Recent Articles

Legislature should focus on budget and pandemic (Capitol Update)

There is little to nothing to report this week on legislative activity. Appropriations and budget leaders are still putting together a FY 2021 budget for consideration when the legislature is able to vote on it. [More...]

Future uncertain for Oklahoma’s 2020 Legislative session (Capitol Update)

It's an understatement to say the future of this legislative session is uncertain. Last Tuesday when legislators left the Capitol, we knew the session would be interrupted for the week, which was already planned for spring break. [More...]

Uncertainty covers the current Legislative session, important work remains ahead (Capitol Update)

Public safety and personal health must take priority, but hopefully the legislature will find a way to finish its work without leaving too much undone. [More...]

Governor’s alternative health care proposal creates confusion, political anxieties (Capitol Update)

If the goal is confusion, it has been attained. Shortly after taking office, Gov. Stitt announced that he is working with a wide range of Oklahomans to develop an Oklahoma plan for better health care. [More...]

Proposed consolidation of state health agencies deserve careful planning, consideration (Capitol Update)

Last Thursday, Speaker McCall dropped a committee substitute for HB 4064 in the House Rules Committee that eliminates the Board of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and consolidates the agency with the Oklahoma Healthcare Authority. [More...]

Leadership change at Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs (Capitol Update)

 After 19 years of advocacy for mental health services, Steve Buck came to the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs with a strong commitment to serving youth, tempered with an eye toward the most efficient expenditure of taxpayer money. His primary goal was prevention, always seeking to follow the data and make services available to troubled youth as early as possible. He insisted the best chance of success in a young person's life, at the least cost to taxpayers, is early intervention with evidence-based or evidence-informed services. [More...]

Watching for potential changes to ‘non-economic’ damages (Capitol update)

There is an issue flying under the radar that may surface sometime during the Legislative session. This is the placing of a statutory cap on what are called "non-economic" damages in personal injury cases. [More...]

Mental health services could be impacted by Medicaid expansion alternative, leadership change (Capitol Update)

In the run-up to the Legislative session beginning this week, two things happened that could affect mental health services for thousands of Oklahomans. [More...]

Proposed bill would address needed alternatives to school suspensions (Capitol Update)

Most educators will tell you suspension doesn't work for the children. They act out, get suspended then return to school, behind in their work and either embarrassed or pleased by their suspension. Often nothing is offered to the child during suspension but days off from school. Suspension becomes a feeder for the criminal justice system. [More...]

It’s time to re-examine the Youthful Offender Act (Capitol Update)

The Office of Juvenile Affairs leadership has announced plans to push through amendments to Youthful Offender Act (YOA) in the upcoming session. [More...]