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All articles by Gene Perry

OKPolicyCast 35: A frank conversation about criminal justice (with D’Marria Monday, Jill Webb, Erik Grayless, and Kris Steele)

by | August 7th, 2018 | Posted in Criminal Justice, Podcast | Comments (0)

The OKPolicyCast is hosted by Gene Perry with production help from Jessica Vazquez. 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 OKPolicyCast, topics you’d like us to cover, or people you want us to interview, you can reach us at policycast@okpolicy.org.

Last week, Oklahoma Policy Institute hosted our annual Summer Policy Institute for about 60 college students from all over Oklahoma. The 4-day event featured speakers and panels on a wide range of topics. For this episode of the OKPolicyCast, we’re sharing the live recording of one of those panels — an interesting, frank, contentious discussion of Oklahoma’s criminal justice system.

If after listening to this you’d like to hear more from panelist Jill Webb, check out Episode 25 of the OKPolicyCast, which features an interview with her.

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

Episode 34: No job? No doctor. (with Carly Putnam & Hannah Katch)

by | July 24th, 2018 | Posted in Healthcare, Podcast | Comments (0)

The OK PolicyCast is hosted by Gene Perry with production help from Jessica Vazquez. 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.

This year, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and the state Legislature ordered the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, which runs Medicaid in Oklahoma, to come up with a plan to require Oklahoma adults on Medicaid to work at least 20 hours each week. If they don’t meet this requirement, or if they don’t do the paperwork to report their work or get an exemption in time, they will lose their Medicaid coverage and become uninsured.

OK Policy’s Carly Putnam has been doing a lot of work on this issue, and for this episode, I spoke with Carly and Hannah Katch of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, who’s been looking at this from a national perspective since the idea has been pushed in multiple states.

Right now public comments are being submitted about Oklahoma’s plan, and after the interview we read several of the comments that have been sent in so far. These do a great job of showing how real people’s lives would be affected if this is implemented. The comments are illuminating, and often heartbreaking.

After listening, you can learn more and take action by going to https://okpolicy.org/stop-attacks-soonercare/.

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

OK Policy welcomes three new staffers

by | July 19th, 2018 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy | Comments (0)

We’re welcoming three new staff members to the OK Policy team!

Rebecca Fine

Starting this week, Rebecca Fine has joined Oklahoma Policy Institute as an education policy analyst. The position is new to the organization and will focus on research and analysis of policies affecting all levels of education, from early childhood to K-12 and higher education.

“Even before bringing on a full-time education analyst, OK Policy has been an important voice on education policies,” said Gene Perry, OK Policy’s Director of Strategy and Communications. “We’re excited for this opportunity to deepen our work on this crucial issue for Oklahoma. Rebecca’s work on education issues from early childhood through college will also help to establish OK Policy’s new role as the Oklahoma partner in the national KIDS COUNT network.”

continue reading OK Policy welcomes three new staffers

In The Know: Gov. Fallin signs temporary rules for medical marijuana

by | July 12th, 2018 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (1)

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

Gov. Mary Fallin signs temporary rules for medical marijuana; advocates say they violate voters’ intent: Amid ongoing threats of legal challenges to emergency rules approved by the state Board of Health, Gov. Mary Fallin on Wednesday signed off on the temporary new regulations for State Question 788. She conceded that she expects modifications to occur in the future on an issue that is “uncharted territory” for the state. The board, in a 5-4 vote, authorized a last-minute amendment that bans the sale of smokable products and requires that a pharmacist be on staff at dispensaries [Tulsa World]. Oklahoma House Democrats have voiced strong opposition to the emergency medical marijuana rules [OKCFOX]. This isn’t the first time Oklahoma officials have heard that a policy could be illegal [Journal Record].

State agencies could lose power in furor over new cannabis rules: The medical cannabis rules introduced Tuesday by the Oklahoma State Board of Health surprised many political observers and marijuana industry hopefuls. Perhaps most surprising was the last-minute introductions of rules that would ban smokable forms and some edibles, and the requirement that retailers employ a pharmacist to dispense marijuana. Oklahomans took to social media to express outrage, including members of the Legislature. That kind of thinking could galvanize support for stripping agency boards of power. [NewsOK]

Plea deals have unbalanced Oklahoma’s justice system: One of the most basic rights for Americans accused of a crime is the right to a fair trial before a jury. However, the vast majority of criminal convictions – 90 to 95 percent – don’t happen at trial. Instead, they’re the result of a guilty plea, a deal negotiated by prosecutors and defense attorneys absent a trial. Plea deals are the norm for a number of reasons, but the justice system’s dependence on them is a serious problem [OKPolicy].

continue reading In The Know: Gov. Fallin signs temporary rules for medical marijuana

Episode 33: Keith Gaddie on the forces shaking Oklahoma politics

by | July 10th, 2018 | Posted in Elections, Podcast | Comments (2)

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.

Keith Gaddie

A couple weeks ago was one of the most interesting and unexpected elections in Oklahoma in a long time. From a big surge in turnout, strong approval of medical marijuana, and numerous incumbents either being forced into a runoff or voted out altogether, it’s clear that something is changing in Oklahoma politics.

What happened, what does it mean for the coming runoffs and general elections, and what will our state look like after it all shakes out? To better understand these questions, I spoke to Keith Gaddie, a political science professor at the University of Oklahoma and one of the most well informed, insightful, and balanced commentators on Oklahoma politics today.

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

New KIDS COUNT Data Book ranks Oklahoma near the worst in the nation for child well-being

A new report shows the youngest generation of Oklahomans face far-reaching challenges. The state ranks near the bottom in the nation for most measures of child well-being, according to the 2018 KIDS COUNT® Data Book released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Overall, the report ranks Oklahoma 44th out of all 50 states for child well-being. Even in areas where Oklahoma has seen the most improvement recently, we’re not keeping up with the progress in other states. We have a high percentage of kids scoring below proficient in reading and math, a high rate of teen births, hundreds of thousands of kids living in poverty, and tens of thousands without health insurance. The 2018 Data Book shows that while Oklahoma has improved on some measures of child well-being, we still have a lot of work to do.

continue reading New KIDS COUNT Data Book ranks Oklahoma near the worst in the nation for child well-being

Episode 32: Danielle Allen, from South Central Los Angeles to the Declaration of Independence

by | June 26th, 2018 | Posted in Blog, Criminal Justice, 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’ve got something really special for you today. We’re sharing the recording of an event that Oklahoma Policy Institute co-hosted with Danielle Allen, a Harvard University professor and the author of the new book, “Cuz”. In the book, Allen tells the story of her attempt to rescue her cousin, who was arrested at 15 for an attempted carjacking, was tried as an adult and sentenced to thirteen years. He served eleven years in prison, and three years after coming out of prison, he was dead.

In this conversation between Danielle Allen and Tulsa civil rights attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons, they dig deep into how the inequalities of America — racial inequality, social inequality, economic inequality — play out not just in statistics and political debates, but in the personal dynamics of real individuals and families — as Danielle Allen puts it, in the “rending of kith and kin.” It was a powerful, impactful conversation, ranging all the way from South Central Los Angeles to the Declaration of Independence. It’s worth your time to give a listen.

continue reading Episode 32: Danielle Allen, from South Central Los Angeles to the Declaration of Independence

Episode 31: Elizabeth Nichols on medical cannabis and SQ 788

by | June 12th, 2018 | Posted in Podcast | Comments (6)

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:

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

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