduate enrollment in fall 2023: 35,015
  • U.S. News ranking: No. 93
  • In-state cost: $12,536
  • Acceptance rate: 44%

5. University of Georgia

  • City: Athens, Georgia
  • Undergraduate enrollment in fall 2023: 30,166
  • U.S. News ranking: No. 47 (tied)
  • In-state cost: $11,180
  • Acceptance rate: 43%

4. Texas A&M University

  • City: College Station, Texas
  • Undergraduate enrollment in fall 2023: 69,598
  • U.S. News ranking: No. 47 (tied)
  • In-state cost: $12,413
  • Acceptance rate: 63%

3. University of Texas at Austin

  • City: Austin, Texas
  • Undergraduate enrollment in fall 2023: 53,082
  • U.S. News ranking: No. 32
  • In-state cost: $11,698
  • Acceptance rate: 31%

2. University of Florida

  • City: Gainsville, Florida
  • Undergraduate enrollment in fall 2022: 34,552
  • U.S. News ranking: No. 28
  • In-state cost: $6,381
  • Acceptance rate: 23%

1. Vanderbilt University

  • City: Nashville, Tennessee
  • Undergraduate enrollment in fall 2023: 7,152
  • U.S. News ranking: No. 18
  • Tuition: $63,946
  • Acceptance rate: 7%



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Oklahoma City FBI Warns of Sextortion Increase, Lawmakers Advance A Solution

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Oklahoma City FBI Warns of Sextortion Increase, Lawmakers Advance A Solution


Sextortion cases among young teens have increased by more than 50 percent in two years, according to the Oklahoma City Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Agents attribute a rise in cases to ever-expanding digital applications, which can reach children on a variety of devices at virtually any age.

“We’ve done our best to try to get the word out to educate the public, and most importantly educate the kids who are the victims in these cases of criminal violations,” said Special Agent in Charge Edward Gray.

Of the thousands of cases investigated each year, the FBI said there are more teenage boy victims than any other demographic. More than 20 youth suicides have been connected to financial sextortion.

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In cases of sextortion, criminals contact children through online platforms and solicit explicit photos. Often, those criminals pose as someone who they are not. Criminals will then demand money or additional photos, typically with a threat to post the photo elsewhere or share it with people who are family or friends.

“The offenders and the perpetrators in these cases are very innovative and very patient,” Gray said. “They’ll use different platforms, they’ll use all forms of social media, they’ll use gaming apps, they’ll come after the kids on phones, on iPads, on desktop computers.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat authored SB 1479, which harshens penalties for sextortion predators.

“Kids don’t know where to turn when they fall victim to sextortion,” Treat said.

Senate Bill 1479 passed the Senate unanimously in March and was passed out of a House committee on Thursday.

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“Too often these go unpunished because, a lot of times, it’s people in New York or overseas that are perpetrating this,” Treat said. “They’re just trying to get money out of the deal.”

The FBI recommends parents have conversations with their children about the dangers of sextortion and the importance of not talking to strangers online. But, if parents learn their child became a victim, the FBI recommends not shaming or guilting them but instead supporting them through the trauma of being manipulated.

“The children are not the subject of the investigations, they are the victims,” Gray said. “We will not only help them with pursuing the investigation with rigor but also provide resources to them and their family with victim specialists.”

Anyone can report financial sextortion by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or visiting tips.fbi.gov.





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