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Oklahoma State Election Board

State Capitol  |  Room G-28  |  Box 53156  |  Oklahoma City, OK 73152  |  Ph: (405) 521-2391
Fax: (405) 521-6457  |  https://elections.ok.gov  | 

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  October 19, 2020

 

Election Officials Alert Voters About False Polling Place Text Message

(Oklahoma City) – Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax issued a voter alert today, warning voters about a text message that was received by a voter last Friday, that falsely claimed the voter’s polling place had changed. The complaint has been referred by election officials to law enforcement.

The text message falsely advised the voter that her polling place had changed, then asked the voter to reply to the text to confirm her name. It then provided a phone number to call to be removed from the notification list. The phone number provided in the text message is reportedly for a male escort service.

“Disinformation about the voting process is a real threat. Voters should be very cautious about phone calls, emails, social media posts and text messages containing false information about elections – and report suspicious communications to election officials immediately,” Ziriax said.

Polling place changes are rare in Oklahoma, and when they occur affected voters are notified by the County Election Board through the U.S. Mail.  “Election officials will never contact you by text message to tell you your polling place has changed,” Ziriax said.

Voters should use the OK Voter Portal on the State Election Board’s website or contact their county election board to find or verify their polling place.

 

URL Guide:

OK Voter Portal:  https://www.ok.gov/elections/OVP.html

State Election Board Website:  https://www.ok.gov/elections/index.html

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Oklahoma House of Representatives Banner

Communications & Public Affairs
Oct. 14, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

McDugle Studies Death Penalty Procedures

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Kevin McDugle, R-Broken Arrow, hosted an interim study today focusing on death penalty procedures in Oklahoma and whether changes are needed to avoid executions of innocent people.

The study was held before the House Public Safety Committee and featured eight defense and prosecution experts.

“I am a proponent of the death penalty as are a majority of Oklahomans,” McDugle said. “But I believe it is possible for an innocent person, because of poor representation and because of inadequacies in our current system, to get all the way to death row. If we are going to put someone in the chair and end their life, as Oklahomans, we have got to get this right.”

First to speak to the committee was Don Knight, the new attorney for death row inmate Richard Glossip. Knight spoke of evidence he said proves his client’s innocence and points to the guilt of another person instead. The evidence has been refused in court, however, because it came after the first appeal process, he said.

Bob Ravitz, public defender for Oklahoma County, followed Knight’s testimony.

It is the duty of the prosecution not just to win cases but to ensure that justice is actually done, he said.

Ravitz spoke about the importance of having an independent crime lab, making several mentions of former Oklahoma City Police Department forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist who was dismissed in 2001 after being accused of falsifying evidence and laboratory mismanagement. Gilchrist participated in more than 3,000 criminal cases in her 21 years with the police department. Her evidence led in part to 23 people being sentenced to death, 12 of whom were executed.

Ravitz also spoke about the need for more funding for defense attorneys and the high cost of expert witnesses and forensic investigations, which often limit public defenders. He also referenced the recommendations of the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission, which he argued sit on a bookshelf un-adopted.

Trent Baggett, executive coordinator of the Oklahoma District Attorney’s Council, refuted that, saying the council has done everything they were asked to do in the commission’s recommendations. He said they’ve offered the trainings specified, and they comply with open-file discovery in the pre-trial phase as specified in state statute.

He did say that new or newly discovered evidence is probably not often made available to a defendant’s new attorney once a case has been tried and decided, as is the case for Glossip. He said that would be for a court to determine if the evidence is credible and if the case should be retried. He said the charge of the ineffective assistance of council is also something for the Court of Criminal Appeals to decide.

Christy Shepherd with the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission, shared her personal history with the criminal justice system. Shepherd’s cousin, Debbie Carter was murdered in Ada in 1982. The two men convicted of the crime – one of whom was sentenced to death – were later exonerated by DNA evidence. Another man later received the death penalty in the case but had his conviction overturned to life without parole instead. The case was made famous by author John Grisham and has been the subject of a documentary.

Shepherd said she’s since received a degree in criminal justice and has studied the system for years. When asked whether she is for the death penalty, she said morally, yes, but systematically no. She is very against because the state does not have the system set up to carry out the death penalty as it should be, she said.

She believes most Oklahomans voted in favor of the death penalty because they believe the system works like it should, but she pointed to her own family’s angst over seeing the wrong men convicted of her cousin’s murder.

“It’s not justice when we had the wrong man in prison, and the actual murderer has gone free and committed other crimes,” she said.

Also speaking at today’s study was Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter and Scott Crow, director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

Both sought to assure the committee that Oklahoma’s process and protocols are being thoroughly reviewed and refined before executions resume in the state at a yet unknown date.

Tom Bates, newly appointed executive director of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board, explained the board’s limited role in death penalty cases, including the clemency hearing process. He also said he is aware of the Death Penalty Review Commissions’ recommendations but said some of those will need to be handled through legislation.

Craig Sutter, executive director of the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, spoke to the board as well, explaining how the system works throughout the state.  

-END-

McDugle represents District 12 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes parts of Wagoner County.

Office of the Press Secretary

President Donald J. Trump Approves Louisiana Emergency Declaration
                                                                                     

Today, President Donald J. Trump declared that an emergency exists in the State of Louisiana and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Hurricane Delta beginning on October 6, 2020, and continuing.
 
The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe.
 
Public Assistance Category B emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, will be provided for the parishes of Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Catahoula, Concordia, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Livingston, Lafayette, Lafourche, Orleans, Ouachita, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Tensas, Terrebonne, Vermilion, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana.
 
Public Assistance Category B emergency protective measures, limited to direct Federal assistance, will be provided for the parishes of Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Claiborne, De Soto, East Carroll, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, La Salle, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Red River, Richland, Sabine, Union, Vernon, Webster, West Carroll, and Winn.
 
Pete Gaynor, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named John E. Long as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

 

09/29/2020 12:00 AM EDT

Caddo Parish files suit to challenge state's emergency meeting law provisions

Parish Seal (2)

CADDO PARISH FILES SUIT TO CHALLENGE STATE’S EMERGENCY MEETING LAW PROVISIONS 

Caddo Parish, LA – The Parish of Caddo has filed a lawsuit challenging the provisions of part of the act that regulates the meetings of governing bodies in Louisiana during emergencies. Louisiana Revised Statute 42:17.1, is part of Act 302, which strictly limits the items that can be placed on a governing body’s electronic meeting agenda during a declared emergency. 

The Parish argues that if it becomes unsafe to meet in person again during the pandemic or in a future emergency, the Parish should be able to address any matter of business electronically that they would ordinarily address in an in-person meeting.

“We believe that home rule charter parishes’ governing bodies should have an exclusive right to set their own agendas, particularly with all of the safeguards put in place for public participation in electronic meetings,” said Caddo Parish Attorney Donna Frazier. “Electronic meetings with no limitation items were shown to work well before the passage of Act 302,” said Frazier.

The Caddo Parish Commission voted 10-2 to direct the Parish Attorney’s office to file suit. In response to Act 302, the Caddo Parish Commission is currently meeting in person for the duration of Phase 3.

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Oklahoma House of Representatives Banner

Communications & Public Affairs
Aug. 17, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
State Rep. Nicole Miller

Bill Allowing Videoconferencing in District Court Becomes Law

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Nicole Miller, R-Edmond, was joined by representatives from the Oklahoma Dept. of Corrections and the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office as Gov. Kevin Stitt signed House Bill 3756 in a ceremony last week.

House Bill 3756, authored by Miller, authorizes the use of videoconferencing technology in all stages of civil or criminal proceedings except in jury trials or trials before judges.

“We started working on this legislation in September 2019 because videoconferencing seemed like a simple solution to help save our criminal justice system both time and money, as well as maintaining public safety,” Miller said. “Of course, we never could have predicted how much more valuable and useful the bill would become. There couldn’t be a better time to offer videoconferencing to Oklahoma’s district court system, which in turn impacts county jails and the Department of Corrections, and I appreciate the work done by its supporters to pass the legislation.”

Miller said the idea was proposed to her by Frank Urbanic, a criminal defense attorney and constituent of House District 82.

“What initially started as a way to allow an attorney to plead for his or her client without that client being physically present turned into a bill that brings our courts into the 21st century,” Urbanic said. “We’re only scratching the surface right now on the efficiencies produced by this legislation. Something we didn’t envision when we stared working on this legislation was the impact a pandemic would have on our court system. This legislation assures every court in the future that video teleconferencing is authorized when there are public health concerns.”

The Oklahoma Dept. of Corrections (DOC) and the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association (OSA) were among the groups supporting HB3756.

This bill helps propel the idea of expanding current technology to protect the public. The pandemic forces us to open our minds to alternative methods to accomplish the task,” said DOC spokeswoman Jessica Brown. “Virtual hearings are one such alternative. ODOC greatly appreciates Rep. Miller’s partnering with public safety to achieve passage of this bill.”

“Rep. Miller’s House Bill 3756 has advanced the use of virtual hearings for sheriffs across the state. This will provide an immeasurable cost savings for the citizens in Oklahoma,” said Ray McNair, who serves as executive director of OSA.

The bill was formally signed into law in May and will go into effect Nov. 1.

-30-

 

HD

Communications & Public Affairs
Aug. 7 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
 State Rep. Jason Lowe

Lowe Announces Coalition of Community Leaders to Help Oklahomans Facing Eviction

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Jason Lowe, D-Oklahoma City, today addressed the looming spike in evictions throughout the state and announced a coalition of community leaders that will be providing support to those facing eviction. 

“Thousands of Oklahomans, devastated by job loss and decreased income due to COVID-19, are facing eviction next month now that the federal eviction moratorium has expired,” Lowe said. “It is imperative that the public knows their rights as tenants, as well as the community services available to them in order to prevent a homelessness crisis.”    

Lowe was joined by several community members representing organizations with resources to help Oklahomans facing evictions. 

“Tulsa and Oklahoma City are Top 20 nationally for eviction rates and that was before COVID,” said Michael Figgins, the executive director of Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma. “When you add illegal lockout evictions, studies are showing that we are looking at more than 130,000 potential evictions.” 

The resources available by the providers present ranged from legal representation, back rent, to occupational retraining videos.

“We have eviction attorneys at the courthouse every time there is an eviction docket,” said  Jennifer Montagna, the lead eviction attorney at Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma. “If you are facing eviction and you receive a summons or prior to the court action a notice regarding being late on your rent, you should call Legal Aid immediately.” 

While the purpose of the press conference was to bring attention to the upcoming eviction crisis Oklahoma faces, Lowe did offer some direct legal advice.  

“No matter what, the thing you cannot do if you get an eviction notice is ignore it,” Lowe said. “As an attorney, I see people in courthouses every day that are scared and feel hopeless because there is nobody there advocating for them. We want everyone to know that you don’t have to face eviction alone. The people here today and more importantly the organizations behind them are here to help and be your advocate.”

Speaking at the conference today: Michael Figgins - Executive Director of Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Jennifer Montagna -  Lead Eviction Attorney at Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Ginny Carl – Executive Director of Community Cares Partners and Founder and CEO of Giving Well LLC, Brian Wilkerson – Director of Litigation and Legal Services at Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc., Marilyn Long – Founder and Executive Director at North East Resource Center, Inc. 

-30-

A/V of Press Conference: Lowe Announces Coalition of Community Leaders to Help Oklahomans Facing Eviction

 

 

Offices of the United States Attorneys

 

 

 

LOUISIANA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION LIFTS SUSPENSION OF UTILITY SERVICES© HGN News®   07/08/2020

EFFECTIVE 07/16/2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Oklahoma State Election Board

 

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 3, 2020

Voter Registration Deadline for Statewide Primary Approaches

(Oklahoma City) – The deadline to register to vote or update your voter registration for Oklahoma’s Primary election is Friday, June 5.

The State Election Board’s new voter registration “wizard” makes it easier than ever to complete a Voter

Registration Application. State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said the “wizard” is designed to simplify the registration process. Applicants who use the "wizard" will also receive a transaction code they can use to check the status of the application with their County Election Board.

“The new voter registration wizard allows you to complete your application online, then print, sign and mail the application to your County Election Board. By using the State Election Board’s website to fill out your application, you can be certain your personal information is safe and secure,” Ziriax said.

Voters can access the voter registration “wizard” through the OK Voter Portal.

In addition to the voter registration wizard, applicants can download a Voter Registration Application from the State Election Board's website. Current voters can update their voter registration address online using the OK Voter Portal, if the new address is in the same county. Voters can also get a paper voter registration application from their county election board or at a voter registration agency, such as a tag agency.

Voter registration applications must be received by the Election Board or postmarked no later than Friday, June 5.

Visit the State Election Board website at elections.ok.gov for more information.

The Oklahoma Primary Election is Tuesday, June 30.

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Louisiana Public Service Commission Orders

 

Louisiana Governor's Orders on Health Matters

 

 

No Background

Posted on: May 15, 2020

Parish announces Phase 1 reopening plans

PARISH OF CADDO ANNOUNCES PHASE 1 REOPENING PLANS

 

In response to Governor John Bel Edwards’ Phase 1 announcement, the Parish of Caddo is implementing the following guidelines, effective Monday, May 18, 2020 to reopen Parish facilities to citizens. The changes and updated guidelines are listed below:

All citizens entering Caddo Parish facilities will be required to wear a mask. Citizens are asked to bring their own masks.

Government Plaza (8th floor)

  • Government Plaza is open to citizens from 7:30am-4pm.
  • All citizens are subject to screening at the entry point to Government Plaza and/or the 8th floor.  The Parish Administrator, Parish Attorney, Human Resources/Finance, and Public Works departments will be open to the public by appointment only. Citizens are asked to call (318)-226-6900 to speak with departments and to schedule an appointment.

Caddo Parish Courthouse

  • The Caddo Parish Courthouse will be open to the public Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm. All citizens are subject to screening at the entry point to the Courthouse.  Masks are required.

Public Works

  • Solid waste compactor sites will continue to operate at adjusted hours.  A complete schedule of locations and times are posted on the Parish’s website at caddo.org.

Juvenile Services

  • All physical visitation continues to be suspended at the Juvenile Detention Center. Visitation by phone is available. Volunteer programming at the JDC remains cancelled.
  • Court hearings will return to operation as mandated by the Judiciary, and the Court will be open only to those needed for hearings.  Masks are required.

Animal Services/Caddo Parish Animal Shelter

  • The Caddo Parish Animal Shelter will be open to the public from 1pm-5pm. Masks are required.
  • Tours are closed to the public; virtual tours will continue on social media.
  • Owner surrenders are by appointment only.

Parks and Recreation

  • The Parks and Recreation office will be open Monday – Friday from 8:00am – 5:00pm.
  • All Parish public parks (green space, trails, walking paths, and restrooms) will be open daily during normal operating hours, from 6:00am – 9:00pm with the exception of Walter B. Jacobs Nature Park.
  • Walter B. Jacobs Nature Park will be open Wednesday – Saturday from 8am – 5pm and on Sunday 1pm – 5pm. Walter B. Jacobs Nature Park-Visitors Center will remain closed to the public.
  • All playgrounds at Parish parks will remain closed until further notice.
  • Reservations for rental of campgrounds at Earl G. Williamson Park will begin on Monday, May 18th. Campgrounds will open for visitors starting Wednesday, May 20th.
  • All boat ramps will be open to fishermen 24 hours a day.
  • Special events and gathering in parks are prohibited.

Caddo Parish Commission

  • The Caddo Parish Commission will continue to hold its work session, regular session and committee meetings virtually through the end of May.  All meetings are livestreamed via the Parish’s Facebook page at facebook.com/parishofcaddo .
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Louisiana governmental meetings


 

Oklahoma House of Representatives Banner

Communications & Public Affairs
May 12, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Porch Piracy Bill Sent to Governor

OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill that strengthens penalties for porch package theft was sent to the governor Monday with the anticipation it will be signed into law.

House Bill 2777, by State Rep. Ross Ford, R-Broken Arrow, establishes a misdemeanor for first and second offenses and a felony for three or more offenses within a 60-day period for anyone holding, concealing, destroying, or taking mail from the mailbox or premises of another person or from a delivery vehicle at any point throughout the delivery route without the addressee’s consent or with the intent to deprive the addressee of their mail.

“Even before this current pandemic, which has forced many Oklahomans to order medicine, groceries and other products to be delivered to their homes and businesses, porch piracy was on the rise here and in other states,” For said. “This law puts some teeth into the penalty for those who would steal such merchandise.”

Statistics show that one in five Americans report having been victim to porch piracy, and businesses report losing an estimated $9 billion annually from the practice.

Ford, a former police officer, said HB 2777 gives law enforcement and courts specific guidance for how to investigate and prosecute these offenses.

First offenses may be subject to imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of up to $500.  Those convicted of third or subsequent offenses may face up to two years in prison and/or up to a $5,000 fine. Restitution to the victim also will be required as allowed by law.

-30-

Ross Ford represents District 76 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes part of Tulsa County.

 

Oklahoma House of Representatives Banner

Communications & Public Affairs
May 11, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Bill to Allow Long-Term Care Monitoring Passes House

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives on Monday passed the Barbara E. Hoover Act that will extend electronic monitoring of family members to long-term care facilities.

Senate Bill 1739, authored in the House by State Rep. Mark Lawson, R-Sapulpa and State Sen. James Leewright, R-Bristow, allows for monitoring that is currently allowed in nursing homes to be utilized in other nursing facilities, assisted living centers and continuum of care facilities. The measure also defines in statute the term representative of a resident.

“The necessity of this bill was made all too clear in the recent COVID-19 pandemic,” Lawson said. “Many nursing homes and other long-term care facilities had to stop visits to keep their residents safe, but family members and guardians lost the ability to check on the welfare of their loved ones or those placed under their care. This bill rectifies that going forward to ensure quality of care for our must vulnerable citizens. Residents of these facilities deserve to know that their families and advocates are able to check on their care and communicate concerns on their behalf.”  

Sen. Leewright said the bill is supported by AARP, the Oklahoma Silver-Haired Legislature and the Oklahoma Alliance on Aging.

“I filed this legislation because of a constituent who was threatened with eviction from their long-term care facility if the family didn’t remove the video equipment they’d installed to monitor the care of their loved one,” Leewright said.  “This legislation clarifies current law to ensure all long-term care facilities are prohibited from evicting or otherwise retaliating against residents whose families use video equipment for additional safety and security.  With COVID-19 causing such facilities to bar visitors, it highlights the importance of being able to use video monitoring to verify the well-being of relatives.  I thank the House for joining us in getting this legislation a step closer to becoming law.”

State Rep. Kyle Hilbert, R- presented SB1739 on the House floor Monday as Lawson was working by remote after the birth of his newborn daughter.

“While nothing can replace being with loved ones in person, this important measure is helpful in this difficult time as it allows for family members to check on loved ones in real time,” Hilbert said.

The bill passed the House by a unanimous vote of 97-0. It previously passed the Senate by a unanimous vote of 46-0. It now moves to the governor’s desk for his consideration of being signed into law.

-30-

Mark Lawson represents District 30 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes parts of Creek and Tulsa counties.

 

McDaniel logo

For Immediate Release: May 7, 2020

Coronavirus Strikes State Gross Receipts

Charts and graphs

OKLAHOMA CITY – April Gross Receipts to the Treasury plunged by more than half a billion dollars as the coronavirus pandemic disrupts Oklahoma’s economy, State Treasurer Randy McDaniel announced.

Gross receipts in April total $1.08 billion, a drop of $502.5 million, or 31.8 percent, from April 2019.

The economic impact of the pandemic is spread across all major revenue streams, but is most evident in income tax collections due to the postponement of the April 15 filing deadline to July 15. Gross income tax receipts are down by more than 50 percent for the month.

“The state economy is clearly showing the repercussions of the novel coronavirus,” Treasurer McDaniel said. “While the resiliency of Oklahomans is a key source for enduring optimism, the near-term situation is expected to be especially challenging.”

McDaniel pointed out that gross production tax collections have yet to reflect the impact of record low oil prices. Gross production receipts in April are based on oil field activity two months earlier – in February – when oil was still more than $50 per barrel. Even so, collections this month were down by 24 percent from a year earlier.

The average price of oil during April was less than $20 per barrel. The impact of the price crash will begin to be seen in May receipts, but will be more fully realized in June collections.

Combined sales and use tax collections of $430.4 million are down by $44.7 million, or 9.4 percent, indicating a pullback in consumption during April likely due to shelter-in-place policies. Sales taxes, down by $47.3 million, are somewhat offset by a $2.6 million increase in use taxes assessed on out-of-state purchases including online sales.

Economic indicators

The unemployment situation in Oklahoma is rapidly changing. The March jobless rate was listed at 3.1 percent, but the employment survey was taken early in the month before many jobs were lost due to the pandemic.

Since March 15, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reports it has paid more than 430,000 jobless claims. In early March, 56,100 Oklahomans were listed as unemployed. 

The Oklahoma Business Conditions Index dropped to 34.2 in April, down from 45.7 in March. Numbers below 50 indicate economic contraction is expected during the next three to six months.

April collections 

April gross collections total $1.08 billion, down by $502.5 million, or 31.8 percent, from April 2019. 

Gross income tax collections, a combination of individual and corporate income taxes, generated $405.8 million, a decrease of $414.4 million, or 50.5 percent, from the previous April. 

Individual income tax collections for the month are $368.4 million, down by $325.1 million, or 46.9 percent, from the prior year. Corporate collections are $37.4 million, a decrease of $89.3 million, or 70.5 percent.

Combined sales and use tax collections, including remittances on behalf of cities and counties, total $430.4 million in April. That is $44.7 million, or 9.4 percent, less than April 2019. 

Sales tax collections in April total $368.3 million, a drop of $47.3 million, or 11.4 percent from the same month of the prior year. Use tax receipts, collected on out-of-state purchases including online sales, generated $62.1 million, an increase of $2.6 million, or 4.3 percent, over the year.  

Gross production taxes on oil and natural gas total $60.7 million in April, a decrease of $19.1 million, or 24 percent, from last April. Compared to March 2020 reports, gross production collections are down by $18.2 million, or 23.1 percent. 

Motor vehicle taxes produced $53 million, down by $18.1 million, or 25.5 percent, from the same month of 2019. 

Other collections composed of some 60 different sources including taxes on fuel, tobacco, medical marijuana, and alcoholic beverages, produced $129 million during the month. That is $6.2 million, or 4.6 percent, less than last April. 

Twelve-month collections 

Gross revenue totals $13.22 billion from the past 12 months, May 2019 through April 2020. That is $223.9 million, or 1.7 percent, below collections from the previous 12-month period.

Gross income taxes generated $4.38 billion for the 12 months, reflecting a decrease of $186.7 million, or 4.1 percent, from the prior 12 months. 

Individual income tax collections total $3.86 billion, down by $193.1 million, or 4.8 percent, from the prior period. Corporate collections are $524.7 million for the period, an increase of $6.4 million, or 1.2 percent, over the previous 12 months. 

Combined sales and use taxes for the 12 months generated $5.52 billion, a decrease of $15.9 million, or 0.3 percent, from the prior period. 

Gross sales tax receipts total $4.79 billion, down by $89.4 million, or 1.8 percent, during the period. Use tax collections generated $729.8 million, an increase of $73.5 million, or 11.2 percent, over the previous 12 months. 

Oil and gas gross production tax collections brought in $957.3 million during the 12 months, down by $151.9 million, or 13.7 percent, from the previous 12 months. 

Motor vehicle collections total $778.2 million for the 12 months. This is a decrease of $12.8 million, or 1.6 percent, from the trailing period. 

Other sources generated $1.58 billion, up by $143.5 million, or 10 percent, from the previous period. 

About Gross Receipts to the Treasury 

The monthly Gross Receipts to the Treasury report, developed by the state treasurer’s office, provides a timely and broad view of the state’s economy. 

It is released in conjunction with the General Revenue Fund report from the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, which provides information to state agencies for budgetary planning purposes. 

The General Revenue Fund, the state’s main operating account, receives less than half of the state’s gross receipts with the remainder paid in rebates and refunds, remitted to cities and counties, and apportioned to other state funds. 

# # # 

 

SpeakerBanner

May 2, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Office of House Speaker Charles McCall

Capitol access to be partially restored Monday when Legislature returns

OKLAHOMA CITY – Access restrictions to the State Capitol will be partially loosened Monday to restore public access, with requirements such as entry point screenings, masks, appointment only office visits, social distancing, disinfection and more remaining in place for health and safety.

The protocols were developed in consultation with health professionals from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, who will be on-site to help carry them out.

“OU Health Sciences Center is pleased to mobilize the resources of our comprehensive academic medical center to assist in providing safe access to the Capitol while the Legislature is in session to complete its important work for the state,” said Jason Sanders, MD, MBA, Senior Vice President and Provost of the OU Health Sciences Center. “The building will be safe for everyone under the health and safety guidelines, and our infectious disease and public health experts will be on-site to lead the implementation of this reopening plan. These will not be normal days at the Capitol, but they will be safe days at the Capitol.”

The public can begin entering the building at 10 a.m. Monday.

Legislative office visits will be limited to appointment only. The House and Senate lobbies will be closed. Events, tours and large group visits continue to be prohibited.

Safety modifications to legislative committee and floor activity protocols are continuing to be discussed.

The services OU Health Sciences Center will provide at the Capitol are:

Social distancing: OU Health Sciences Center’s public health and infectious diseases experts will implement social distancing protocols in the Capitol. Seating arrangement modifications will be made to ensure at least six feet between people. Signage will be placed throughout the Capitol providing social distancing guidance and information on reducing the spread of COVID-19. To maintain social distancing, access to meeting rooms, galleries and other areas will be controlled by safety personnel. Visitors must follow instructions provided via signage or safety personnel.

Screenings: Medical professionals from the OU Health Sciences Center will use the most recent guidance to screen for COVID-19 as people enter the building. Screening will be non-invasive and take fewer than five minutes. People who do not pass the screening will not be admitted.

Masks: It is strongly recommended that visitors wear masks in the Capitol. Visitors should bring their own masks. Mask patterns are available at oumedicine.com/thechallenge should the public wish to sew their own mask.

Education: COVID-19 educational materials developed by OU Health Sciences Center experts will be provided following the screening.

Disinfection: OU Health Sciences Center officials consulted with legislative cleaning staff on U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidance for clinical setting disinfection protocols. Cleaning staff will use these protocols to disinfect daily.

The protocols will remain in place for at least two weeks. They are subject to change as needed.

Since mid-March, Capitol access had been restricted to elected officials, essential staff and the press. The Legislature was in session at the Capitol for two legislative days under the restricted access. Legislative business has continued off-site, with members working from their districts and staff working remotely.

“Capitol access is being phased in cautiously just like Oklahoma’s reopening is being phased in cautiously,” said House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka. “If you truly need to be at the Capitol, you can be there under health precautions, and if you do not need to be there, be safe and watch online.”

Each legislative chamber will continue operating with reduced on-site staffing. At-risk employees will continue working remotely.

“The guidance of the health professionals at OU Health Sciences Center puts the public and our staff in good hands,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City. “Health professionals advised us on the previous access guidelines, and they are advising us on these, as well.”

Legislators will discuss plans for the rest of session when they convene Monday.

 

 

Oklahoma House of Representatives Banner

Communications & Public Affairs
April 30, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Humphrey Requests AG Investigation of OK Beef Industry

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, last week met with Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter regarding his request of an investigation into the Oklahoma beef industry. On Tuesday, he sent a follow-up letter expressing appreciation for Hunter’s quick response to his initial request and commending Hunter’s staff for how quickly they addressed his concerns.

Humphrey said Hunter’s staff directed him to webinars and Zoom meetings presented by leading powerbrokers in the beef industry. After listening to hours of discussion, he wrote Hunter to report back his conclusions.

“First, it is very important to know and understand that COVID-19 did not create the crises now presented within the beef industry,” Humphrey wrote. “The virus merely accelerated and exposed multiple factors pertaining to market manipulation within the industry. The beef packing industry is a critical component of an extremely complex beef market network. Many organizations designated to represent beef producers may have acquired an unbalanced perspective of the importance of the packers verses the producers. These organization have used their potential to peddle influence on behalf of the packing industry to establish an unfair, and I believe, an unlawful market advantage. This type of manipulation will result in the eradication of the present beef producer model and lead to a commercialization of the beef industry, which has already materialized in the pork and poultry industries.”

Humphrey said webinars hosted by special-interest groups discussed price setting, markets, risk factors and profits. He said he believes all buyers and sellers understand these fundamental components and risk. Producers also recognize import and export market demands.

“However, I witnessed little discussion on a multitude of external factors, which has detrimentally impacted the production of beef,” Humphrey wrote.

Humphrey said these factors include:

  1. Government regulations and legislation resulting in fewer packers creating monopolies and establishing an unfair advantage for corporate packers.
  2. Illegal collaboration between market monopolies resulting in the erosion of stable pricing and the inability for producers to impact price setting.
  3. Foreign influence in ownership of American markets and cheap imported beef, which fails to meet U.S. meat standards. 
  4. Unfair competition with foreign producers, which destroys the market, requiring expensive and unfair requirements for U.S. producers and no standards for foreign producers.
  5. Labeling of American-raised beef informing and allowing consumers choice in beef consumption.
  6. Reducing government restrictions on processing and sales of beef at local markets.

Humphrey said other significant factors are being reported in the United States food chain.

“Recently, I received a presentation that U.S. officials are working on presenting potential alternative food markets,” Humphrey wrote. “These alternative markets reportedly introduce depopulating or disposal methods. These methods are plowing under vegetables crops, euthanizing chickens, aborting sows and burring feeder pigs, dumping milk and preparing to depopulate fat cattle ready for harvest. We are obliterating the United States food chain, and yet we are purchasing foreign foods and beef. We have a huge supply and demand. We can feed the world, yet we are destroying our harvest and our beef. While destroying our produce, meats and beef industry, we are purchasing imported beef that is less regulated, less safe and is often a poor quality product. It is time we all wake up and realize what is at stake.

“Yes, we need corporate packing plants, but we must also offer regional markets to supply and provide beef to our local communities and markets. We must end foreign control of our food markets, stop the monopolies and allow the United States consumer a choice to purchase U.S. products by requiring country of origin labeling.”

Humphrey ended his latest letter by encouraging the attorney general to act on his request for an investigation of the beef industry and to forward his correspondence to U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

“Please encourage him to take action to protect our great nation and our state,” Humphrey concluded.   

-30-

Justin Humphrey represents District 19 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes parts of Atoka, Bryan, Choctaw and Pushmataha counties.

 

 

 

 

 

April 21, 2020

Pine Hill Road Bridge closed for replacement

 Beginning Tuesday, April 21, the bridge located on Pine Hill Road that crosses McCain Creek in North Caddo will be closed to allow the Caddo Parish Department of...… Read on

 

 

OAG Seal

MIKE HUNTER
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF OKLAHOMA

 

 

 

Oklahoma State Senate

Office of the President Pro Tempore

Senator Greg Treat


For Immediate Release: April 2, 2020

Senate leader agrees with Governor’s health emergency declaration;

Says Senate will meet Monday to take action

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat said he agrees with the governor’s health emergency declaration issued Thursday and that the Senate will convene Monday to take action on the order.

“This particular kind of order hasn’t ever been issued by the executive branch, but I agree it’s needed now during these extraordinary and unprecedented times. We must take this pandemic seriously as a state. Life, at every stage, is precious and we must do everything to protect it. The health emergency declaration gives the governor and his team greater authority to coordinate Oklahoma’s overall coronavirus response. Oklahoma will come through this health care crisis, and with a unified and statewide response, that comeback will happen quicker and more effectively,” said Treat, R-Oklahoma City.

On Thursday, Governor Kevin Stitt issued an health emergency declaration in accordance with the provisions of 63 O.S. § 6101 - 6900 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor’s Office said:

Under 63 O.S. § 6104 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the governor is granted broader powers during a health emergency, like the COVID-19 pandemic, to waive statutory or regulatory requirements as well as the ability to coordinate a cohesive statewide response among city and county health departments.

This declaration also gives the governor the authority to allow health care professionals who have left the workforce to quickly rejoin the front lines against COVID-19 and protect first responders by helping them manage their personal protective equipment (PPE). By loosening some restrictions, first responders will be able to know if the home they are dispatched to has a resident who has tested positive for COVID-19. Patient names and other identifying information will still be restricted.

The issuance of the health emergency also triggers a special legislative session to approve or deny the governor’s actions. The special session is set for 8 a.m. Monday.

Treat said the Senate consulted with the Attorney General’s Office and legal staff since these statutes and provisions have never been invoked.

“The legal opinion is that the governor’s executive order is effective upon its issuance. The Senate is not currently in session; however, attorneys inform us the special session can be held next week. That will help us minimize the amount of time the Legislature meets so that we can adhere to social distancing guidelines,” Treat said.

Treat said the Senate was finalizing logistical plans for session, which include utilizing a minimum amount of Senate staff and rotating senators’ time on the Senate floor so that proper social distancing practices could be observed.

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SpeakerBanner

April 2, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: John Estus
Office of House Speaker Charles McCall
Capitol: (405) 557-7439
Cell: (405) 706-0084

Legislature to return next week

OKLAHOMA CITY – Under strong health and safety protocols, the Legislature will convene on Monday to address the expected state revenue failure and an expanded state health emergency requested by Gov. Kevin Stitt.

“The Legislature will complete important business next week while putting safety at the forefront of all activities at the Capitol,” said House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka. “Extraordinary precautions will be taken to ensure health and safety within the Capitol during these necessary proceedings. We are going to stabilize the budget so services can continue uninterrupted and affirm the governor’s health emergency declaration to step up Oklahoma’s battle against COVID-19. The Legislature’s time to act is here, and we are prepared to do so in a safe manner that is compliant with current health guidelines.”

McCall said the Legislature will address the pending state revenue failure by accessing reserve funding in regular session, and affirm the governor’s emergency health declaration request in special session. The governor was required to call the special session under the state law outlining expanded powers the governor can be given during emergency health situations.

The House will convene at 8 a.m. Monday under the following revised protocols necessary to protect against COVID-19 while in session.

WHO WILL BE AT THE CAPITOL

  • Capitol access remains restricted to elected officials, essential Capitol staff, the press, state officials invited for critical meetings and construction personnel.
  • Most House staff will continue to work remotely; only essential staff will be at the Capitol.
  • No gatherings of more than 10 will be allowed in any House room at any time.
  • House members and staff will not be allowed into the Capitol if they:
    • Have COVID-19 or its symptoms
    • Live with someone who has COVID-19 or its symptoms
    • Are immunocompromised or otherwise at risk
    • Live with someone who is immunocompromised or otherwise at risk
  • Before entering the Capitol, House members and staff will have their temperature taken. No one with a temperature above 100.4F will be admitted.
  • House members unable to enter the Capitol for these reasons or others can vote remotely via a proxy under House Rule Fifteen.

HOW HOUSE PROCEEDINGS WILL WORK

  • Skeleton crews of less than ten people will run floor and committee proceedings.
  • Members and staff must listen to proceedings in their offices.
  • Members will be brought into floor and committee proceedings individually or in small groups to vote, ask questions, debate and present legislation in order to comply with orders limiting gatherings of ten or more.
  • Press will be permitted in the enclosed press gallery above the House Chamber, and will be required to maintain social distancing within the gallery.
  • The House Chamber public gallery will be closed.
  • Livestreaming video online of floor and committee proceedings will continue.

The Legislature has not been in the Capitol since March 17, when a staffer tested positive. Since then, the Legislature and its staff has worked remotely and the Capitol has received a deep cleaning.

Further details on next week’s session activities will be released in the near future.

-30-

 

 

 

2nd PROCLAMATION

 

 

OAG Seal

MIKE HUNTER
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF OKLAHOMA


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 26, 2020

Attorney General Hunter Clarifies Governor’s Executive Order Regarding Law Enforcement Action for Non-Compliance

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today released the following information regarding law enforcement action relating to individuals or business owners that do not comply with the governor’s March 24 executive order.

“The guidelines in the governor’s executive order call for Oklahomans to act in the best interest of their fellow citizens,” Attorney General Hunter said. “What we are calling on more than anything, is for Oklahomans to be good citizens, good neighbors and comply with the governor’s executive order, as well as the ordinances of local governments, to protect one another from this deadly illness.​

“While a violation of an executive order can be a misdemeanor, law enforcement officers are counseled to inform and persuade to effect compliance when confronted with violations, emphasizing the gravity of the ongoing public health emergency we are experiencing.

“This is not intended to undercut law enforcement’s ability to make decisions based on their training, discretion and the facts of any given situation. Rather, this statement is provided to support and enable law enforcement to make sound, fact based decisions given the circumstances while appropriately balancing the interests of public safety and public health.

“We are in an unprecedented time. The Coronavirus has and will continue to cause profound disruptions in everyone’s lives and livelihoods and we are all painfully aware of those who have become ill or tragically, have died. But rest assured, by following the advice of our state, municipal, county and federal leaders, and complying with the measures laid out in the governor’s executive order, we will save lives.”

Facts Concerning the Governor’s Executive Order

  •  It does not impose martial law; 

 

  • Individuals can still be charged with a misdemeanor. However, it is up to law enforcement’s discretion on who does or does not need to be arrested for violating the executive order or another misdemeanor crime;

 

  • The guidelines in the governor’s executive order call for Oklahomans to do what is in the best interest of the public health of their fellow citizens; and

 

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Learn more about the Office of the Texas Governor Greg Abbott


03/26/2020 03:53 PM CDT

Gov. Abbott issued an Executive Order mandating a self-quarantine of 14 days for individuals traveling to Texas as their final destination through an airport from the Tri-State Area of NY, NJ, or CT as well as the city of New Orleans, LA.

WHEREAS, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, issued a disaster proclamation on March 13, 2020, certifying under Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) poses an imminent threat of disaster for all counties in the State of Texas; and

WHEREAS, the Texas Department of State Health Services has determined that, as of March 19, 2020, COVID-19 represents a public health disaster within the meaning of Chapter 81 of the Texas Health and Safety Code; and

WHEREAS, I issued Executive Order GA-08 on March 19, 2020, Executive Order GA-09 on March 22, 2020, and Executive Order GA-10 on March 24, 2020, all in response to the COVID-19 disaster; and

WHEREAS, many cases of COVID-19 in the State of Texas were caused by people who transmitted the virus to Texans after flying here from other states and countries; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, recently urged everyone who traveled from the New York metropolitan area to self-quarantine for 14 days to ensure that COVID-19 does not spread to others; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, likewise called for 14 days of self-quarantine of travelers from New York so that New York does not act as a “seeding point to the rest of the country;” and

WHEREAS, after the Governor of Florida imposed a quarantine on all air travelers arriving from the New York Tri-State Area, which is experiencing substantial community spread of COVID-19, the Mayor of New York City remarked to the press, “I understand it.  We are the epicenter;” and

WHEREAS, the “governor is responsible for meeting . . .  the dangers to the state and people presented by disasters” under Section 418.011 of the Texas Government Code, and the legislature has given the governor broad authority to fulfill that responsibility; and

WHEREAS, under Section 418.012, the “governor may issue executive orders . . .  hav[ing] the force and effect of law;” and

WHEREAS, under Section 418.017(a), the “governor may use all available resources of state government and of political subdivisions that are reasonably necessary to cope with a disaster;” and

WHEREAS, under Section 418.018(c), the “governor may control ingress and egress to and from a disaster area and the movement of persons and the occupancy of premises in the area;” and

WHEREAS, under Section 418.173, failure to comply with any executive order issued during the COVID-19 disaster is an offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000, confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days, or both fine and confinement.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Texas, do hereby order the following on a statewide basis effective at noon on March 28, 2020:

Every person who enters the State of Texas as the final destination through an airport, from a point of origin or point of last departure in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, or the City of New Orleans, or in any other state or city as may be proclaimed hereafter, shall be subject to mandatory self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into Texas or the duration of the person’s presence in Texas, whichever is shorter.  This order to self-quarantine shall not apply to people traveling in connection with military service, emergency response, health response, or critical-infrastructure functions, as may be determined by the Texas Division of Emergency Management.  Each person covered under this order to self-quarantine shall be responsible for all associated costs, including transportation, lodging, food, and medical care. 

A covered person shall use a form prescribed by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to designate a quarantine location in Texas, such as a residence or a hotel, and provide a full name, date of birth, home address, telephone number, and driver license or passport information.  DPS Troopers, or other approved peace officers, shall collect a completed form from each covered person immediately upon disembarking and verify it against the person’s driver license or passport.  Providing false information on this form is a criminal offense under Section 37.10 of the Texas Penal Code.  Questions about this form should be directed to DPS at (800) 525-5555. 

A covered person shall proceed directly from the airport to the designated quarantine location entered on the DPS form.  Any covered person exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 shall be escorted to the designated quarantine location by a DPS Trooper.

A covered person shall remain in the designated quarantine location for a period of 14 days or the duration of the person’s presence in Texas, whichever is shorter, leaving only to seek medical care or to depart from Texas.  During that period, a covered person shall not allow visitors into or out of the designated quarantine location, other than a health department employee, physician, or healthcare provider, and shall not visit any public spaces.

DPS Special Agents will conduct unannounced visits to designated quarantine locations to verify compliance by confirming the physical presence of covered persons.  Any failure to comply with this order to self-quarantine shall be a criminal offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000, confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days, or both.

This executive order shall remain in effect and in full force until modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by the governor.

Given under my hand this the 26th day of March, 2020. 

Governor Greg Abbott

 

 

Learn more about the Office of the Texas Governor Greg Abbott

03/24/2020 05:31 PM CDT

The Executive Order requires all hospitals, excluding psychiatric hospitals, to submit daily reports on hospital bed capacity to DSHS who will then share this information with the CDC.

WHEREAS, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, issued a disaster proclamation on March 13, 2020, certifying under Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) poses an imminent threat of disaster for all counties in the State of Texas; and

WHEREAS, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has determined that, as of March 19, 2020, COVID-19 represents a public health disaster within the meaning of Chapter 81 of the Texas Health and Safety Code; and

WHEREAS, I issued Executive Order GA-08 on March 19, 2020, and Executive Order GA-09 on March 22, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 disaster; and

WHEREAS, timely information about COVID-19 testing and hospital bed capacity is crucial to efforts to cope with the COVID-19 disaster; and

WHEREAS, Vice President Mike Pence, leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has requested that every governor in the United States order daily reporting of these crucial pieces of information to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and

WHEREAS, the “governor is responsible for meeting . . .  the dangers to the state and people presented by disasters” under Section 418.011 of the Texas Government Code, and the legislature has given the governor broad authority to fulfill that responsibility; and

WHEREAS, under Section 418.012, the “governor may issue executive orders . . .  hav[ing] the force and effect of law.”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Texas, do hereby order the following on a statewide basis effective 11:59 p.m. on March 24, 2020:

All hospitals licensed under Chapter 241 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, and all Texas state-run hospitals, except for psychiatric hospitals, shall submit to DSHS daily reports of hospital bed capacity, in the manner prescribed by DSHS.  DSHS shall promptly share this information with the CDC.

Every public or private entity that is utilizing an FDA-approved test, including an emergency use authorization test, for human diagnostic purposes of COVID-19, shall submit to DSHS, as well as to the local health department, daily reports of all test results, both positive and negative.  DSHS shall promptly share this information with the CDC.

This executive order shall remain in effect and in full force until modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by me or by a succeeding governor.

Given under my hand this the 24th day of March, 2020. 

Governor Greg Abbott

 

LOUISIANA GOVERNOR EDWARDS ISSUES STAY IN PLACE ORDER FOR LOUISIANA CITIZENS WITH EXCEPTIONS READ BELOW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Officials announce temporary closure of Government Plaza

 

OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF GOVERNMENT PLAZA

A Parish of Caddo employee who works at Government Plaza has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee has received medical care and is currently self-isolating at home.  The Parish is working closely with local and state officials to identify the employee’s close contacts and provide necessary guidance to those individuals.

In an abundance of caution and for the health and safety of our citizens and employees, the Parish of Caddo along with the City of Shreveport and the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office will be closing Government Plaza Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20. Citizens will not be able to access Government Plaza at this time. This closure will allow for the disinfection of the facility. Essential staff from all agencies will be working remotely.  Employees are expected to return to Government Plaza on Monday.

 “During this time in our community, the Parish’s top priority is to protect the health and welfare of our citizens and employees.  Taking these measures allow us to disinfect and sanitize our public spaces and make sure that they are safe,” said Erica R. Bryant, Assistant Parish Administrator.

 “The City of Shreveport is taking every precaution to ensure the safety of City employees and to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 through our community, while maintaining essential city services. We will disinfect the building and work spaces before employees return,” said Mayor Adrian Perkins.

“Our administrative employees are valuable to us. We will do whatever necessary to catch up on the two lost work days in order to sanitize our offices.  All essential services remain operational and we are there for you,” said Sheriff Steve Prator.

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March 18, 2020 01:38 PM

SHREVEPORT CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS DURING THE COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY

 Read on

Date Every day from March 18, 2020 - March 24, 2020
Time 1:38 PM
Location Shreveport, LA 71101

 

CITY OF NEW ORLEANS SUSPENDS DISCONNECT OF WATER SERVICE FOR NON-PAYMENT AMID COVID-19

The City of New Orleans has suspended all water shut-offs due to non-payment and has restored those services for those who were shut off according to their website https://ready.nola.gov/incident/coronavirus/city%e2%80%99s-tap-water-is-safe-to-drink-and-well-protect/?utm_campaign=City_of_New_Orleans&utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=©2020 HGN News®

 

LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT

 

LOUISIANA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION RE: UTILITIES CUTOFF ORDER

WARNING: MAKE SURE THE UTILITY COMPANY YOU BELIEVE THIS ORDER RELATES TO IS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE LOUISIANA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

 

March 17, 2020

Parish COVID-19 Information (Updated as new information becomes available)

In abundance of caution and for the health and safety of our citizens and parish employees, the Parish has made several changes that alter the way we provide our...… Read on

 

FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT (1ST JDC) COVID-19 ORDER

 

 

OKOCC Banner

News from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission Public Utility Division

 

March 16, 2020 

Media Advisory 

 

Covid-19 and utility customers  

 

The  Commission’s Public Utility Division (PUD) is coordinating a voluntary effort by the state’s utilities to help Oklahomans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other things, plans are being developed to help impacted customers who may be facing service disconnection.  

 

The agency’s PUD staff is coordinating with the regulated utilities to consider moratoriums for those residential customers who are directly affected by the COVID-19 virus and for high-risk residential customers. 

 

Please contact your utility to obtain more specific information about that company’s COVID-19 response plan.  

- OCC-

All OCC advisories and releases are available at

www.occeweb.com

 

 

text logo

Pursuant to Executive Order 2020-07 the State of Oklahoma is under a state of emergency declared March 15, 2020 and effective until April 13, 2020.  The Oklahoma Department of Labor (ODOL) as an agency of the state is currently closed to the public and all meetings in the building have been canceled until April 30, 2020.  All interactions with ODOL will be conducted by telephone or electronically in adherence to the directives of Governor Kevin Stitt. 

The ODOL can be reached by telephone at (405)521-6100 or toll free 1-(888)269-5353 and by fax at (405)521-6018. 

If you have questions regarding the following please email the division directly

Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our citizens and in an effort to prevent the spread of illness, we are following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding social distancing. ODOL regrets any inconvenience this may cause and will continue to ensure a high level of public service.  If we can be of assistance, please contact us.

 

 

 

 


03/16/2020 12:10 PM EDT

This Order is being issued in response to the recent outbreak of novel coronavirus in the United States and the State of Louisiana. The World Health Organization has declared that COVID-19 qualifies as a global pandemic, having spread across more than 120 countries with more than 1,600 confirmed cases in the United States.

Louisiana State Meetings


 

March 13, 2020

Cancellation of Caddo Parish Parks and Recreation events

 CancellationDue to the potential high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 for older adults/senior populations, below are upcoming programs hosted by the Caddo Parish...… Read on

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOUISIANA GOVERNOR'S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON USING PRISONER OR JAIL LABOR

The Office of the State Register will publish the following Executive Order in the February 20, 2020 issue of the Louisiana Register:

JBE 20-01  Offender Labor--Jetson

To view Executive Orders on our website archive, go to:

 

http://www.doa.la.gov/Pages/osr/other/JBE-2020.aspx

 

 

 

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS

 

 

SHREVEPORT OFFICE OF THE MAYOR

February 03, 2020

Mayor Perkins to Create CFO Position for City of Shreveport

Mayor Adrian Perkins will introduce legislation to create a Chief Financial Officer at the February 11th City Council meeting. He will appoint Sherricka Fields...… Read on

 

 

Office of the Press Secretary

President Donald J. Trump Announces Judicial Nominee
 

Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate:
 
David C. Joseph of Louisiana, to serve as Judge on the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

David Joseph is the United States Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, where he serves as the chief Federal law enforcement officer for the District.  Before becoming United States Attorney in 2018, Mr. Joseph served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of Louisiana, where he prosecuted a wide variety of offenses, with a focus on fraud, public corruption, white-collar crime, and crimes committed on the district’s military installations.  Mr. Joseph also served as a prosecutor in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and as an attorney in the Professional Liability & Financial Crimes Section of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and he practiced civil litigation in the private sector.  Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Joseph served as a law clerk for Judge Jeffrey P. Victory of the Louisiana Supreme Court and Judge John V. Parker of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana.  He earned his B.B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and his J.D. from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University, where he was a member of the Louisiana Law Review.

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ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS

 

LOUISIANA MEETINGS

 

 

 

U.S. Department of Justice

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS

 

 

_______________________TRANSPORTATION

Links:

Alexandria International Airport

Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport

Lafayette Regional Airport

Lake Charles Regional Airport

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

Monroe Regional Airport

Shreveport Regional Airport

 _____________

___________

DOTD: Ferry and Moveable Bridge Status

_

 

Learn more about the Office of the Texas Governor Greg Abbott


03/19/2020 03:51 PM CDT
The four orders serve to limit public gatherings and help reduce exposure for people across the state.

WHEREAS, the novel coronavirus (COVD-19) has been recognized globally as a contagious respiratory virus; and

WHEREAS, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, issued a disaster proclamation on March 13, 2020, certifying that COVJD-19 poses an imminent threat of disaster for aH counties in the state of Texas; and

WHEREAS, COVID-19 continues to spread and to pose an increasing, imminent threat of disaster throughout Texas; and

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised that person-to-person contact heightens the risk of COVID-19 transmission; and

WHEREAS, the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, as promulgated by President Donald J. Trump and the CDC on March 16, 2020, call upon Americans to slow the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people, using drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options at restaurants and bars, and avoiding visitation at nursing homes, among other steps; and

WHEREAS, the Texas Department of State Health Services has now determined that, as of March 19, 2020, COVID- 19 represents a public health disaster within the meaning of Chapter 81 of the Texas Health and Safety Code; and

WHEREAS, under the Texas Disaster Act of 1975, “[t]he governor is responsible for meeting . . . the dangers to the state and people presented by disasters” (Section 418.001 of the Texas Government Code), and the legislature has given the governor broad authority to fulfill that responsibility.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Texas, do hereby order the following on a statewide basis effective 11:59 p.m. on March 20, 2020, and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on April 3, 2020, subject to extension thereafter based on the status of COVID-19 in Texas and the recommendations of the CDC:

Order No. 1 - In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
Order No. 2 - In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of this executive order.
Order No. 3 - In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
Order No. 4 - In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools shall temporarily close.

This, executive order does not prohibit people from visiting a variety of places, including grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. This executive order does not mandate sheltering in place. All critical infrastructure will remain operational, domestic travel will remain unrestricted, and government entities and businesses will continue providing essential services. For offices and workplaces that remain open, employees should practice good hygiene and, where feasible, work from home in order to achieve optimum isolation from COVD-19. The more that people reduce their public contact, the sooner COVID-19 will be contained and the sooner this executive order will expire.

This executive order supersedes all previous orders on this matter that are in conflict or inconsistent with its terms, and this order shall remain in effect and in full force until 11:59 p.m. on April 3, 2020, subject to being extended, modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by me or by a succeeding governor.

Given under my hand this the 19th day of March, 2020.

Governor Greg Abbott

View the executive orders

 

Learn more about the Office of the Texas Governor Greg Abbott


03/19/2020 03:37 PM CDT

The actions, taken immediately, will reduce and delay the spread of COVID-19.

TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME:

I, John W. Hellerstedt, M.D., Commissioner of the Department of State Health Services, do hereby certify that the introduction and spread of the communicable disease known as COVID-19 in the State of Texas has created an immediate threat, poses a high risk of death to a large number of people and creates a substantial risk of public exposure because of the disease’s method of transmission and evidence that there is community spread in Texas.

THEREFORE, in accordance with the authority vested in me by Section 81.082(d) of the Texas Health and Safety Code, I do hereby declare a state of public health disaster for the entire State of Texas.

Pursuant to Section 81.002 of the code, each person shall act responsibly to prevent and control communicable disease. The following actions, taken immediately, will reduce and delay the spread of COVID-19:

• People, businesses and communities should immediately undertake hygiene, cleanliness and sanitation practices that are accessible, affordable and known to be effective against COVI D-19.

  • Wash hands often for 20 seconds and encourage others to do the same.
  • If no soap and water are available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. o Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away. o Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Disinfect surfaces, buttons, handles, knobs, and other places touched often. o Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• People who are known to have, or are under investigation or monitoring, for COVID-19, should adhere to the direction provided to them by duly authorized persons, including public health officials. Failure to abide by such direction may result in involuntary quarantine or isolation for the purposes of preventing further community spread of COVI D-19.

People who are ill, especially those with symptoms consistent with influenza or COVID 19, should isolate themselves at home until they recover. Such persons should only present for medical evaluation and treatment if their symptoms are such that they cannot continue to be cared for in their home. And, when seeking medical care should call their doctor or health care facility before arriving to allow them to prepare.

• Limit trips into the public to essential outings. Traveling to work, the grocery store, the pharmacy or to seek medical care would be considered essential trips.

• Limit as much as possible close contact with other people. Stay six feet away.

• Do not gather in social groups of more than ten (10) individuals.

• Employers should allow work at home alternatives to the greatest extent possible.

• Restaurants should not allow dine-in options, either inside or outside. Take-out and curbside options with minimal contact are permitted and highly encouraged.

The Texas Department of State Health Services will continue to provide the most current and practical advice on how to control the spread of COVID-19 and encourages all Texans to seek additional information from a trusted source such as https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ or from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/.

Adherence to these rules and the sound public health principles that support them will provide optimal protection for the people of Texas. These measures are necessary to advance the health and safety of all Texans. Copies of this proclamation will be filed with applicable authorities.

Given under my hand this the day of March, 2020.

JOHN W. HELLERSTEDT, M.D. Commissioner of Public Health

Read the declaration 
 

12/31/2019 12:00 AM EST

A 34-year-old Nigerian man who resided in Houston has been charged with conspiracy, bank fraud and aggravated identify theft

 

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Oklahoma House of Representatives Banner

Communications & Public Affairs
March 16, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
STATEMENT: Rep. Sean Roberts on COVID-19

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Sean Roberts (R-Hominy) today released the following statement regarding COVID-19:

“Constituents and members of the media,

The threat of coronavirus is quite real. The next several weeks are paramount in determining the impact this virus has on our communities. Awful national tragedies such as Hurricane Katrina have shown us what happens when government fails to aggressively act preemptively. We have a chance to change our trajectory.  We must mitigate the impact and realize that this virus impacts all age groups. It is important that we fight this virus with an ‘Oklahoma Strong’ mentality. We must all work together to protect our seniors, high risk patients, and our healthcare providers. Even if you, as an individual, are not classified in a high risk sector for the coronavirus, if necessary precautions are not taken, you are potentially putting our senior citizens, high risk patients and healthcare providers at a higher risk of contracting the virus.

The deaths, hospitalization rates and effects that coronavirus have had on European countries, as well as China and South Korea, show that this is extremely far from just being the flu. It took an extreme, mandated quarantine for China to even limit its mortality rate to 5%. That level of quarantine is incompatible with our culture. That Europe has seen young people hospitalized with grave damage, and in large significant percentages, should give us extreme concern as to the risk this invisible enemy poses.

As Chairman of the House Public Health Committee, I implore our citizens to actively limit their exposure. This would include looking at keeping their families safe, be it their child going to school virtually or telecommuting to work. Wherever possible, I encourage families to look at options where they can stay home and limit their exposure. This limits them to risk from both people displaying symptoms, as well as those who do not yet qualify to test for the virus but may be actively spreading the disease. 

We see this storm front on the horizon. The impact of this disease, if looking at infection rates and mortality rates seen in other countries, shows that this can be the most threatening enemy to our society in living memory. Action absolutely MUST be taken, and NOW. Even a low estimate of a 2% mortality rate and a cursory discussed British infection rate translates to thousands of Oklahomans dying in the next 12 months due to coronavirus. We must stand together as a community and limit our exposure to protect not only ourselves, but also our neighbors and to hopefully get ahead of this virus before it is too late and we are simply reacting to it.”

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Oklahoma House of Representatives Banner

Communications & Public Affairs
Feb. 27, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: State Rep. Kyle Hilbert
Phone: (405) 557-7353

Utilities Committee Passes Hilbert Bill to Limit Telemarketers and Scam Calls

OKLAHOMA CITY – The House Utilities Committee today passed legislation to prevent telemarketers from replicating phone numbers and misrepresenting the origin of a phone call.

House Bill 3081, authored by Rep. Kyle Hilbert (R-Bristow), would prohibit callers from tampering with information displayed on caller IDs to disguise their identities. This practice is known as “caller ID spoofing” and is a common tactic used by telemarketers and scammers.

“House Bill 3081 prohibits telemarketers from replicating phone numbers or misrepresenting the origin of a phone call in order to deceive call recipients,” Hilbert said. “Until this issue is resolved at the federal level, we must do everything we can as a state to help cut down on these predatory and time-consuming practices.”

“I was happy to hear this bill in the Utilities Committee and to vote for it. We need to make sure we stop the deceptive practices behind these calls that are harmful to our senior citizens and other vulnerable adults,” said House Majority Leader Mike Sanders (R-Kingfisher), the chair of the House Utilities Committee.

Hilbert said Texas passed similar legislation last year.

HB3081 passed the House Utilities Committee 10-0. It is co-authored in the Senate by Sen. James Leewright (R-Bristow) and is now available to be considered by the House.

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OAG Seal

MIKE HUNTER
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma House of Representatives Banner

Communications & Public Affairs
Feb. 10, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

House Passes Bill Requiring Law Enforcement to Comply with Federal Immigration Agencies

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed legislation directing all sheriffs, jailers and deputies to comply with any request made in an immigration retainer request provided by the federal government.

House Bill 3195 is authored by Rep. John Pfeiffer (R-Orlando), who pointed to instances in Oklahoma where illegal immigrants have been released by local law enforcement despite their immigration status having been confirmed.

Pfeiffer said the bill was requested by members of law enforcement to help define their role in these situations.

“I repeatedly heard from law enforcement in my district and from across the state that they needed clarification as to their roles in these situations,” Pfeiffer said. “House Bill 3195 requests that they comply with federal immigration agencies by alerting them to a person’s immigration status and holding a person for no longer than 48 hours while federal officials arrive.”

House Bill 3195 was co-authored by Rep. Sean Roberts (R-Hominy).

“Our local law enforcement should be cooperating with federal immigration agencies in instances where a person’s status as an illegal immigrant has been confirmed,” Roberts said. “We’ve seen unfortunate situations in Oklahoma where our existing laws failed to keep our citizens safe by releasing an illegal immigrant before federal agents arrived.”

The legislation would require the person identified in the immigration detainer to be informed they are being held in accordance with the request from federal agencies. The bill states that a sheriff, jailer or deputy is not required to comply if the person has provided proof that the person is a citizen of the United States.

House Bill 3195 passed the House by a 78-21 vote. It is now available to be considered by the Senate, where it is authored by Sen. Julie Daniels (R-Bartlesville).

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OAG Seal

MIKE HUNTER
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF OKLAHOMA


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 16, 2020

Attorney General Hunter and U.S. Attorney Downing Announce Indictments in Home Title Conspiracy

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter and U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing today announced a federal grand jury has indicted three individuals after an investigation uncovered allegations of a scheme involving home title fraud.

Laura Johnson, 44, Thomas Johnson, Sr., 51, and Cheryl Ashley, 69, all of Oklahoma City, have been indicted for conspiracy, fraud, identity theft and other related crimes. The trio is accused of using falsified documents to obtain titles on at least 12 homes without the owners’ knowledge. 

Home title fraud typically occurs when someone steals an individual’s identity, forges the individual’s name on a deed and takes the title to the individual’s home. Abandoned, rarely used or unoccupied homes are the primary targets of deed fraud. However, occupied homes can also be targeted.

“The elaborate coordination by these defendants and lengths to which they defrauded property owners is disturbing,” Attorney General Hunter said. “They not only preyed on victims whose properties were vacant, but they also used forged eviction notices and court documents to remove people from their homes and even targeted the deceased. I appreciate the leadership of U.S. Attorney Downing and our other law enforcement partners for making this case a priority.”

According to court documents, some homeowners in this case claim to have vacated their homes based on phony eviction notices posted as part of the conspiracy. When certain victims fought the takeover of their homes in court, the defendants filed pleadings and submitted affidavits signed by attorneys who do not exist.

Along with the Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the United States Secret Service assisted in the investigation.

“Oklahomans have to be able to rely on records county officials maintain to establish ownership of real property,” said U.S. Attorney Downing. “When federal charges help uphold the integrity of governmental property records, the Department of Justice will eagerly work with state investigators and prosecute fraud. Thank you to Attorney General Hunter and his team for this outstanding example of federal-state cooperation.”

Another method the defendants used to obtain home titles was targeting properties with delinquent property taxes that were subject to auction by the Oklahoma County Treasurer’s Office.

The defendants would pay one or more years of taxes on the properties to avoid auctions. Then, the defendants would file fraudulent warranty deeds to transfer properties into the names of companies and individuals that did not exist.

One home, of which the defendants gained possession, had been owned by a woman who died in 2012. Once they occupied the property, the defendants used records found in the home to abscond with $63,950 from the deceased’s bank accounts and $45,000 from her oil and gas interests.

If convicted, the defendants face fines and prison time.

Individuals seeking to protect themselves against deed fraud should regularly monitor their credit reports. All home owners should watch for potential deed fraud red flags and report them to authorities, such as: no longer receiving typical monthly bills, receiving a foreclosure notice on a property that does not have a mortgage or discovering evidence of activity at a vacation home or empty rental property.

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