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All articles by Gene Perry

Episode 31: Elizabeth Nichols on medical cannabis and SQ 788

by | June 12th, 2018 | Posted in Podcast | Comments (5)

You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or RSS. The theme music is by Zébre. The OK PolicyCast is hosted by Gene Perry with production assistance by Jessica Vazquez. If you have any questions for the OK PolicyCast, topics you’d like us to cover, or people you want us to interview, you can reach us at policycast@okpolicy.org.

For this episode, we spoke with Elizabeth Nichols, an attorney who has worked extensively with the emerging cannabis industry in Oklahoma and nearby states. With Oklahomans voting in just two weeks on State Question 788 to legalize medical cannabis, Nichols shared her perspective on how the medical cannabis industry is developing in other states, what she sees as the best models for implementing medical cannabis in Oklahoma, and what she expects from the SQ 788 vote on June 26.

You can subscribe to our show at the links above, download the podcast here, or play it in your browser:

The most difficult job in state government (Capitol Update)

Steve Lewis served as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1989-1991. He currently practices law in Tulsa and represents clients at the Capitol.

Jami Ledoux is not a household name for most Oklahomans. But rest assured, it is for anyone involved in the child welfare system (except probably the children, who likely do well to tell you the name of their last caseworker). Jami recently resigned as director of child welfare services for DHS. When she resigned she described the job as “one of the most difficult jobs in state government.” There are a lot of difficult jobs in government, but among the most difficult, like child welfare director, are the ones that bring the full power of the state to bear on individual lives.

continue reading The most difficult job in state government (Capitol Update)

Episode 30: DeVon Douglass on taking on Tulsa’s toughest challenges

by | May 29th, 2018 | Posted in Blog, Podcast | Comments (0)

You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre. If you have any questions for the OK PolicyCast, topics you’d like us to cover, or people you want us to interview, you can reach us at policycast@okpolicy.org.

We spoke with DeVon Douglass, the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Tulsa, about the work her team is doing to take on Tulsa’s toughest challenges, from teen homelessness to deep inequities in housing, transportation, and education. Their recent Tulsa Equality Indicators report assesses many of the barriers to a good life and better opportunities for Tulsans — but DeVon’s not only working to describe the problems. She tells us how the Tulsa city and community is gearing up to take on inequality in a comprehensive way.

You can subscribe to our show at the links above, download the podcast here, or play it in your browser:

ONE WEEK LEFT to apply for Summer Policy Institute

by | May 18th, 2018 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy | Comments (0)

Summer Policy Institute (SPI) application deadline is ONLY 1 WEEK away! The application deadline is Friday, May 25th, 2018. SPI will be held from July 29 – August 1, 2018 at the University of Tulsa. Please make sure to let all the qualified college students in your life know about this great opportunity! 

 Access the application here. 

SPI brings together highly-qualified undergraduate and graduate students for an exciting and in-depth learning experience. SPI offers participants a unique opportunity to become better informed about vital Oklahoma policy issues, network with fellow students and leaders in the policy process, and prepare for their future studies and work in public policy-related fields.

continue reading ONE WEEK LEFT to apply for Summer Policy Institute

OK PolicyCast Episode 29: What Just Happened

You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, SoundCloud, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre. If you have any questions for the OK PolicyCast, topics you’d like us to cover, or people you want us to interview, you can reach us at policycast@okpolicy.org.

The OK PolicyCast is back! In this episode, we look at what just happened in one of the most tumultuous legislative years in Oklahoma history. Bailey Perkins speaks about what it was like being at the state Capitol before, during, and after the teacher walkout. Carly Putnam shares some major developments in health care policy. And Ryan Gentzler talks about this year’s most important criminal justice legislation, both the good and the bad.

You can subscribe at the links above, download the podcast here, or play it in your browser:

In The Know: Legislative session adjourns after raucous House session

by | May 4th, 2018 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

In The News

Legislative session adjourns after raucous House session featuring shouted insults; controversial adoption bill heads to governor’s desk: Oklahoma senators ended their 2018 session with a sort of collective sigh in time for dinner Thursday evening, while their counterparts in the House continued to battle away, wrapping up finally after dark with even the motion to adjourn contested. Still, it was the earliest adjournment in memory — although it might not have seemed that way to lawmakers. Counting special sessions, they had met almost continuously since February of last year [Tulsa World].

Who Will Feel Effects of the 2018 Legislative Session: The curtain fell Thursday night on the 2018 session of the Oklahoma Legislature, leaving indelible echoes of sound and fury. This spring’s session – as well as the concurrent special session that spilled over from last year – was dominated by the teacher walkout and the heated debate over tax increases to pay for teacher raises and to boost public education funding. But lawmakers’ actions went well beyond the centerpiece dramas. Here’s a look of who will be feel the impact of what the Legislature did, and didn’t do, in this turbulent year [Oklahoma Watch].

Bill is revenge for teacher walkout, unions say: A new bill introduced in the Oklahoma Legislature this week is being criticized as “revenge” for the teacher walkout and political pressure put on lawmakers. The latest version of Senate Bill 1150 would prevent school districts from automatically deducting union dues from teacher paychecks. Instead of their being withheld, teachers would have to make arrangements with their union to make payments. It would also require that a majority of educators in the district vote every five years to keep their collective bargaining unit [NewsOK].

continue reading In The Know: Legislative session adjourns after raucous House session

Video series tells real-life stories of Oklahomans threatened by push to restrict SoonerCare

Thousands of Oklahoma parents need our state’s Medicaid program, called SoonerCare, just to fill a prescription or go to the doctor. But now, lawmakers are rushing to require these parents to work a certain number of hours per week or lose their health care.

As our video series shows, these new requirements are bad for Oklahoma. Work requirements will endanger families by taking needed health care from parents trying to make a better life for their children. They’ll even put working families at risk by threatening health care for those who can’t control the hours they’re scheduled for. And they won’t help to move more Oklahomans into the workforce. Please contact Governor Fallin and ask her to stop the push for Medicaid work requirements. You can watch all the videos below or learn more here.

continue reading Video series tells real-life stories of Oklahomans threatened by push to restrict SoonerCare

Bill Watch: This week in #okleg | April 30, 2018

by | April 30th, 2018 | Posted in Bill Watch | Comments (1)

With the FY 2019 budget now passed, lawmakers are moving to finish all other legislative work and adjourn by the end of the week. Just a few significant bills remain alive to be reconciled between House and Senate versions.

continue reading Bill Watch: This week in #okleg | April 30, 2018

We’re hiring TWO new policy analysts!

by | April 27th, 2018 | Posted in OK Policy | Comments (0)

In recent months, lawmakers have taken historic steps to address some of Oklahoma’s most serious challenges. Over the years of advocacy and debate leading to this moment, Oklahoma Policy Institute has played an essential role of informing lawmakers, advocates, and the general public. We have steadily increased our audience and our production of useful and trustworthy information. Now we are hiring two new policy analysts to go even deeper in researching and communicating key analyses of education and criminal justice policies.

continue reading We’re hiring TWO new policy analysts!

SJR 70 could create tough choices for Oklahoma schools

by | April 26th, 2018 | Posted in Education | Comments (2)

As the dust settles in the aftermath of Oklahoma’s teacher walkout, advocates are still trying to understand what’s been achieved and what still needs to be done to fully fund the state’s education responsibilities. Now another wrinkle could emerge from a pair of bills — SJR 70 and SB 1398 by Sen. Stephanie Bice and Rep. Elise Hall — that could give local districts more flexibility in how they use their funding, but at the cost of creating some hard choices for schools.

SJR 70 would put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to allow property tax dollars currently reserved for school “building funds” to be merged with general operating funds. SB 1398 would make the statutory changes needed to implement this amendment if it’s approved by a vote of the people. House and Senate versions of the bills still need to be reconciled, but it’s now likely that this will make it to the ballot as a state question in November.

continue reading SJR 70 could create tough choices for Oklahoma schools

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