Former Georgia governor expected to get USDA nomination:
Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue is emerging as President-elect Donald Trump’s selection for agriculture secretary even though the search had focused in recent weeks on a woman or Hispanic and no official announcement has yet been issued [Agri-Pulse].
Lawmakers urged to consider water more as liquid asset:
John Collison, Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s vice president of public policy, made an impassioned plea for those looking forward to up to 12 years’ service in the Legislature to do something about what could be a moneymaker for the state–water [Lawton Constitution].
Trump picks Lighthizer for USTR:
President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Robert Lighthizer as U.S. Trade Representative, where he’ll play a major role in Trump’s plan to scrap or renegotiate multilateral trade deals including NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership [Agri-Pulse].
GOP Rep. Jim Bridenstine seen as top choice for NASA chief:
Rep. Jim Bridenstine, an Oklahoma Republican with a record supporting both commercial space ventures and traditional manned exploration programs, appears to be the leading candidate to become the next NASA administrator, according to people familiar with the matter [Wall Street Journal].
GOP Congress feels it has mandate to undo Obama’s agenda:
Republicans’ grip on all levers of power stands as a mandate to the GOP-led Congress, which will move swiftly to try to undo eight years of outgoing President Barack Obama’s agenda [AP].
Big battles over farm and food policies may be brewing as Trump era begins:
Donald Trump’s lack of attention won’t make future food battles any less cutthroat. Plenty of people in Washington, including powerful factions within the Republican majority in Congress, are hoping to change a wide variety of food-related policies, and believe that the new administration offers a prime opportunity to make those changes happen [NPR].
Trump and trade: Five things to watch:
The president-elect has vowed to rewrite global trade agreements to better protect American jobs and businesses, but has yet to provide much detail on what steps he will take [The Hill].
State finance secretary talks budget shortfall for 2018:
A combination of spending cuts, tax increases, and tough choices – that’s how Oklahoma’s top finance official says the state will survive the latest looming budget hole [News 9].
Republican leaders in Oklahoma rethinking income tax cut:
Republican leaders in Oklahoma are reconsidering whether to keep an income tax cut that could be triggered as early as next year. Their decision comes at a time when the state has a budget hole of nearly $870 million and declining revenue collections [AP].
Oklahoma gas tax may be raised:
An increase in Oklahoma’s gasoline tax will likely be on the table next legislative session as it’s one of the smallest in the nation, it hasn’t been adjusted in nearly three decades, fuel prices are comparatively low and state leaders are seeking new revenue [The Oklahoman].
Regulations, election, merger define 2016 for farmers:
A presidential election, bumper crops, low commodity prices, and a merger of major ag companies are among news developments that affected agriculture in 2016 [Iowa Farmer Today].