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.
The state Department of Public Safety has released a report reviewing the botched, 43-minute execution of Clayton Lockett on April 29. The report cites errors in inserting the IV and a lack of training or backup equipment. You can read the full report here. Gov. Fallin has ordered that no executions will be carried out in Oklahoma until the Dept. of Corrections implements recommendations made in the report. The ACLU of Oklahoma released a statement in response to the report, calling it “partisan” and “superficial.”
The vice chairman of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission is accusing state lawmakers of illegally taking $3 million from his agency’s revolving fund to balance the state budget. The chairman argues that the appropriation will leave the agency unable to meet its obligations. We’ve written about how funding grabs have created shortfalls for many state agencies before. The mayors of Tulsa and Oklahoma City are planning a campaign to push for municipal tax base diversification. Presently, municipalities are funded almost entirely through sales tax revenue, which the mayors argue is unreliable. Saint Francis Hospital opened a 150-bed patient tower and trauma center on Wednesday, the largest expansion in the hospital’s history. A new report ranks Oklahoma 7th-worst in the US for obesity. The report notes that Oklahoma is one of only two states that do not require schools to provide health education. Oklahoma’s scorecard is available here.
An event Thursday night examined segregation in Tulsa schools, 60 years after the Supreme Court ordered schools to desegregate. Executive Director David Blatt and others argued that Tulsa schools are now segregated by income rather than by race. A Teachers Matter forum held in Oklahoma City discussed ways to support and improve teaching in Oklahoma. Speakers included author and journalist Amanda Ripley, author of “The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way,” which we recently reviewed on the OK Policy Blog. Oklahoma’s ACT math scores continue to lag behind the national average, although it is ahead or on par with the national averages in reading and science. A new teaching garden in a Tulsa elementary school will help students learn about healthy eating.
Gov. Fallin announced the creation of a Coordinating Council on Seismic Activity in response to increased earthquake activity in Oklahoma. The council will help connect researchers with policy makers and energy industry experts. All 800 Walgreens Pharmacies in Oklahoma have installed time delay safes in an attempt to deter painkiller theft. We’ve discussed Oklahoma’s biggest drug problem before. The state and the Choctaw Nation have signed a vehicle tag compact, allowing Choctaw citizens to purchase Choctaw tags from state agencies. The Tulsa Jail is currently using goats to control weeds and overgrowth at the facility, and jail officials say that the goats seem to be having a calming effect on inmates as well.
StateImpact described how environmental protections for the state’s rivers have lead to economic development because pristine waterways attract tourism and fishing. Despite recent rains, drought conditions have worsened in western Oklahoma. The Number of the Day is how much real tax income in Oklahoma remains below the pre-recession peak. In today’s Policy Note, the Washington Post explains how America’s aging population is encountering infrastructure designed for for the young.