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Oklahoma Will Charge Customers Who Install Their Own Solar Panels

(Think Progress) Oklahoma residents who produce their own energy through solar panels or small wind turbines on their property will now be charged an additional fee, the result of a new bill passed by the state legislature and expected to be signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin (R).

On Monday, S.B. 1456 passed the state House 83-5 after no debate. The measure creates a new class of customers: those who install distributed power generation systems like solar panels or small wind turbines on their property and sell the excess energy back to the grid. While those with systems already installed won’t be affected, the new class of customers will now be charged a monthly fee — a shift that happened quickly and caught many in the state off guard.


TRUMKA Wants Elizabeth Warren to Be President: "In short," he wrote, "it don't get no better."

In a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session, one user asked Trumka for his thoughts on Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

"I have met Elizabeth Warren on multiple occasions," Trumka responded. "In my opinion, she is the prototype of a person we would want to be president of the United States. She has a very well-defined set of values and unlike many politicians, she actually sticks by those values and fights to implement them."

"In short," he wrote, "it don't get no better."


The Harshest Abortion Ban In The Country Has Been Overturned

(Think Progress) A federal judge permanently struck down North Dakota’s six-week abortion ban on Wednesday. The so-called “fetal heartbeat” measure, which used to represent the harshest ban in the nation, had already been temporarily blocked from taking effect while the legal challenge against it proceeded. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland ruled that the law is “invalid and unconstitutional” and “cannot withstand a constitutional challenge,” pointing out that Roe v. Wade guarantees the right to abortion up until the point of viability.


Oklahoma school district OKs ‘Bible curriculum’ created by Hobby Lobby president

(Raw story) According to the Religious News Service, the “Museum of the Bible Curriculum” created by Hobby Lobby’s President Steve Green will be beta-tested in Oklahoma’s Mustang Public School district beginning in the Fall of 2014.

Green hopes the program — which will be overseen by Jerry Pattengale, head of the Green Scholars Initiative — will be placed in “hundreds” of high schools by 2016, and “thousands” by 2017. It is a four-year elective course in which students will study the narrative, history, and impact of the Bible on Western Civilization. Because the book is being taught within an academic purview, it does not violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Abington School District v. Schempp.


First GOP Governor Calls On Boehner To Extend Unemployment Benefits

(TPM) Nevada's Brian Sandoval became the first Republican governor to publicly call on House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to revive unemployment insurance for more than 2 million Americans.

In a letter dated April 11, Sandoval and Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) endorsed the Senate-passed bill to extend long-term jobless benefits through the end of May, with retroactive compensation for those who lost it when the program expired on Dec. 28.


Governor Bans Minimum Wage Increases And Paid Sick Leave Laws (Oklahoma)

(Think Progress) At a time when many states and cities are working passing minimum wage increases, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has gone in the opposite direction and signed a law banning cities from passing higher wages. The bill also bans them from enacting paid sick days or vacation requirements.

The law will stymie the efforts of activists in Oklahoma City, where a labor federation has led the push on a petition to raise the city’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. The state’s current minimum has been set at the federal level of $7.25. In 2012, 64,000 workers in the state earned $7.25 an hour or less, making up 7.2 percent of all hourly workers, a larger share than the 4.7 percent figure for the country as a whole.

Omaha Steve

CBO Estimates U.S. Deficit Will Shrink More Than Expected in 2014--Update

(WSJ) The U.S. government's gap between spending and revenue will be narrower both this year and later in the decade compared with prior estimates, driven in part by reductions in near-term military spending and falling longer-run costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, the Congressional Budget Office said.

The CBO, a nonpartisan agency that advises Congress on budget policy, on Monday said the adjustments will lower its forecast for the 2014 deficit to $492 billion, or $23 billion less than it estimated two months ago. That's equivalent to 2.8% of gross domestic product, marking the smallest deficit since 2007. Since 1980, the deficit has averaged roughly 3.2% of GDP.


CBO Lowers Obamacare's Price Tag By $104 Billion Over 10 Years

(TPM) In its latest projections for Obamacare, the Congressional Budget Office has lowered the law's costs over the next 10 years by more than $100 billion.

Most of the change can be linked to lower spending on tax subsidies for coverage purchased on HealthCare.gov and its state counterparts, which can in turn be linked to lower-than-expected premiums.


Scott Brown's Campaign Mocks His Opponent As A 'Senator From Massachusetts'

(TPM) Eager to shed his identity as a former senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown's campaign is now apparently deriding his opponent as the "third senator from Massachusetts." As he kicked off his Senate campaign in New Hampshire last week, Brown received assistance from the state's former Republican governor, John H. Sununu.

“Shaheen votes with Elizabeth Warren. She votes with (Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed) Markey. She is the third senator from Massachusetts,” Sunnunu said at Brown's Portsmouth, N.H. rally, according to Yahoo's Chris Moody. “Scott’s happiest days as a young man were in New Hampshire. … So it’s going to be great to have a senator that was born virtually in the state of New Hampshire. Jean Shaheen, by the way, was born in Missouri!”


NRA gunning for making elephants extinct

(Reader Supported News) When the Obama administration announced plans to halt the domestic sale of most elephant ivory, the National Rifle Association urged its members to mobilize against the ban.

While the NRA said it agreed with the goal of ending endangered elephant poaching, it warned that something far more important was at stake: “This is another attempt by this anti-gun administration to ban firearms,” the organization asserted in an alert.

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Latest Breaking News

Fraternity shuts Ole Miss branch after noose tying

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Jennifer Gratz challenges Detroit high schooler to affirmative action debate

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Texas seizes polygamist group’s secluded ranch

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Ukrainian oligarch offers bounty for capture of Russian 'saboteurs'

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Hotel Magnate Pleads Guilty to Campaign Finance Fraud

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Obama: No US military involvement in Ukraine

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Obama Blasts GOP Govs Turning Down Medicaid Expansion: 'That's Wrong'

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UPDATED: Harry Reid Calls Bundy Supporters 'Domestic Terrorists'

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News UK news London London police seize large haul of firearms

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Judge: Ex-gov can't keep filings from prosecutors

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South Sudan conflict: Attack on UN base 'kills dozens'

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José 'Cheo' Feliciano Dies In A Car Accident

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Chelsea Clinton announces she’s pregnant

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McDonald's foreign workers call it 'slavery'

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Scientists find Earth-sized world in orbit friendly to life (Kepler-186f)

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Novelist Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, Dies at 87

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BREAKING: Obamacare Sign-Ups Hit 8 Million in Remarkable Turnaround

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Prop 8 lawyer’s views on gay marriage evolving

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UPDATE 2-U.S. judge declines to order 'park it now' notices for GM cars

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Deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions

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Irish court convicts 2 Anglo Irish bankers of illegal lending

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Ukraine bans entry for all Russian males aged 16-60: Aeroflot

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