Recent Articles

Sufficient funding for OJA will support Oklahoma families

The Board of Juvenile Affairs approved the FY 2024 budget request for the Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA) last week for filing with the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) by Oct. 1. Agency budget requests can be used… Read more [More...]

Lawmakers’ recommendations on ARPA spending starting to take shape (Capitol Update)

There was a lot of activity at the Capitol last week with interim studies discussing a variety of topics and American Rescue Plan (ARPA) working groups considering and approving multiple funding proposals. The next stop for the working group proposals… Read more [More...]

Interim study discusses parental rights and protecting well-being for endangered children (Capitol Update)

An interim study requested by Rep. Danny Williams, R-Seminole, and Rep. Sherrie Conley, R-Newcastle, was held in the House Judiciary-Civil Committee last week and went in a slightly different direction than I expected. The study request indicated it would examine… Read more [More...]

LOFT report shares opportunities to coordinate state’s behavioral health services (Capitol Update)

An interesting behavioral health report was presented last week to the Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency (LOFT) Oversight Committee, a joint House-Senate Committee chaired by their respective Appropriations Chairs. LOFT has become a valuable tool for the legislature to get… Read more [More...]

Is history repeating with state’s current education turmoil? (Capitol Update)

With the first post-pandemic school year about to start, a devastating teacher shortage, and many students who have fallen behind because of the interruptions in their education, you’d think the state board of education would be laser focused on policies… Read more [More...]

State ARPA spending starting slowly, but likely ramping up this fall (Capitol Update)

It looks like the legislature is pointing toward late September or early October to go back into special session to appropriate part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. Congress passed ARPA in March 2021. My understanding is legislators… Read more [More...]

A contrast in focus about Oklahoma’s education needs (Capitol Update)

There’s an interesting contrast between the focus of Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore, who chairs the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Education and that of Oklahoma Secretary of Education Ryan Walters, who was appointed by Gov. Kevin Stitt and is… Read more [More...]

Modernizing the school funding formula (Capitol Update)

The Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency (LOFT) issued a report last week calling for changes in the state aid school funding formula. It recommends providing more funding for school districts with high concentrations of students in poverty; changing the statutory… Read more [More...]

Interim studies indicate increased focus on children and youth issues (Capitol Update)

There was not a lot of substantive legislation aimed directly at children and youth issues that passed in this legislative session compared to the 2021 session. But judging from the interim study requests by a variety of legislators, this next… Read more [More...]

If Oklahoma wants to draw businesses, we might need to invest in our people (Capitol Update)

I don’t know whether large companies who make location decisions tell the winners and losers the unvarnished truth about why they made their decisions or not. Probably not. They’re not required to, and the truth might not be well received… Read more [More...]