In The Know: Hearings for thousands of injured workers delayed

by and | July 7th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn 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.

Download today’s In The Know podcast here or play it in your browser:

Today you should know that hearings for thousands of injured workers will be delayed this month while the state’s workers compensation system is split into two agencies— each with its own staff, offices and equipment. Due to a difficult job market, enrollment in CareerTech programs is increasing among workers who already have college degrees. The number of out-of-state students attending Oklahoma’s public universities and colleges has more than doubled since 2000 as schools increasingly rely on nonresident tuition to supplement their budgets. The University of Oklahoma is introducing new residential colleges to its campus holding student living facilities, internal dining facilities, study halls, seminar rooms, and professor’s offices all in one building.

Rep. Ann Coody, R-Lawton, wrote an op-ed on the path forward for educational standards in Oklahoma after the repeal of Common Core. A group of city and school district officials are backing a successful-but-expensive summer learning program in northeast Oklahoma City, hoping to expand the concept to other inner city schools. The small Panola School District has missed a Department of Education deadline to raise enough funds to continue operating, but the community is still fighting to save the district.

Poverty has become more concentrated in Oklahoma over the past decade, with nearly one-third of the state’s population living in communities with concentrated poverty. NPR examined what is happening in President Obama’s ‘Promise Zones,’ five areas across the United States, including the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, where the federal government has launched a focused effort to tackle poverty. At a downtown public-safety seminar, Tulsa police said an increasing number of homeless people and beggars are not causing an increase in crime. Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City is seeking volunteers to help with the intake and explanation of rights to immigrant children being housed at an Oklahoma military base while they wait for deportation hearings.

State Treasurer Ken Miller criticized the legislature’s overuse of one-time funds to balance the state budget, even as they reduce recurring revenues by cutting taxes. Legislators criticized an initiative petition to install storm shelters and safe rooms in every Oklahoma public school, saying it would overstress the General Revenue Fund. The Oklahoma Attorney General’s office has approved the latest ballot language of the petition and cleared the way for supporters to begin collecting signatures. The Oklahoma County jail’s kitchen has been inoperable since June 19 because of a collapsed sewer line under the jail.

 A new paper in the journal Science suggests a small number of high-volume wastewater wells used in drilling operations could be responsible for many of Oklahoma’s earthquakes. Oklahoma oil and gas drillers defended the wells as the easiest way for them to dispose of millions of barrels of toxic water produced in the drilling process. The OK Policy Blog discussed the failure of a bill to require doctors to check a prescription monitoring database before prescribing powerful painkillers. Oklahoma’s Nursing Board said they are dealing with a large number of cased of prescription drug abuse among Oklahoma nurses. The number of licensed nurses in Oklahoma has grown more than 40 percent over the past decade.

The Number of the Day is the average number of minutes patients spend in the emergency room in Oklahoma before being seen by a doctor. In today’s Policy Note, Vox explains why the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision does not erase most of the reproductive health gains achieved by the Affordable Care Act.

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The Weekly Wonk July 6, 2014

by | July 6th, 2014 | Posted in Blog | Comments (0)

the_weekly_wonk

The Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage. Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The KnowClick here to subscribe to In The Know. Because The Weekly Wonk was on hiatus last weekend, this edition features links and information from the past two weeks.

This week, OK Policy Summer Education Leadership Initiative Fellow Rebecca Hollis shared the benefits of community schools. A guest post explained why tracking school readiness matters in Oklahoma. We discussed why a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of tax cuts passed in the prior legislative session could be a game-changer.

Using the experiences of California and Kansas as examples, we pointed out how and why the economic case for tax cuts is in shambles. We presented more proof that hiking copayments for Medicaid recipients doesn’t actually create savings. We reviewed how, this session, lawmakers had the opportunity to enact effective legislation to combat prescription drug addiction in the state – and fumbled it. We’ve written about prescription drug addiction in Oklahoma before.

NewsOK quoted Executive Director David Blatt in their reporting on the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s decision to raise copays for Medicaid recipients. Blatt argued against raising copays in his Journal Record column and in the Tulsa World. We’ve discussed at length why the copayments will harm health without saving the state money (here, here, and here). The Oklahoman’s editorial board suggested that our dismay at the hikes was “unwarranted.”

The Washington Post quoted Blatt in their discussion of the recently-announced extension of Insure Oklahoma. We’ve written before about how Insure Oklahoma could be used to extend health coverage to all low-income Oklahomans. Blatt was also quoted in an article by Dissent Magazine examining how states and cities are stepping into the void left by congressional obstruction to address problems of inequality, economic stagnation, and climate change.

In the Oklahoma Gazette, policy analyst Carly Putnam made the case for the importance of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye in Oklahoma. The Red Dirt Report cited OK Policy statistics while describing the devastating impact of “tough on crime” policies. 

In our Editorial of the Week, the Tulsa World argued against a law passed this session declaring gold and silver coins legal tender and exempting sales of gold coins from sales taxes. The move is expected to cost the state nearly $1 million in the next budget year.

Quote of the Week

“I made some of the toughest votes today that I’ve ever made in my life. I’m against every one of these rules but I can’t help it.”

- Former Sen. George Miller, a member of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board, speaking about their votes to slash provider rates, increase copayments, and reduce services for Medicaid. With flat state funding and lawmakers refusing to accept federal funds offered under the Affordable Care Act, Oklahoma Medicaid is facing a $225 million shortfall this year (Source: http://bit.ly/1vbZ4Fp).

See previous Quotes of the Day here.

Numbers of the Day

  • 231,000 – Number of Oklahomans employed in education or health services, nearly 13 percent of all workers in the state.
  • 98,923 – Number of Oklahoma youth that participated in 4-H programs in 2012.
  • 15.6% – Percentage of Oklahomans with disabilities.
  • 113,324 -Miles of public road in Oklahoma as of 2008.
  • 13.3 percent – Percentage of Oklahoma K-12 public school revenue that comes from the federal government.
  • 34 – Number of arrest-related deaths in Oklahoma in 2013, including those shot by police officers, committing suicide, or killed in an auto accident.
  • $572,500 – Job creation incentive payments Chesapeake Energy is still eligible to collect this year from Oklahoma City, despite laying off more than 700 positions at its OKC headquarters.
  • 128 – Number of painkiller prescriptions per 100 people in Oklahoma, the 5th highest rate in the nation.
  • 123,000 – The number of uninsured Oklahomans who would have health insurance by 2016 if Oklahoma accepts federal funds to extend coverage to low-income residents

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

What We’re Reading

Opportunity Missed: the Prescription Monitoring Program in Oklahoma

by | July 3rd, 2014 | Posted in Blog, Healthcare | Comments (1)
hydrocodone

Photo by Hiii Fiii used under a Creative Commons license

Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic in Oklahoma. In 2012, Oklahoma ranked first nationwide for painkiller addiction, fifth for deaths due to drug overdoses, and fifth for number of painkiller prescriptions written. Preliminary data from the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs indicates that 2013 saw 788 overdose deaths, 593 of which were from prescription drugs. These numbers are expected to rise as medical examiners review more data.

This session, lawmakers had the opportunity to enact effective legislation to combat prescription drug addiction in the state – and they fumbled it. Here’s the background:

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In The Know: Schools destroyed in Moore tornado on track to reopen for new school year

by and | July 3rd, 2014 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn 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.

Download today’s In The Know podcast here or play it in your browser:

Today you should know that two elementary schools destroyed in a Moore tornado are on track to reopen next month in time for the start of a new school year. A group that wants to build storm shelters in every public school in Oklahoma has restarted its petition drive to put a state question on the ballot in November. Of the 1,137 Tulsa Public Schools third graders who did not pass a reading test, 414 have received “good cause” exemptions and will go on to fourth grade; 723 children are still in jeopardy of being held back, but 550 are in summer school and will take the test again next week.

Federal officials say the number of immigrant children being housed at a temporary facility in Fort Sill has topped 1,100. Here & Now spoke with the director of a group that’s been working with unaccompanied minor immigrants since the 1980s about why the children are fleeing and what their future looks like in the U.S. The Associated Press shared the story of a 15 year old fleeing Guatemala who died crossing the Texas desert.

NewsOK spoke with the creator of a new website aimed at connecting people of color and other minorities in Oklahoma with companies looking to hire a diverse workforce. David Blatt’s Journal Record column discusses how legal challenges to recent tax changes in Oklahoma could bring a huge shift in the states’ tax and budget landscape. Oklahoma Treasurer Ken Miller says overall collections to the state treasury during the fiscal year that ended June 30 increased by more than 4 percent from the previous fiscal year. OK Policy previously explained why the state faced a large budget shortfall this year even as gross revenues increased — increased mandatory spending, corporate and individual income tax refunds, and rebates to the oil and gas industry all played a role.

Tulsa police officers have already saved three lives in the six weeks since they began carrying kits designed to save someone having a heroin overdose. State Rep. Fred Jordan, one of two remaining candidates for Tulsa County district attorney, has asked the state Supreme Court to take jurisdiction and make an expedited ruling on a challenge to his candidacy. A decades-old program that has allowed rural fire departments in Oklahoma to purchase surplus military vehicles could be ending, due to concerns that the vehicles don’t meet emissions standards.

The city of Norman may need to close 4 of it 32 wells for exceeding maximum levels of arsenic and radioactivity. Coming upgrades to Oklahoma City’s water system include plans to begin pumping treated wastewater back into Lake Hefner. Though large parts of the state remain in severe drought, last month was the second wettest June on record.

The Number of the Day is how many uninsured Oklahomans who would have health insurance by 2016 if Oklahoma accepts federal funds to extend coverage to low-income residents. In today’s Policy Note, Dissent Magazine shares how states and cities are stepping into the void left by congressional obstruction to address problems of inequality, economic stagnation, and climate change.

continue reading In The Know: Schools destroyed in Moore tornado on track to reopen for new school year

In The Know: Medicaid providers see almost 8 percent rate cut

by and | July 2nd, 2014 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn 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.

Download today’s In The Know podcast here or play it in your browser:

Today you should know that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board voted to reduce Medicaid provider rates by 7.75 percent. The Washington Post examined the standoff between Oklahoma and the federal government over Insure Oklahoma and Medicaid expansion. Although Oklahoma received an extension to continue Insure Oklahoma another year for 19,000 low-income adults, the state’s refusal to accept federal expansion funds is blocking coverage for another 123,000 Oklahomans.

Al-Jazeera looked into the cost of buying contraception in Oklahoma City for workers at a company that refuses to cover it following the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks Oklahoma 5th in the nation for the highest rates of hydrocodone, oxycodone and other powerful painkillers prescribed to residents. The OK Policy Blog previously discussed why prescription drug abuse is Oklahoma’s biggest drug problem. Supporters of a state question to legalize medical marijuana say they are confident of collecting enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot.

On the OK Policy Blog, researchers from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services discussed how data can help Oklahoma reduce the number of young children left behind before they even reach kindergarten. Oklahoma City Public Schools will promote 514 third-graders who failed a state reading test but qualified for several good-cause exemptions, including 139 students recommended for promotion by a team of parents and educators. The district will retain 636 third-graders who failed the test and have not received an exemption. Citing billion-dollar losses in agriculture labor shortages, a group of current and past Oklahoma Republican leaders has asked the state’s congressional delegation to support approval of immigration reform.

The State Chamber of Oklahoma is creating a new foundation to bolster workforce education programs. A Norman city council member has received death threats and hate messages after he appeared in a PBS documentary speaking against a proposal for Gay and Lesbian History Month. The documentary examines the fallout after a gay teen committed suicide after attending the meeting and witnessing many anti-gay statements by members of the public. Tulsa’s U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development community development committee is hosting a public meeting July 8 for citizens to offer input on the city’s affordable housing and community development needs.

The recent increase in earthquakes has alarmed citizens who are questioning the causes and also preparing for more, but legislators have taken no action on the issue. Federal officials have identified 20 parcels of public lands in Oklahoma and nine other states they say could be suitable for bison relocated from Yellowstone National Park. An aerial survey shows good rains have brought a 20 percent increase in the lesser prairie chicken’s population from last year.

The Number of the Day is the number of painkiller prescriptions per 100 people in Oklahoma, the 5th highest rate in the nation. In today’s Policy Note, the New York Times discusses evidence that cash grants are a very effective way to help the poorest of the poor in the U.S. and internationally.

continue reading In The Know: Medicaid providers see almost 8 percent rate cut

Why tracking school readiness matters (Guest Post: Krista Schumacher & Naneida Lazarte Alcalá)

by | July 1st, 2014 | Posted in Blog, Education, Poverty | Comments (1)

risk and reach report coverNaneida Lazarte Alcalá is a Research Manager with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Oklahoma State University. Krista Schumacher is a Senior Researcher with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. She is working on a Ph.D. in Educational Research and Evaluation from Oklahoma State University. Both are members of Scholars Strategy Network.

Considerable research points to the dire consequences of starting school unprepared to learn. A combination of experiences and environments from the moment of birth shape a child’s likelihood of entering school developmentally ready and succeeding in the long term. Circumstances such as poverty, low maternal education, single-parent families, limited English skills, and abuse and neglect place children at extreme risk of starting kindergarten without the appropriate cognitive, social-emotional and behavioral skills necessary for learning.

Too often the burden of bridging the developmental gap between where children should be and where they actually are is placed squarely on schools. However, studies using data from the Kids Integrated Data System, which matches data on individual children across the Philadelphia school district with the city’s human services, health, and housing agencies, found that differences in student performance between schools was attributable more to the concentration of adverse early experiences among children than to school resources. Although school quality matters in terms of student supports that can be provided, schools cannot be held accountable for the skills, or lack thereof, children possess when they first enter a kindergarten classroom. This is a problem that must be addressed at the societal level.

continue reading Why tracking school readiness matters (Guest Post: Krista Schumacher & Naneida Lazarte Alcalá)

In The Know: Oklahoma doctors and hospitals face sweeping Medicaid cuts

by and | July 1st, 2014 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn 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.

Download today’s In The Know podcast here or play it in your browser:

Today you should know that in its second round of sweeping budget cuts, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority will consider reducing payments to doctors and other Medicaid providers by $159 million, effective immediately. OK Policy previously outlined how state funding cuts and our refusal to accept federal funds is slashing Oklahomans’ health care safety net. The federal government has given Insure Oklahoma a one-year extension, keeping alive a program that provides coverage to about 19,000 of the state’s working poor and their families. Insure Oklahoma could pave the way for a long-term solution to expand health coverage.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Monday that the federal government cannot require Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby to offer insurance coverage for certain contraceptive drugs that the owners say violate their religious beliefs. NPR examined how many companies may be touched by this ruling. In today’s Policy Note, SCOTUSBlog summarized the ruling in plain English. The OK Policy Blog discussed why two legal challenges to Oklahoma income tax cuts and drilling tax changes could cause a huge shift in the state’s budget and tax landscape.

UCO business dean Mickey Hepner examined how new EPA regulations to combat climate change could benefit Oklahoma’s economyMore than 12,000 of Oklahoma’s most underpaid state workers are getting a boost in pay effective today. Although Chesapeake Energy has laid off more than 700 positions at its Oklahoma City headquarters over the past three years, the company remains eligible to collect $572,500 this year in job-creation incentive money from the city. Oklahoma has had more earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater this year than the entire Western United States.

Governor Fallin held a ceremonial bill signing for a bill that allows the state of Oklahoma to enter into a Pay for Success contract, in which private donors provide upfront funding for a prison diversion program like Women in Recovery, and the state refunds the investment if measurable successes are achieved. OK Policy previously summarized this bill as well as the missed opportunities to reform the state’s beleaguered criminal justice system this legislative session. KGOU reported on how the Center for Employment Opportunities non-profit is helping Oklahomans with criminal records get back on their feet after they serve time.

The Tulsa World criticized a new Oklahoma law that declares gold and silver to be legal tender and exempts them from from state sales taxes. KGOU discussed a new book on financial panics in Oklahoma before statehood. NewsOK discussed a New York Times analysis showing Southeast Oklahoma is one of the hardest regions to live in the nation. Data from a mobile breathalyzer company found Oklahoma users registered the 4th highest blood-alcohol content in the nation.

The Number of the Day is how much job creation incentive payments Chesapeake Energy is still eligible to collect this year from Oklahoma City, despite laying off more than 700 positions at its OKC headquarters.

continue reading In The Know: Oklahoma doctors and hospitals face sweeping Medicaid cuts

Tax cut legal challenges could be game-changers

by | June 30th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, Taxes | Comments (0)
jerryfent

Jerry Fent. Photo courtesy of David Glover.

Over the years, Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent has proven a big thorn in the side of Oklahoma policymakers, filing and winning a string of constitutional challenges to legislation. Several of his lawsuits have led the Supreme Court to strike down down bills as violations of the state’s single-subject rule, including last year’s ruling overturning a measure that combined funding for repairs to the State Capitol and an income tax cut. Others have overturned various bond issues and budget provisions.

This year, Fent is back with new lawsuits challenging SB 1246,the bill that would reduce Oklahoma’s top income tax rate subject to certain revenue triggers, and HB 2562, the bill that changes taxation of oil and gas production. If successful, these challenges would represent a seismic shift in Oklahoma’s budget and tax landscape.

This post will focus on SB 1246, which has now been argued in front of an Oklahoma Supreme Court referee.  The lawsuit (Fent v. Fallin) contends that SB 1246 is unconstitutional because it violates Article  5, Section 33 of the Oklahoma Constitution, which pertains to revenue bills.  The original constitutional language, which dates to statehood, states:

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In The Know: State budget cuts threaten juvenile intervention center

by | June 30th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn 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.

Download today’s In The Know podcast here or play it in your browser:

Today you should know that the Community Intervention Center in Duncan, which handles juveniles arrested for crimes, is facing a state budget cut that may force layoffs of more than half the staff. Officials fear the cuts will take police off of the streets to take care of minors picked up for crimes. Oklahoma Watch took an in-depth look at administrative and classroom costs in Oklahoma schools. Flat-rate tuition — which charges the same rate for all students enrolling anywhere from 12 to 18 hours — will spread to three more state universities this fall. The plan is meant to provide an incentive to take more classes and graduate sooner.

Members of The Oklahoma Academy talked about the organization’s recommendations to improve transportation infrastructure in the state, including changing the state’s gas tax from a flat number of cents to a percentage of the wholesale price. The OK Policy Blog previously discussed why this reform should be high on the agendaOklahoma was ranked 47th in the nation for how well the state protects teen drivers and others on the road with them. A federal regulation that limits the time a trucker is on the road, implemented after a crash that killed 10 people on the Will Rogers Turnpike, is believed to have prevented around 1,400 crashes nationwide.

Gov. Mary Fallin and Rep. Tom Cole have criticized President Obama for the handling of thousands of young unaccompanied immigrants coming from South American countries, even though the procedure for handling them was created in a bill under President George W. Bush that was supported both by Fallin and Cole in Congress. Steve Russell, the retired U.S. Army Ranger who led Republican candidates in the race to replace Rep. James Lankford, does not live in the congressional district he wants to represent. The U.S. Constitution only requires that a U.S. House candidate be an inhabitant of the state in which he or she is running.

Oklahoma House members have requested more than 90 interim studies on topics ranging from the death penalty to the cost of propane. See the full list of interim study proposals here. The ACLU has asked an Oklahoma County judge to reconsider her ruling that Gov. Mary Fallin can withhold documents requested by news organizations under Oklahoma’s Open Records Act. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has received a “Golden Padlock” award from a national journalism organization for her support of the state’s execution secrecy law. The Number of the Day is the number of arrest-related deaths in Oklahoma in 2013. In today’s Policy Note, the New York Times examines why Kansas tax cuts are costing much more than that state originally estimated.

continue reading In The Know: State budget cuts threaten juvenile intervention center

In The Know: Health Care Authority Board votes to raise Medicaid copays

by | June 27th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn 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.

Download today’s In The Know podcast here or play it in your browser:

Today you should know that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority board voted unanimously on Thursday to raise copayments for state Medicaid participants, as well as for a series of other changes to help cut costs due to the agency’s budget shortfall. We’ve argued against the copayment increases because research shows that increased copayments in Medicaid harm health without saving the state money. The Tulsa World’s editorial board praised a statement from Gov. Fallin that the Insure Oklahoma program would likely continue for another year, but pointed out that while Insure Oklahoma is an important program, thousands of Oklahomans remain without insurance coverage.

A state Board of Education meeting on Thursday revealed confusion and concern over curriculum for Oklahoma schools next year. Several actions relating to the repeal of Common Core and establishment of new standards were tabled because several Board members are part of a lawsuit asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to overturn the legislature’s repeal of Common Core. The Board voted not to renew the state’s contract with testing vendor CTB/McGraw-Hill after two consecutive years of technical problems during testing.

On the OK Policy blog, we discussed how real-world examples in Kansas and California show the economic case for tax cuts is in shambles. Oklahoma state agencies uniformly received a 0.12 percent budget cut in order to shave $6.8 million off the state budget after the state Attorney General found lawmakers had illegally appropriated funds from the Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship fund to balance the budget. OK Policy first broke the story about the threat to the scholarship fund. Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent, who has successfully sued the state in the past, filed a suit alleging that a new law changing the state’s oil and gas production tax rate is unconstitutional.

An independent transportation research group praised Oklahoma’s progress in repairing structurally deficient bridges. However, federal funding for the state Department of Transportation may be slashed by $625 million in October, potentially stalling that progress. Medical marijuana petitioners, who had previously alleged that they were harassed by police in multiple Oklahoma cities and towns while gathering signatures, say that the harassment has ceased. The Oklahoman explained how Oklahoma City’s controversial $3.5 million tax incentive for retail chain Cabela’s will work. City Councilman Ed Shadid previously argued that the retailer’s demands for incentives amounted to extortion.

Some 500 Oklahomans concerned about recent earthquake swarms gathered in Edmond last night to meet with researchers and regulators. The earthquakes are likely connected to oil and gas wastewater disposal. An Oklahoma judge has scheduled a hearing on a request to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the Ten Commandments monument at the state Capitol. KGOU discussed why Norman is the only Oklahoma town where residents determine their utility rates via a public vote.

The Number of the Day is the percentage of Oklahoma K-12 public school revenue that comes from the federal government. In today’s Policy Note, the Washington Post shares new research describing the anticipated impact of Millenials on the housing market.

continue reading In The Know: Health Care Authority Board votes to raise Medicaid copays