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 Zébre.
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Today you should know that what was supposed to be the first of two executions in Oklahoma last night was halted when the prisoner Clayton D. Lockett began to writhe and gasp after he had already been declared unconscious. He later died of a heart attack 43 minutes after he had been first injected. Governor Mary Fallin issued a stay of execution for Charles Warner, the second scheduled to be executed last night, and has ordered a ‘full review’ of the state’s execution procedures. Oklahoma had attempted the execution with a secret, untested mix of chemicals because pharmaceutical companies increasingly refuse to supply lethal injection drugs.
Governor Fallin vetoed 15 House bills and said she would continue issuing vetoes until the House address several issues. The Governor complained that legislators had not made progress on allowing schools to hold a vote on going over their bonding capacity to fund storm shelters, setting the state budget for the coming year, funding Capitol repairs, and changing the pension system for state workers. A report by independent monitors found Oklahoma is making lackluster progress on court-ordered improvement of its foster-care system. The state Senate approved a bill to require schools to have students say the Pledge of Allegiance once a week.
On the OK Policy Blog, we discussed how Oklahoma is losing millions to corporate tax shelters and what we can do about it. The Legislature is working on modifying the Quality Jobs Act to allow state income tax dollars to help pay for land purchases by Tinker Air Force Base. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Cross-State Air Pollution Rule that could impact coal plants in Oklahoma. The president of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts is urging farmers to think twice before plowing their fields this spring. The ongoing drought creates a risk of dust storms and wind erosion that could be worsened by plowing.
The Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa announced it will become the first United States affiliate to the GRAMMY Museum, based in Los Angeles. Fox23 reported on the work of the Tulsa Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, which is pushing for comprehensive sex education in schools. The first century of Tulsa’s Booker T. Washington High School was celebrated in a new documentary film that premiered at the Circle Cinema.
The Number of the Day is how much new revenue Oklahoma could bring in if the state adopted combined reporting, a reform that prevents corporations from shifting profits to out-of-state tax shelters. In today’s Policy Note, the New York Times discussed how schools can build affordable storm shelters using concrete domes.
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