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.
A Huffington Post examination of more than 50,000 previously released emails from the Governor’s Fallin’s office, as well as record requests from multiple states and the Department of Health and Human Services, found that state officials did not once consider that if they chose not to run their own health care exchanges, their citizens would not be eligible for the tax credit subsidies. Nearly 100,000 Oklahomans could lose access to affordable health care if a Supreme Court case claiming the subsidies are only available on state exchanges succeeds. In a Tulsa World op-ed, OK Policy analyst Carly Putnam wrote that if Governor Fallin is serious about her goal of improving Oklahoma’s health, she needs to stop opposing affordable health insurance. On the OK Policy Blog, Carly discussed how Kansas is considering accepting federal funds to expand health coverage as a way to reduce the state’s budget shortfall.
The Tulsa World reported that after years of doing just about all it could to restrict voting, the Oklahoma Legislature is now trying to encourage it. Several of the proposals moving through the Legislature to encourage voter participation were recommended by OK Policy’s report on repairing Oklahoma’s broken democracy. A bill to move Oklahoma’s 2016 presidential primary back a month was laid over after running into stiff opposition in a House committee. A Senate panel on Thursday is now expected to take up a measure banning texting while driving.
The Senate Appropriations Committee questioned Oklahoma’s $2.9 million support for Amtrak service between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth. The Oklahoman editorial board defended the scheduled $59.7 million increase in roads funding next year that will bring Oklahoma’s annual off-the-top funding for roads to $472 million. NewsOK reported that numerous proposals from Democratic lawmakers died without getting a hearing in Republican-controlled committees, including a bill that could have produced $150 million in federal funds for Native American health care at no cost to the state.
Together Oklahoma is asking Oklahomans to contact lawmakers and ask them to halt an income tax cut scheduled for next years that is adding tens of millions to the state’s already large budget shortfall. A Together Oklahoma general meeting will be held next Thursday in Oklahoma. In the Journal Record, David Blatt encouraged Oklahomans to join the March 30 rally at the capitol in support of public education and good teachers. Tulsa World columnist Ginnie Graham wrote that if you don’t rally for education, then at least write a letter or make a call.
A review website ranked the Tulsa Union high school cafeteria fourth best out of nearly 4,000 districts across the country. The Delaware Tribe of Indians’ Tribal Council passed legislation to increase the minimum wage for the tribe’s employees to $1.25 more than the federal minimum. As earthquakes continue to surge in Oklahoma and seismologists warn of more frequent and more damaging shaking, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission is issuing new orders to companies operating wells in seismically active regions of the state. A former University of Oklahoma student captured on video leading a racist chant apologized Wednesday at a joint event with African-American community leaders.
The Number of the Day is the value of ornamental fish sold in Oklahoma in 2012. In today’s Policy Note, Mother Jones discusses how Utah has decreased the number of homeless by 72 percent—largely by finding and building apartments where they can live, permanently, with no strings attached.
continue reading In The Know: Fallin emails undercut lawsuit against Obamacare