In The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre.
Records show that the same drugs were used in the botched lethal injections in Arizona on Wednesday and in Oklahoma nearly three months ago. The Tulsa World reports that the probe into Oklahoma’s botched execution is still pending and that a variety of records, including the autopsy report for the deceased prisoner, still have not been released. A research group has found that Texas and Oklahoma, two states whose leadership most vociferously oppose EPA regulation on carbon pollution, would be the biggest economic winners from that regulation due to increased demand for natural gas. The study’s authors note that the increased natural gas production would drive job creation and corporate revenue in producing states. StateImpact discussed conflict and conversation around increasing wind energy production in Oklahoma’s Osage County.
The federal government says that more than 200 unaccompanied children from Central America who had been housed at Fort Sill have been placed with sponsors in Oklahoma, primarily parents, relatives and family friends. The government also says that all the children have been vaccinated and medically cleared. OK Policy previously debunked some of the myths being spread about the children at Fort Sill. A team of child abuse medical experts, who have served as expert witnesses in countless Oklahoma court cases, will be disbanded due to lack of funding.
On Monday, August 4th, OK Policy will honor Governor Henry Bellmon with the 2014 Good Sense/Good Cents Award, followed by a panel discussion of the Bellmon legacy. The event is free and open to the public. A provision of the Affordable Care Act called the Medical Loss Ratio Rule, which requires health insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on patient care and quality improvement, has generated $6.7 million in refunds to Oklahomans from health insurance companies this summer. The Tulsa World reported on a Tulsa Community College program that allows prisoners to work towards degrees while in prison. Since 2007, more than 345 certificates and degrees have been awarded to inmates. Some anti-abortion laws passed by the legislature this spring may end of up in court.
The chairman of the state Workers Compensation Commission has rescinded bids for a project discussed during a secret meeting and pledged greater transparency moving forward. The Commission has come under scrutiny recently due to alleged violations of the Open Records Act. A study conducted by Southwestern Oklahoma State University reported on the financial impact of the Oklahoma Army National Guard, finding that for every 100 jobs created by the Guard, 127 are created statewide.
Norman residents are upset after city staff admitted to withholding information regarding a zoning change in southeast Norman that could bring a Wal-Mart Supercenter to the area. The Oklahoman argued in favor of better maintenance of the state’s dams due to public safety concerns. Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman has named the final three members to a nine-person committee that will oversee the renovation of the state Capitol. Other committee members were selected by Gov. Fallin and House Speaker Jeff Hickman.
The Number of the Day is the percentage of wage and salary workers in Oklahoma that were members of a union in 2013. In today’s Policy Note, the New Republic reports on the sexual and gender-based violence forcing children to flee Central America.
continue reading In The Know: Records show same drugs used in botched OK, AZ executions