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Today In The News
State’s payday loan usage rate highest in nation: Elise Robillard was desperate for a quick cash infusion the first time she walked into a payday lending store. A long-term substitute teacher and mother of two young children, Robillard’s tires were bald, and she couldn’t afford to replace them. So she turned to small, short-term payday advances thinking they would keep her afloat. The loans have few financial qualifications, but annual interest rates as high as 391 percent [Enid News]. If predatory lending is restricted, Oklahomans will find better alternatives [OK Policy].
Confronting a Newly Created $214 Million Budget Deficit at the State Capitol: Last week’s Oklahoma Supreme Court decision invalidating the State Legislature’s cigarette cessation fee means that there’s now a $214 million budget deficit in this year’s budget. This gives Oklahoma lawmakers two options: go back into special session to fix the state budget, or else three state agencies — the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services — will have to rewrite their budgets to account for a roughly $70 million cut to each agency. So, what will state lawmakers do? [Public Radio Tulsa] With the doomsday clock ticking, how might the state’s budget emergency be solved? [OK Policy]
Officials to Reconsider School Names in Oklahoma City, Tulsa: School officials in Oklahoma City and Tulsa will reconsider whether their schools should bear the names of confederate generals after a white nationalist rally decrying the planned removal of a Robert E. Lee statue turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia. An online petition in Tulsa urges the district to rethink a 99-year-old decision to name a school after Lee. Four elementary schools in Oklahoma City also bear the names of Lee and other Confederate generals. The Tulsa school district released a statement Monday saying officials plan to review the names of all schools in the district to assure they reflect community values [Associated Press].
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