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Tax break could be coming for Oklahoma’s richest

OKLAHOMA CITY – The richest residents of Oklahoma may be getting a new tax break.

It is a victory for Governor Mary Fallin, who supported a cut in the top income tax rate.

Senate Bill 1247 would reduce the top income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 5 percent if state revenue projections are greater than projections in December 2014.

“Our state has seen economic growth and record revenues due to our competitive income tax policies and pro-business environment,” said Rep. Leslie Osborn. “This measure allows Oklahomans greater control over their hard-earned money. They will either spend or invest those dollars and further strengthen our economy.”

The tax cut measure will be conditional on improvement to state revenues.

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Report: Millions still left over from Moore tornado relief collections

OKLAHOMA CITY – It is almost a year since the destructive storms hit Oklahoma in May 2013.

Relief and recovery efforts continue and millions have already been spent on short-term and long-term needs for storm survivors.

Now, officials say millions are still left over.

Gov. Mary Fallin said, “The total economic loss for our state was over $1 billion.”

As donations poured in, United Way of Central Oklahoma and a fund called OKStrong partnered to help get the money to the victims who survived the storm.

David Thompson, with the United Way of Central Oklahoma, said, “Literally, every dollar that was donated to both of these funds will be spent on disaster relief and recovery. Not a single penny will go to any administrative costs to administer those funds.”

The United Way collected around $15.6 million for immediate needs, like food and clothing.

Oklahoma schools rank in list of top high schools across the U.S.

U.S. News and World Report has released its list of the top high schools across the country.

Many Oklahoma high schools made the cut.

Harding Charter in Oklahoma City is ranked #1 in the state followed by Dove Science Academy and Edmond North.

In all, more than 75 Oklahoma schools made the 2014 best schools list.

MORE: Complete ranking of Oklahoma high schools

According to the report, schools must have been awarded a national gold or silver medal to be eligible.

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State leaders looking to increase school funding

OKLAHOMA CITY – On Wednesday, the Senate is slated to vote on a bill that would increase funding for Oklahoma schools.

House Bill 2642, also known as the Securing Educational Excellence Fund (SEEF), would increase public school funding by $600,000,000.

Senator John Ford, a co-author of the bill, said he believes this bill will help more students complete their high school education.

Our latest figures show one additional day of instruction will cost about $22 million, so the bill mandates that for every $60 million, we’ll add a day of instruction,” Ford said.  “Students will be able to learn more.  As a result we’ll see more students complete high school, and they’ll be better prepared for their next step in life.  This also should provide additional pay for teachers.”

HB 2642 passed the House and will move to the Senate on Wednesday.

Additional cracks found in Purcell-Lexington bridge

LEXINGTON, Okla. – Inspectors have located addition cracks on the bridge that connects Purcell and Lexington.

However, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation continues to remain confident the bridge will open on or before the June 14 deadline.

ODOT says the contractor on the project was making great progress with repairs when crews located two additional cracks.

96 areas on the bridge are now slated for repair, adding to the work that must be completed before the bridge can open.

ODOT Executive Director Mike Patterson said, “I know this news is not welcomed by anyone, but the department remains steadfast and determined to get this bridge open safely and as quickly as possible for the people of Purcell and Lexington.”

Although some may think of these addition cracks as bad news, authorities are glad they found them.