Recent Articles

Lawmakers need truthful, complete information to make agency appropriation decisions (Capitol Update)

There's an interesting dynamic emerging between the governor and the legislature regarding next year's budget. Usually state agencies are free to make budget requests based, within realistic limits, on what they feel is needed to accomplish their duties and, if funds are available, to increase services. In preparation for the session, agencies appear before the appropriations committees to explain and justify their budget requests. Depending on available revenue, the legislature will decide which, if any, programs deserve either cuts or additional funding. This is done with input from the governor and his staff because, at the end of the day, the governor has the right to sign or veto the appropriations measures. [More...]

Much work remains for criminal justice reform (Capitol Update)

With the recent widely publicized sentence commutations, one might have the impression that the work of criminal justice reform is done. To the contrary, these commutations only serve to emphasize how much progress can be made with passage of just one reform proposal. But even after the commutations, Oklahoma is still near the top of the world in incarceration. [More...]

A look at redistricting in Oklahoma (Capitol Update)

Recently, an initiative petition to create an independent, bipartisan redistricting commission to redraw legislative and congressional districts in Oklahoma was filed by a group called "People Not Politicians." [More...]

Medicaid block grant proposal would be ill-advised (Capitol Update)

There may indeed be an "Oklahoma plan" for Medicaid worth considering, but hopefully the governor won't propose an ill-advised block grant scheme that will fail legal muster and, without Congressional approval, will almost surely never be implemented. [More...]

Oklahoma taking step towards recovery from ‘war on drugs’ (Capitol Update)

With these recent changes, 462 Oklahomans have a shot at a new life due to the wisdom of their neighbors who voted for SQ 780 and to legislators who voted to make right some wrongheaded war-on-drug policies from the past. [More...]

Senate committee hears proposals to reform fines and fees (Capitol Update)

Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee, at the request of Chairperson Sen. Julie Daniels (R-Bartlesville), held an interim study on an important criminal justice reform issue: Using the criminal justice system, including incarceration, to collect court-imposed fines, costs, fees, and assessments. [More...]

Agency reforms maintain vital role for Board oversight (Capitol Update)

As the meeting of the OJA board demonstrates, it would be a shame to forfeit the contribution of knowledgeable citizens who volunteer their time, energy, and expertise to make our state policies better. [More...]

Justice reform for the children (Capitol Update)

These are sobering findings for Oklahomans struggling to overcome the political hurdles preventing us from dealing with overincarceration [More...]

Stop complaining about SQ 780 and make it work (Capitol Update)

Before SQ 780, thousands of people afflicted with a drug problem were arrested and sent to prison. The people of Oklahoma took control of this issue. It's time now for DAs and sheriffs to quit complaining about it and make it work. [More...]

Greenwood story needs to be told (Capitol Update)

For me it's taken living in Tulsa, hearing the tragic story many times and meeting some of the survivors to begin to understand the trauma and legacy of those events. The opportunity to absorb that history will be lost for future Oklahomans and visitors unless the Greenwood History Center is completed. [More...]