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. E-mail your suggestions for In The Know items to email@example.com. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.
Today you should know that the justice reinvestment initiative release its findings yesterday. The report recommends requiring post-release supervision for all felony offenders, increasing the availability of substance abuse treatment, developing community-based mental health care centers, and providing a graduated approach to sentencing people convicted of drug possession. Read the full report here. Oklahoma DAs are responding favorably to the findings. CapitolBeatOK cited Women in Recovery as a model justice reinvestment program.
Tulsa Republican Sen. Dan Newberry is proposing a bill that would eliminate employment protections for nearly 25,000 state workers. On the OK Policy Blog, we discuss a new analysis of the tax reform task force’s proposal to pay for further cuts to the top income tax rate by ending numerous tax credits and exemptions. If this plan were to take effect today, taxes would increase for 55 percent of Oklahomans. Married couples with two children making $25,000, would see a tax increase of $647. Two-child families would not receive a tax cut unless their income was at least $117,000.
Oklahoma’s ranking in Education Week’s annual Quality Counts report dropped from 17th to 27th this year, while scoring lowest in school finances and student achievement. Superintendent Barresi told the Senate Appropriations Committee that high-stakes graduation testing is necessary to ensure an Oklahoma high school diploma has value. Oklahoma Watchdog shared a summary transcription of the meeting. NewsOK calls for more efforts to keep Oklahoma’s community college students in school. Departing Senate Minority Leader Andrew Rice shared his parting thoughts in the OK Gazette.
The Number of the Day is how many metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions were prevented by ENERGY STAR appliances in Oklahoma as of 2007. In today’s Policy Note, The Nation discusses how Right to Work hasn’t worked to protect Oklahoma manufacturing jobs.