Recent Articles

Legislature should address fines and fees system that harms families (Capitol Update)

The Legislature faces a troubling challenge in attempting to limit the reliance of law enforcement agencies and the courts on fines and fees owed by defendants in criminal cases. As the state faced budget gaps or added programs without funding… Read more [More...]

Juvenile justice is an investment to help youth (Capitol Update)

Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA) Executive Director Rachel Holt announced the hiring of Bryan Heil as superintendent of the agency’s new “Next Generation Campus.” The secure care (residential) treatment facility for youth who have committed a criminal offense is to… Read more [More...]

SQ 805’s defeat doesn’t signal end of justice reform efforts (Capitol Update)

Supporters of criminal justice reform are surely feeling the sting of defeat after Tuesday’s 61 percent to 39 percent loss of State Question 805. The measure would have banned enhancing penalties for a second or subsequent conviction for nonviolent offenses.… Read more [More...]

Extending teleconference meeting law before February requires special session (Capitol Update)

I would not be surprised to see a special session of the Legislature sometime after the election for the purpose of amending the Open Meetings Act. Prior to last session, the act required a quorum of all public bodies to… Read more [More...]

Battle brewing over managed care in Oklahoma (Capitol Update)

There is a big battle brewing over Medicaid managed care in Oklahoma that will play out during the next Legislative session. It is no wonder. With what legislators say was little or no consultation, the Oklahoma Healthcare Authority (OHCA), at… Read more [More...]

Interim studies highlight how other states passed meaningful law enforcement reform (Capitol Update)

There have been multiple interim studies on law enforcement reform in the past few weeks. Two of the better efforts, primarily because they brought in “how to” information from other states, was a bi-partisan, bi-cameral study in the House last… Read more [More...]

An early look at the FY 2022 budget (Capitol Update)

Altogether, from this early view, the bottom line for next fiscal year seems fairly good. The Senate Appropriations Chair is hopeful for a flat state budget meaning no further cuts, but things could be better than that. [More...]

Interim study considers proposed state race and equality commission (Capitol Update)

A short interim study was held last week on Senate Bill 1286 that was introduced by Sen. George Young, D-OKC, at the beginning of last session. The bill would have created a 30-member Oklahoma Commission on Race and Equality to… Read more [More...]

Interim studies examine police reform measures (Capitol Update)

It is an open question whether any sort of law enforcement reform will make it across the finish line during the session next year. The call for reform increased exponentially after the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota and other… Read more [More...]

Education Secretary appointment may set up interesting dynamic (Capitol Update)

Gov. Kevin Stitt recently announced the appointment of Ryan Walters, a young former classroom teacher from McAlester, as his new Secretary of Education. Walters, who was McAlester Teacher of the Year in 2015 and a finalist for State Teacher of… Read more [More...]