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.
Next week, In The Know will be suspended through Wednesday, August 5th, due to our Summer Policy Institute. In The Know will return on Thursday, August 6th.
Today In The News
State Election Board, advocacy groups reach agreement: Federal law requires that state agencies where people seek assistance additionally provide assistance in registering to vote. However, a group of Oklahoma-based organizations had raised concerns that state agencies weren’t complying with the law. The Election Board and advocacy groups have reached an agreement under which a range of state agencies will be required to ask clients if they want to register to vote, and to assist them with the registration process [Journal Record]. The Election Board is launching a website tracking the effort [Oklahoma State Elections Board]. Oklahoma has the country’s eighth-lowest voter registration rate [OK Policy].
Agencies providing care to Oklahomans with disabilities hit by reimbursement cut: Combined with a subsequent loss of federal matching funds, a 3.5 percent reimbursement cut to home- and community-based care developmental disability and aging services leaves equates to almost $9 million in cuts next year. Ed Lake, Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, said in a letter that the cuts were necessary to balance his department’s budget, but care providers say it leaves already underfunded services further without needed resources [Tulsa World]. Appropriations for the state’s FY 2016 budget are 1.3 percent lower than appropriations for the prior year [OK Policy]. Oklahomans with disabilities wait nearly a decade on a waiting list to receive services [OK Policy].
Happy birthday, Medicare and Medicaid: The US’s two largest public health initiatives turned 50 this month. Over the last five decades, they’ve improved the health and financial security of nearly 1 in 3 Americans [OK Policy].