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.
Oklahoma would become the first state to execute condemned inmates using nitrogen gas under a proposal that will be presented next week to a legislative committee. The Tulsa World reported that room where Oklahoma has conducted executions since 1992 is so dimly lit that executioners are provided a flashlight to see, and if something goes wrong, the executioners stick colored pencils through holes in the drug room wall to communicate with the doctor. Travelers holding an Oklahoma driver’s license may need a second form of identification to board a commercial airliner by 2016, because the state is refusing to comply with an act of Congress to make these licenses more secure.
On the latest OK PolicyCast, we discuss a new event series aimed at growing citizen involvement across Oklahoma. Though the minimum wage remains at $7.25 per hour for most Oklahomans, several tribal nations in the state are taking the lead to boost their minimum wage. A national report has given Oklahoma’s nursing homes a failing grade, ranking them third worst in the nation. You can read the full report here. A state constitutional amendment has protected tobacco settlement funds in Oklahoma, while other states signed away the funds to private investors for up front cash.
The president of the Oklahoma NAACP wants the U.S. attorney general to open a hate crimes and civil rights investigation into alleged sexual assaults on black women by an Oklahoma City police officer. Buzzfeed reported on how investigators finally caught the police officer, who is alleged to have targeted women who were unlikely to report the crime. Time Magazine shared an essay by an advocate working for marriage equality for same-sex couples in Oklahoma. New Journal Record columnist Arnold Hamilton wrote that Oklahoma’s Republican leaders need to better crack down on hate speech coming from elected officials in their party.
The parents of a woman killed in 2011 are proposing a new law to protect Oklahoma workers from termination or demotion if they attend court hearings in support of their loved ones. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services is giving $3.5 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 16 Oklahoma health centers to expand primary care services. An NSU undergraduate and former foster student is advocating for a new foster recruitment model that ensures kids can stay in the same school. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission held a meeting to discuss how they will implement a new utility tariff for users of rooftop solar panels or small wind turbines. The OK Policy Blog previously discussed what the new small solar and wind energy tariff could mean.
Representative Steve Vaughan, R-Ponca City, said Oklahoma does not have enough inspectors to ensure oil and gas wastewater disposal wells are not contaminating drinking water supplies. The Number of the Day is Canadian County’s ranking out of 3,135 U.S. counties in a New York Times analysis of the least and most difficult places to live in the country, the best ranking of any Oklahoma county. In today’s Policy Note, CityLab discusses a new push to improve road safety by turning four lanes into three.
continue reading In The Know: State lawmakers to consider execution by gas