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Today In The News
Companies Can’t Set Own Rules For Injured Workers, Okla. Court Says: A national campaign to rewrite state laws and allow businesses to decide how to care for their injured workers suffered a significant setback Tuesday when the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that Oklahoma’s version of the law is unconstitutional. The 2013 legislation gave Oklahoma employers the ability to “opt out” of the state workers’ compensation system and write their own plans, setting the terms for what injuries were covered, which doctors workers could see, how workers were compensated and how disputes were handled [ProPublica].
Director Joe Allbaugh wants 5 percent across-the-board raises for DOC staff: Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh said Tuesday he wants to make securing a 5 percent raise for all DOC staff a top priority during the next legislative session. He said he will seek the raise for all employees across the board, calling it “unacceptable” that nearly 40 percent of DOC employees haven’t received a raise in 10 years. Starting wages for correctional officers are typically about $2,200 per month before taxes [Tulsa World]. Since 2000, the inmate population in Oklahoma public prisons has grown by over 26 percent, while the correctional officer workforce has declined by 25 percent [OK Policy].
Oklahoma Still Mulling Execution Protocols, Ensuring Delays: Oklahoma, a state with one of the busiest death chambers in the country over the last three decades, will have at least a two-year delay in lethal injections after the governing board of its prison system declined to consider new execution procedures on Tuesday. At its regular meeting in Taft, the Board of Corrections did not take up new execution protocols that Attorney General Scott Pruitt wants in place before executions can resume [Associated Press]. Read our fact sheet on SQ 776, which would affirm the death penalty in the Oklahoma constitution.