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 or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zebre.
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Today you should know that a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that following massive tax cuts in Kansas, job creation hasn’t kept up with the rest of the nation and business creation has slowed, as the state has cut millions from schools and other key services. Owasso community members rallied against Common Core on Thursday, and House Minority Leader Scott Inman criticized Governor Fallin for conceding too quickly to opponents of the educational standards. In a Tulsa World op-ed, Inman gave support for parents and educators converging in Oklahoma City to rally for education funding next Monday. Representatives from nearly every school district in the state are expected rally at the Capitol.
The Oklahoma Senate passed an extension of the state’s $5 million film industry tax break. The Senate also extended a tax incentive designed to reimburse Oklahoma communities for some of their expenses in attracting national and international events. Both bills head to the Governor’s desk next. Language that would have eliminated Oklahoma’s franchise tax has been removed from a bill. The tax generates about $40 million annually. NPR reported that some states are doing very well at signing people up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, but Oklahoma is lagging behind.
Fox23 reported that Tulsa police officers are still driving thousands of miles to transport Oklahomans in need of mental health treatment, putting significant strain on department resources. Tulsa’s Juvenile Bureau made the case for why they need a new facility, despite juvenile arrests hitting a ten-year low. Tulsa County voters will decide the issue on Tuesday, April 1. With tornado season approaching, The Oklahoman’s editorial board called for bilingual severe weather warnings.
Representatives from five states experiencing earthquakes tied to hydraulic fracturing met for the first time in Oklahoma City to exchange information and collaborate on standards. The city of Duncan is contemplating a ban on all outdoor watering as water level in local Waurika Lake, the primary water source for several local cities, dropped to an unprecedented low. The lesser prairie chicken, a species native to Oklahoma, has been classified as “threatened” by Fish and Wildlife Service, possibly affecting oil and gas activities in several states.
The Number of the Day is the 2012 unemployment rate in North Tulsa, nearly twice the unemployment rate for the Tulsa Metro as a whole. In today’s Policy Note, Columbia Journalism Review discusses how coverage of debates over whether states should expand Medicaid has been leaving out the stories of the real people who are affected.
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