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.
Hundreds of voters who cast provisional ballots during the Nov. 4 election ended up not being counted by election officials. While many were excluded for valid reasons, the Tulsa World found that at least two ballots had not been counted due to a mistake by the election board. Community leaders in Tulsa said the city has made progress in reducing distrust of law enforcement among blacks and Hispanics, but more needs to be done. Some Oklahoma Muslims say increasing discrimination in the state is creating the worst environment they have faced. A Tulsa World poll found 54 percent of Oklahomans viewed Islam unfavorably, but almost 80 percent said Muslims should enjoy the same religious freedoms as other Americans.
A sharp drop in crude oil prices caused shares in Oklahoma’s largest oil and gas companies to fall between 12 and 30 percent on Friday. Justia analyzed the ruling that ordered Continental Energy CEO Harold Hamm to pay a $1 billion divorce settlement. Following a large demonstration by Norman High students and community members against how three sexual assault victims were treated at the school, the district’s superintendent said they will make reforms that seek to be a national model in sexual assault curriculum policies. The Oklahoman wrote that lawmakers have no excuses not to pursue criminal justice reforms to reduce incarceration. Former Oklahoma Secretary of Health Tom Adelson wrote in the Tulsa World that predictions of an Obamacare ‘trainwreck’ have not come true. Two events are coming up in Tulsa to help people learn about obtaining health insurance through the marketplace exchange created by the Affordable Care Act.
Tulsa World opinion editor Wayne Greene gave recommendations to fix the state’s broken budgeting process. The Oklahoman wrote that two separate AG opinions finding that the Legislature illegally shifted funds when making this year’s budget show a need for budget reforms. OK Policy previously discussed how the Legislature’s funding grabs have threatened low-income college students and the uninsured. Former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating and former state Treasurer Scott Meacham argued in NewsOK that Oklahoma schools are failing, but they said we should not have a serious discussion about increasing funding until we change teacher tenure and compensation, create higher curriculum standards, and hold back more students. The Tulsa World argued that the reinstatement of Oklahoma’s No Child Left Behind waiver still does not justify revoking Common Core standards.
The Oklahoman praised OK Policy’s newly updated CountyStats tool that provides fact sheets with key data for each of Oklahoma’s 77 counties. You can see the latest CountyStats fact sheets here. Oklahoma lawmakers and managers of the Capitol restoration project traveled to Kansas to get tips on Capitol repair. The EPA has awarded more than $14.2 million to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality to fund drinking water systems throughout the state. The Number of the Day is number of Oklahomans exonerated after being falsely convicted between 1989 and 2014. In today’s Policy Note, the Center for American Progress shares how the Affordable Care Act is helping LGBT Americans.
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