Skip to Content

All articles by Gene Perry

In The Know: Aging prison buildings are growing problem for Corrections Department

by | August 29th, 2016 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Today In The News

Aging prison buildings are growing problem for Corrections Department: More than a century ago, around the time of statehood, The Indian Mission School Haloche Institute was opened in Taft. By 1909 it was an orphanage for deaf and blind children, and the building would serve as various children’s homes until the late 1980s. Today it houses more than 1,000 female inmates, nearly twice the number it is rated to hold [The Oklahoman].

Department of Public Safety discusses potential furloughs: As the governor and legislative leaders continue to disagree over how to spend more than $140 million in available money from last fiscal year, agencies across the state feel the clock ticking. The Department of Public Safety announced earlier this week there was the possibility of having to dole out 23-day furloughs for more than 1,500 employees, including 811 highway patrol troopers and roughly 750 civilian employees. Durant said the longer talks between Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leadership are drawn out the less time they have to fit in furloughs, which could put an even larger strain on operations [News9]. The trooper furlough is the latest blowback from lawmakers’ failure to fund state government adequately [Editorial Board / Tulsa World].

DHS cuts prompt DA to end child support program: The State of Oklahoma’s budget shortfall isn’t news to many at this point. But now people are beginning to feel the local impact as programs that lost funding make cuts. Payne County’s well-regarded Child Support Services office is one of them. Payne and Logan County District Attorney Laura Austin Thomas said she decided not to renew her office’s contract with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services for child support collections after finding out just how much the program would be changed by budget cuts [Stillwater News-Press].

continue reading In The Know: Aging prison buildings are growing problem for Corrections Department

Registration now open for Fall Policy Boot Camps in Tulsa and Edmond

by | August 25th, 2016 | Posted in OK Policy | Comments (0)

P1020339Do you want to learn more about the state budget, criminal justice reform, poverty, and other critical policy issues affecting our state? If so, you’re in luck: registration is now open for OK Policy’s second Fall Policy Boot Camp (FallPol). This year, we will host two FallPols — one at OSU-Tulsa on Friday, October 14th and one at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond on Saturday, October 15th.

FallPol is an intensive, one-day policy training intended primarily for emerging professionals working for non-profits, advocacy groups, government, and businesses, as well as educators, parents, civic volunteers, and other rising leaders with an interest in Oklahoma issues but without in-depth familiarity with the state’s policy landscape. Advocates and professionals with expertise in one policy area who wish to be better informed across a broader canvas of issues will find this training especially useful.

continue reading Registration now open for Fall Policy Boot Camps in Tulsa and Edmond

In The Know: Five Things You Should Know About Tuesday’s Election

by | August 22nd, 2016 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Today In The News

Five Things You Should Know About Tuesday’s Election: The lineup for November’s general election ballot will be settled after candidates in one congressional and 13 legislative races face off Tuesday. The run-off elections will feature the top two vote earners from the June primaries in races where no candidate received at least 50 percent of the votes. Districts in much of the state won’t vote because their legislative and congressional match-ups for the general election have already been set. Here are five key points about Tuesday’s elections [Oklahoma Watch].

Fed Up With State’s K-12 Stance, Okla. Teachers Run for Office: Fueled by their fury over cuts to K-12 budgets, low pay, and an array of other grievances, a scrappy group of teachers is attempting to upend Oklahoma’s political establishment this election season. After ousting the state’s superintendent in a 2014 primary, the loosely organized group of educators from around the state successfully campaigned to scrap the state’s teacher-evaluation system that was tied to students’ test scores. They notched another victory when they lobbied to defeat a bill backed by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin that would’ve expanded the use of vouchers. So last spring, when someone suggested to their Facebook group that they start legislating themselves, more than 40 teachers filed to run for one of the 126 open seats in the state’s Senate and House of Representatives [Education Week].

Funding tightens for Oklahoma trooper raises as teachers step up in line: Two years after troopers got hefty raises, the state can no longer afford them and is considering furloughs and other cuts to make ends meet in the Department of Public Safety. The plight of troopers now concerned about whether their raises will stand up is feeding doubts about plans to give an even more expensive boost to the state’s 44,000 public school teachers. Some local school leaders cringe at the thought of scrambling to pay for those increases [Norman Transcript].

continue reading In The Know: Five Things You Should Know About Tuesday’s Election

Join our team as a fall intern

by | August 15th, 2016 | Posted in OK Policy | Comments (0)
OK Policy staff and summer interns

OK Policy staff and summer interns

OK Policy is now accepting student applicants for paid part-time internships during the fall of 2016. Interns will be expected to work between 10 and 20 hours per week, depending on their schedules and availability. The position will be based in our Tulsa office.

Interns have the opportunity to work as full members of the OK Policy team and participate in most activities of the organization. The work will involve assisting staff members as well as conducting independent research under guidance of staff. Most interns will author multiple blog posts on state policy issues such as poverty, economic development, health care, immigration, and other subjects.

continue reading Join our team as a fall intern

In The Know: Oklahoma finance chief developing options for special legislative session

by | August 15th, 2016 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (1)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Today In The News

Oklahoma finance chief is developing options for possible special legislative session: The state’s top budget negotiator is developing alternative proposals for a special legislative session that contemplate using all, some or none of the extra $140.8 million the state has available for teacher pay raises. “The governor has asked my office for proposals to fund a permanent teacher pay raise at or above $5,000,” said Preston Doerflinger, secretary of finance, administration and information technology [NewsOK]. Since a good portion of the $140 million was cut from education to begin with, using it to fund a teacher pay raise would be like robbing Peter to pay Peter [OK Policy].

Teacher reluctantly leaving Tulsa for Texas: ‘It’s not just salary … it’s about respect’: If Texas is like a whole other country, as the state’s tourism slogan goes, then Oklahoma is its chief teacher exporter. The latest Tulsa teacher to pack up her classroom and head 270 miles south is LeAnna Snyder, former fifth-grade teacher at Carnegie Elementary School. “Leaving Carnegie is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. My stomach was in knots for months,” Snyder said, as her eyes welled with tears. “I feel like I’m letting the children down — and my district — but I’ve stayed here as long as I can.” [Tulsa World]

Health insurance costs increasing for state employees, retirees: State employees and retirees on the state’s insurance plans are likely to see a rate increase next year. The Oklahoma Employees Insurance and Benefits Board approved increases in all of the plans it oversees, from 6 percent for one of three HMOs and nearly 16 percent for the Medicare-based high option plan offered through the state’s self-insured group. The rate increases are the highest in recent years. In one of the plans offered by the self-funded HealthChoice program, rates never grew beyond 5.5 percent since 2010. Next year, pending approval from Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger, monthly rates will go up 8.4 percent [Journal Record].

continue reading In The Know: Oklahoma finance chief developing options for special legislative session

In The Know: Supreme Court rules Pruitt’s rewrite on criminal justice reform ballot titles misleading, partial

by | August 9th, 2016 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (1)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Today In The News

Pruitt’s rewrite on criminal justice reform ballot titles misleading, partial, court rules: The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday ruled that Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s rewritten ballot titles for two state questions are “misleading and partial.” In its ruling, the state’s high court rewrote the ballot titles, which give a description of the criminal justice reform measures appearing on the Nov. 8 statewide ballot. Supporters of State Questions 780 and 781 challenged Pruitt’s revisions before the Supreme Court [Tulsa World].

Oklahoma Supreme Court lets stand “Right to Farm” initiative: The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Monday that voters can consider the so-called “Right to Farm” ballot initiative during the general election this fall, but some members of the state’s highest court said state lawmakers should require that challenges to ballot measures be filed earlier. A coalition known as Save the Illinois River, Inc., filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the proposal in March, more than eight months after Gov. Mary Fallin issued an order placing the matter on the Nov. 8 ballot. In a unanimous ruling, the nine-member court let stand a decision by Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish in May to dismiss the lawsuit [Associated Press].

Harsh Rhetoric, Funding Gap Shape Right-to-Farm Campaign: StateImpact’s Logan Layden visited with OETA’s Lis Exon for the August 5 edition of Oklahoma News Report, after moderating a panel discussion on State Question 777 for the Oklahoma Policy Institute earlier in the week. The discussion centered on the scare tactics being used by both sides of the right-to-farm issue: whether national animal rights groups are trying to force all Oklahomans to become vegans, or if Big Ag wants a license to pollute at will [KOSU]. You can watch the video of OK Policy’s SQ 777 forum here.

continue reading In The Know: Supreme Court rules Pruitt’s rewrite on criminal justice reform ballot titles misleading, partial

In The Know: Oklahoma downturn now longer than Great Recession

by | August 8th, 2016 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (1)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Today In The News

Oklahoma downturn now longer than Great Recession: Oklahoma’s tax collections were down for the 17th month in a row during July — largely due to depressed energy prices and ill-timed tax cuts — extending a losing streak that’s lasted longer than the nation’s Great Recession. State Treasurer Ken Miller said Friday that Oklahoma took in $854 million last month, $88 million less than it collected in July 2015. The decline was evident in every category, including individual and corporate income taxes, sales taxes and revenue from the production of oil and natural gas. While several energy-rich states have seen tax receipts fall, Oklahoma exacerbated its situation by moving forward with income tax cuts approved when times were good [Associated Press].

Oklahoma economy slides again in first quarter: Lower oil prices and manufacturing declines dragged on the Oklahoma economy as the state posted its fourth consecutive quarterly contraction, the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis said Wednesday. Led by losses in the energy and manufacturing sectors, Oklahoma’s gross domestic product contracted by 0.5 percent in the first quarter. The state joined 13 others with contractions in the first three months of the year [NewsOK].

Rural poverty ‘a way of life’ for numerous Oklahomans: With no air conditioning on a brutally hot summer afternoon, 19-year-old Breeze Bunch is sitting on the front porch with a half-empty Pepsi and a bottle of sunscreen. “Why don’t you go splash in the water?” Bunch tells her 2-year-old daughter, who waddles off toward an inflatable kiddie pool under a shade tree beside the house. Sharing a clapboard house with her boyfriend’s family, Bunch lives on a dead-end street north of downtown in one of the poorest, most crime-ridden neighborhoods in Oklahoma. This isn’t Tulsa or Oklahoma City, or even Muskogee or Lawton. A five-minute walk could put Bunch in the middle of a cow pasture [Tulsa World]. OK Policy has examined some of the surprising causes of rural poverty [OK Policy].

continue reading In The Know: Oklahoma downturn now longer than Great Recession

An Oklahoma Agenda for Broad-Based Prosperity

by | July 25th, 2016 | Posted in Blog, Featured Home Page | Comments (4)

countryside roadsThe next class of state lawmakers will face huge challenges when it comes to their most important task of supporting broad-based prosperity for Oklahomans. Years of shrinking funding have undermined Oklahoma’s most important public investments in education, public health and safety, and other core services. At the same time, Oklahoma families are living in an economy marked by limited access to good-paying jobs, persistent poverty, and lack of upward mobility, even before a weakening oil and gas industry made the situation worse.

continue reading An Oklahoma Agenda for Broad-Based Prosperity

In The Know: 2016 sees increase in women running for Oklahoma Legislature

by | July 25th, 2016 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Today In The News

2016 sees increase in women running for Oklahoma Legislature: The number of female candidates for the Oklahoma Legislature is almost as high this year as the last two election cycles combined. If these candidates are successful, the state could boost its current low ranking for women holding legislative positions. Seventy-seven women filed for a state legislative seat this year and 56 were still in the race after last month’s primaries, according to Oklahoma State Election Board records [NewsOK]. There are some offices in Oklahoma where women already hold most of the seats [OK Policy].

Oklahoma Democrats heading to Philadelphia for historic national convention: Isabel Baker attended her first Democratic National Convention in 1960 in Los Angeles, where John F. Kennedy won the nomination. She’s been to quite a few in between and is looking forward to being a delegate in Philadelphia next week to help Hillary Clinton become the first female presidential nominee of a major U.S. political party. “I never in my 87 years thought I’d see a woman at this point,” said Baker [NewsOK].

Oklahoma senator’s opponents say consulting payments to candidate from PAC are unfair: A political action committee formed to support Republican candidates for state Senate has paid state Sen. Greg Treat more than $61,000 since 2014. Had the money come to Treat in the form of campaign contributions, it would have been a state ethics violation. Treat, R-Oklahoma City, only has general election opponents, so his 2016 campaign is prohibited from receiving more than $5,000 from any particular PAC. These payments appear to be permissible, however, because the PAC was paying Treat as a consultant rather than making a contribution to his re-election campaign, said Lee Slater, former executive director of the Oklahoma Ethics Commission [NewsOK].

continue reading In The Know: 2016 sees increase in women running for Oklahoma Legislature

In The Know: Insurance Commissioner to review earthquake insurance premium hikes

by | July 18th, 2016 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Today In The News

Insurance Commissioner to review earthquake insurance premium hikes: Earthquake insurance used to be dirt cheap in Oklahoma. Now, in the wake of hundreds of recent earthquakes, premiums and rates are on the rise, so the state insurance commissioner decided to hit the “pause button.” Last month, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak called the market noncompetitive. It was more than just a statement — it allowed him and the Insurance Commission, by state statute, to review some of the rising earthquake insurance rates before they were enacted instead of them just going into effect [Tulsa World].

Oklahoma sees drop in quakes as wastewater injection volume declines: Oklahoma is on pace for fewer earthquakes than the prior year for the first time since 2012 — but an area in northwest Oklahoma remains seismically strong and a concern to scientists. The state’s red dirt began to sporadically tremble in 2009 like a popcorn bag just placed into a microwave. The ground rumbling soon took off in earnest, quickly shooting up until perhaps cresting a year ago. And the dip itself in 2012 was a solitary outlier during the several-year climb [Tulsa World].

Laws on drug possession among topics for Oklahoma studies: A ballot proposal to make possession of small amounts of drugs in Oklahoma a misdemeanor punishable by no more than a year in jail would make Oklahoma’s drug laws among the most liberal in the country, according to a state lawmaker who has requested an interim study on the plan. State Rep. Scott Biggs, an ex-prosecutor, disputes the idea that Oklahoma’s drug laws are too harsh. He requested an interim study to compare Oklahoma’s drug laws to those in other states [KOCO]. Oklahoma’s drug possession laws are among the harshest in the nation [OK Policy].

continue reading In The Know: Insurance Commissioner to review earthquake insurance premium hikes

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 126