Recent Articles

Gov.’s task force is latest step away from practical solutions in Tribal/state relations (Capitol Update)

Tribal leaders took offense at both the composition of the task force and the tenor of the governor’s executive order. Only two of the 38 federally recognized Tribes were to be represented on the 13-member task force. The executive order characterized McGirt as “continuing to wreak havoc in nearly half of the State of Oklahoma and calls for “recommendations relevant to the speedy resolution of the broken system created by the McGirt decision.” Tribal leaders do not view McGirt as having “wreaked havoc” or created a “broken system.” [More...]

Big ticket tax cuts could prevent strategic investments in Oklahoma’s future (Capitol Update)

Big ticket outcomes for the upcoming legislative session have yet to come into focus. Big ticket items could include passage of one or more of the various tax cut proposals being discussed or appropriations that affect budgets across state government. [More...]

Addressing deferred maintenance on Oklahoma’s higher ed campuses (Capitol Update)

Today’s deferred maintenance for higher education facilities exists largely because, with paltry legislative appropriations to higher education in recent years, only around 4 percent of the college and university budgets have been allocated for maintenance. As recently as 2016 to 2018, for example, higher education appropriations were cut by $250 million. [More...]

Equalization board sets estimate for FY 2025 budget (Capitol Update)

The most important number is the amount certified for the general revenue fund from which most appropriations for agency operating budgets are appropriated. The board’s preliminary estimate for the general revenue fund is $8.7 billion for Fiscal Year 2025, which starts on July 1, 2024. [More...]

Rep’s. call for investigation on supervision fee shines light on appropriations, fines & fees (Capitol Update)

Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, who wears the mantle of criminal justice watchdog well, is at it again. His latest foray into reform is a letter to Attorney General Gentner Drummond asking the AG to investigate the $40 per month “supervision”… Read more [More...]

Last year’s voucher push prompts Senate to commit to budget transparency 

It’s going to be interesting to see how the new, more transparent appropriations process works in the Senate next session. Dissatisfaction with the process seemed to reach a high-water mark in the Senate last session.  [More...]

Oklahoma’s overreliance on incarceration is increasing prison population (Capitol Update)

Oklahoma's justice system remains heavily tilted toward overincarceration. Even unnecessarily lengthy deferred and suspended sentences are often only a precursor to a lengthy prison sentence. As the prison numbers are now beginning to go back up, other essential state services are being shortchanged to support overincarceration. [More...]

Attracting a new generation of teachers (Capitol Update)

If a blue ribbon study were conducted today, it’s likely the most urgent threats to America’s schools would be (1) not enough people want to be a teacher, and (2) too many students are chronically absent from school. Solutions would be difficult both to agree upon and to implement.  [More...]

Updated youth justice campus in Tecumseh provides opportunities for Oklahoma kids (Capitol Update)

It was recently announced by the Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA) that the Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center (COJC), located in Tecumseh, completed its American Correctional Association (ACA) audit and received a 100 percent compliance score of the 38 mandatory files… Read more [More...]

State experiencing churn in agency directors (Capitol Update)

With the change giving the governor the hiring and firing of agency directors, the state will continue to see more turnover in agency leadership. Political appointees will come and go rather than seeing their job as a career. In the five agencies above, a majority of the boards are appointed by the governor and serve at the pleasure of the governor so, in effect, the governor can control both the boards and the directors. [More...]