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.
U.S. District Judge Ronald White, a George W. Bush appointee, upheld Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s lawsuit that seeks to take away tax credits to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The ruling will be appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver and may ultimately go to the Supreme Court. If Pruitt’s lawsuit is successful, about 55,000 Oklahomans will lose tax credits that enable them to purchase affordable health insurance. ThinkProgress identified serious flaws in Judge White’s legal reasoning, which ignores binding Supreme Court precedent and engages in selective quotation out of context to support his conclusion.
In a new execution protocol released by the state, Oklahoma is not backing down from using a controversial execution drug, and the number of media witnesses allowed to view executions has been cut by more than half. Oklahoma Watch reported that Oklahoma is the only state in the nation that does not allow juvenile courts to determine whether youths in delinquency cases have the mental competency to go through court proceedings. On the OK Policy Blog, we examine what’s stopping Oklahomans from voting or participating in democracy. A previous post shared statistics showing that Oklahoma’s democracy is broken in several ways.
A lawsuit seeking to strike down a law that puts restrictions on the use of the drug RU486 for abortions was filed Tuesday in Oklahoma County District Court. Some Oklahoma sheriffs are pushing back against legislation introduced by Sen. Tom Coburn that seeks to stop the flow of wartime military equipment to local law enforcement agencies. Though the bridge connecting Purcell and Lexington is reopened for traffic, transportation officials say they will keep a load limit on the bridge as they construct a new bridge.
In an interim study at the state Capitol yesterday, Oklahoma educators and other community members asked lawmakers to send a message a to Congress to fully fund a federal program that provides aid to school districts that have had property lands seized by the federal government or Native American tribes. A rally to end mass incarceration will be held Thursday at the state Capitol, with speakers including Democratic State Sen. Connie Johnson and family members of prisoners serving long sentences. Walmart is getting into the banking industry, which could provide a new option for the one in three Oklahoma households that are unbanked or underbanked. A report for the Oklahoma Assets Network authored by OK Policy examined the barriers to fair banking services and other ways to save for low-income families in Oklahoma.
The Number of the Day is how many Oklahoma children received subsidized childcare in 2013 so their parents could participate in employment or education. In today’s Policy Note, a ProPublica investigation finds that American oil and gas workers – men and women often performing high-risk jobs – are routinely being underpaid, and the companies hiring them often are using accounting techniques to deny workers benefits such as medical leave or unemployment insurance.
continue reading In The Know: District judge upholds Oklahoma’s attempt to defund Affordable Care Act