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.
An annual report authored by court-appointed monitors assigned to oversee Oklahoma’s child welfare reform offered mixed reviews for the state’s efforts, noting that the state is making progress in some areas but falling behind in others. The report is available here. Last year, the monitors found that the state was failing to make “good faith efforts” to reform the system. The manufacturer of a drug used in Oklahoma executions has asked the state to return all doses of the drug because the drug is not approved for executions, and company disapproves of the death penalty.
Data released by the US Department of Education shows that minority students are suspended disproportionately not just in Oklahoma City Public Schools, but across the state and country. Faced with a $611 million budget shortfall, lawmakers are reportedly seeking to maintain flat funding for common education, the Health Care Authority, the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, and the Department of Corrections. Oklahoma has options for a balanced approach to solve the budget gap. County court clerks, which have relied on the state Supreme Court for funding despite a statue directing counties to fund their own offices, have been informed that the state Supreme Court will no longer be providing funding due to budget cuts.
In his Journal Record column, executive director David Blatt points out that a growing state share of Medicaid costs is due a strong state economy, not federal cost-shifting or broken promises. A video preview for our Summer Policy Institute is now available. The Summer Policy Institute brings together fifty highly-qualified undergraduate and graduate students from across the state for a four-day public policy intensive. Bills that make texting while driving illegal and require schools to provide sexual assault prevention and response education are awaiting Governor Fallin’s signature. An executive order issued by the Governor says that the state will not make a state plan to follow federal regulations regarding regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Following heavy rains, depleted Oklahoma reservoirs have begun to refill.
Tulsa County Commissioners say they are waiting for an investigation to conclude before taking action regarding the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office reserve deputy who accidentally shot and killed a man. A bill in the state legislature would require reserve deputies to receive more training and adds mandatory yearly retraining. The Number of the Day is 3,300 – the number of uninsured veterans in Oklahoma with incomes below 138% of the federal poverty level who have a mental illness. In today’s Policy Note, the Washington Post discusses the implications of data showing that pregnant women are working later in to their pregnancies, and returning to work earlier.
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