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.
Officials warn that further flooding is likely as heavy rainfall returns today, and flash flood warnings extending through the weekend are in place in central and western Oklahoma. KGOU reported that although strides have been made, gaps remain in Oklahoma’s Spanish-language weather warnings. Gov. Fallin has instructed the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to expedite bidding on repair efforts and explore additional opportunities to fund those repairs. The state Department of Environmental Quality will provide free bacterial testing of private well water through August because of the floods.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City) said that the most recent legislative session hurt middle-class Oklahomans. The slowdown in oil and gas production prompted the state’s unemployment rate to inch upward to 4.1 percent. Experts say that wind energy can bring consistency to electrical bills in Oklahoma because it is predictable and its long-term price is stable. Following the shooting of an unarmed suspect by a reserve deputy, the Tulsa County Sheriff’s office has received three bids for a top-down assessment of its performance, and a contract is expected next month.
Researchers with OU have been awarded one of seven $15 million grants to improve heart health by the US Department of Health and Human services. The grant will allow researchers to partner with primary care physicians across the state to determine best practices for improving heart health and preventing heart disease. The Oklahoman reported that abused and neglected children as young as seven were handcuffed and threatened with pepper spray and Tasers at a state-run emergency shelter in Oklahoma City. The state Department of Human Services says that it has replaced the two off-duty law enforcement officers responsible. Mental Health Association Oklahoma hosted a Twitter chat on mental health and suicide prevention on Wednesday.
The Number of the Day is 3 percent – the total additional increase in Oklahoma Medicaid expenditures from 2015 to 2024 were the state to accept federal funds to expand health coverage to 150,000 low-income Oklahomans. In today’s Policy Note, The Washington Post discusses a new report revealing that one in four Americans see their income swing widely every month.