Skip to Content

In The Know

In The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news.
Sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail every weekday morning.




Optional Member Code

In The Know Archives

In The Know: State Senate Announces 2018 Interim Study List

by | July 20th, 2018 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

In The News

State Senate Announces 2018 Interim Study List: Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore-designate Greg Treat, R-Edmond, has released a list of approved 2018 interim studies. A total of 43 requests were approved. Treat requested an interim study on the development of a legislative budget office that would provide additional data and resources to state lawmakers. Interim studies provide senators another opportunity outside the legislative session to take an in-depth look and hear from subject-matter experts on a particular issue [Ada News]. Treat will sponsor an interim study that looks into creating a centralized budgeting office under the Legislative Services Bureau [Journal Record]. See the full list of interim studies here.

OK Policy Welcomes Three New Staffers: Starting this week, Rebecca Fine has joined Oklahoma Policy Institute as an education policy analyst. Also starting this week, Damion Shade has joined OK Policy as a criminal justice policy analyst. Another recent addition to OK Policy is Operations and Development Associate Andrea McNeil. “We’re grateful to all of the supporters who appreciate the work of this organization and have invested in us to do even more,” said David Blatt, OK Policy’s Executive Director. “You can expect great things from these new staffers and the whole OK Policy team in the year ahead” [OKPolicy].

Oklahoma AG Says Health Board Will Hold Special Meeting to Walk Back Medical Marijuana Rules: Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said Thursday he’s received word the state board of health will hold a special meeting to follow his advice on medical marijuana rules. That will include undoing controversial, last-minute changes that attracted two lawsuits [Public Radio Tulsa]. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks since Oklahomans voted “yes” for medical marijuana. Here are 8 notable moments since the polls closed [NewsOK].  This summer’s state government blockbuster is a 21st-century descendant of the Theater of the Absurd [Arnold Hamilton / Journal Record].

Continue Reading »

In The Know: Gov. Fallin calls on Board of Health to rescind last-minute changes to medical marijuana rules

by | July 19th, 2018 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

In The News

Gov. Mary Fallin Calls on Board of Health to Rescind Last-Minute Changes to Medical Marijuana Emergency Rules: Despite having approved two last-minute amendments along with the rest of the emergency rules for regulating medical marijuana last week, Gov. Mary Fallin said Wednesday that the Board of Health should rescind the two amendments after Attorney General Mike Hunter found them to be improper. Hunter said Wednesday in a letter to Interim Health Commissioner Tom Bates that the board overstepped its authority when it approved the two amendments — a ban on smokable marijuana sales and a mandate that a pharmacist be at each medical marijuana dispensary during business hours [Tulsa World]. 

Prosperity Policy: (Paper)Work Requirements: Oklahoma parents and caregivers who are unable to work enough hours every week, or who fail to meet reporting requirements, may soon lose their health coverage under a waiver proposal drafted by Oklahoma’s Medicaid agency. The proposal was released in early July and is now available for public comments. It was developed in response to an executive order from Gov. Mary Fallin and a bill passed this session by the Oklahoma Legislature. The idea is that work requirements will lead low-income parents to become more self-sufficient [David Blatt / Journal Record]. There is no evidence that taking away coverage from a person who is unable to work enough will either increase work or improve health [OKPolicy].

To Encourage Reintegration, Restore Voting Rights for People with Felonies: Oklahoma’s 2018 primary election was momentous for many reasons, one being a large increase in voter turnout. For over 60,000 voting-age Oklahomans, however, this civic opportunity was not available this past primary election. In Oklahoma, along with 17 other states, citizens who have been convicted of a felony are disenfranchised, meaning that they are stripped of their right to vote until they have served their prison sentence, parole, and probation. As other states reconsider this undemocratic and counterproductive practice, it’s time for our state to take another look at how we disenfranchise Oklahomans with felony records [OKPolicy].

Continue Reading »

In The Know: Health Department attorney sent threats to herself regarding marijuana rules, felony charges allege

by | July 18th, 2018 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

In The News

Health Department’s Top Attorney Sent Threats to Herself Regarding Marijuana Rules, Felony Charges Allege: The general counsel for the Oklahoma State Department of Health, who abruptly left her post Friday, faces criminal charges of falsely reporting a crime and creating a fictitious email to send herself threats over the agency’s work on the state’s new medical marijuana program. Julie Ezell submitted her resignation Friday afternoon from the health department, hours after the filing of two lawsuits challenging emergency rules approved by the state Board of Health on July 10 regarding State Question 788 [Tulsa World].

Waiver Proposal Threatens Health Care for Parents and Caretakers: SoonerCare, Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, helps thousands of families in our state see a doctor or fill a prescription. This spring, Oklahoma lawmakers ordered the state Medicaid agency to build a proposal to cut coverage for parents if they don’t report working or volunteering enough hours. This proposal has serious consequences for Oklahoma families if it’s approved by the federal government [Enid News & Eagle].

Local Leaders Say Pervasive Hunger Impacting School, Workplace Performance in Tulsa: Pervasive hunger and food insecurity is taking a toll on lifelong health and success across the Tulsa area, but local leaders say a significant portion of eligible residents are not seeking assistance. “Hunger doesn’t have county line boundaries. We have partners in Owasso saying their lines have doubled in the last few weeks. Jenks has a homeless coordinator,” said Eileen Bradshaw, executive director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma [Tulsa World].

Continue Reading »

In The Know: Ethics Commission and Gov. Fallin will square off in court over funding

by | July 17th, 2018 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

In The News

Ethics Commission and Gov. Fallin Will Square off in Court over Funding: The Oklahoma Ethics Commission requested roughly $3 million dollars for the 2019 fiscal year, which began July 1. But the legislature told the commission to use money collected through agency fees in its own revolving fund— some $700,000— to continue operating. Now the commission is suing Governor Mary Fallin and other elected officials, alleging a violation of Oklahoma’s constitution, which requires the legislature to “sufficiently” fund the commission’s duties [KGOU].

Downtown development in Oklahoma City forces homeless migration: Corey Russell, 41, had been homeless for more than two years when he was able to find housing through the Homeless Alliance a few months ago. Construction, combined with an increased police presence, is forcing many to move closer to a cluster of homeless shelters and resource centers around the Metro Park neighborhood, he said. “They have to go somewhere,” Russell said. But that’s led to clashes with area residents and businesses, some of whom already had been complaining for years about the homeless problem. Many of the recent homeless complaints to the city’s Action Center come from businesses in the area [The Oklahoman].

Introducing Open Justice Oklahoma, Now Hiring: Oklahoma Policy Institute is excited to launch a new project to improve understanding of Oklahoma’s justice system through analysis of public data. Working closely with justice system stakeholders and advocates, Open Justice Oklahoma (OJO) will use cutting-edge methods to identify problems, craft solutions, and measure reform outcomes. The project will be led by Ryan Gentzler, who has been a criminal justice analyst with Oklahoma Policy Institute for the past two years. OK Policy is also hiring a justice data analyst to work with the project, with an application deadline of August 3rd [OKPolicy].

Continue Reading »

In The Know: Rep. Claudia Griffith dies from heart attack

by | July 16th, 2018 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (1)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

In The News

‘She Was a True Leader’: Rep. Claudia Griffith Has Died: Rep. Claudia Griffith (D-Norman) has died. She was 67 years old. First elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2014, Griffith represented east Norman, with House District 45 stretching to Lake Thunderbird from 12th Avenue. A former PTA president, Griffith held a masters in public health from the University of Oklahoma and was well-known in Norman as the former director of Health for Friends. “It is completely unexpected and shocking,” Rep. Collin Walke (D-OKC) said. “She was a wonderful mentor to incoming freshmen about the legislative process.” [NonDoc]

Kimble: Court Ruling Could Halt Oklahoma Medicaid Work Requirements: Oklahoma should reconsider changes to Medicaid requirements. A recent federal court ruled that requiring work or community engagement to be eligible for the Kentucky HEALTH program, Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion, was not appropriately reviewed by the federal government and cannot move forward. Oklahoma is among many states pursuing work requirements, but the court’s decision is reason for pause [Carter Kimble / Journal Record]. Advocacy Alert: Protect SoonerCare for Oklahoma Families [OKPolicy]

Uncertainty Remains on Medical Marijuana Implementation: Two weeks after Oklahoma voters agreed to legalize medical marijuana, numerous questions remain over how it will be implemented, and patient access could still be several months away as legal challenges have already been made and some voters worry the state government is chipping away at a system that hasn’t even begun [NewsOK]. Medical marijuana Q-and-A: How would newly added rules affect patients? [Tulsa World].

Continue Reading »

In The Know: Board broke tradition in setting medical marijuana rules, author unknown

by | July 13th, 2018 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

In The News

Board broke tradition in setting medical marijuana rules, author unknown: The State Board of Health deviated from its normal procedures in adopting a framework for Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry, even overruling their own attorney after she warned their actions could prompt a lawsuit. In the past, the board has relied on its general counsel to craft proposed regulations. But on Tuesday the board approved two major rules, the origins of which remain unclear [NewsOK]. One of the many provisions Oklahoma health officials included in their medical marijuana regulatory framework will likely create significant cost increases for growers looking to enter the industry [Journal Record]. Oklahomans will have many legal questions about medical marijuana, but attorneys say existing rules might make it difficult to answer them [KGOU].

Medical marijuana ‘working group’ eyed at Oklahoma Legislature: Oklahoma legislative leaders said Thursday they will create a working group to address medical marijuana regulations just days after the Board of Health implemented controversial new rules. House Speaker Charles McCall and Greg Treat, who will serve as leader of the Senate next session, said the bipartisan committee will begin working with medical marijuana stakeholders to write policy conforming to voters’ intent [Tulsa World]. In the wake of Gov. Mary Fallin’s quick decision to authorize the state health agency’s controversial medical marijuana regulations, onlookers said the move highlights a widespread desire among elected officials for the ordeal to end [Journal Record]. The big winners in this week’s dust-up over the state Health Department’s medical marijuana overreach are proponents of recreational pot. Even before the health board imposed restrictions sure to be challenged in court, Green the Vote already had secured two-thirds of the signatures necessary to force a statewide vote on full legalization [Arnold Hamilton / Journal Record].

6 Investigates: State of Oklahoma Seeing Decline in Daycares: Oklahoma’s population is on the rise, but the number of daycare centers across the state is shrinking significantly. In fact, there are just over 3,300 licensed daycares statewide right now. That’s down from almost 6,000 back in 2005. The decrease is hurting families as well as businesses. For Vanessa Tice, often the only way she can work is by holding her child because in Kingston by Lake Texoma, where she lives, there are currently zero licensed daycares. They’ve all closed [NewsOn6]. Child care is getting less accessible for Oklahoma’s working parents as the number of children receiving subsidized care has declined by one-third [OKPolicy].

Continue Reading »

In The Know: Gov. Fallin signs temporary rules for medical marijuana

by | July 12th, 2018 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (1)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

In The News

Gov. Mary Fallin signs temporary rules for medical marijuana; advocates say they violate voters’ intent: Amid ongoing threats of legal challenges to emergency rules approved by the state Board of Health, Gov. Mary Fallin on Wednesday signed off on the temporary new regulations for State Question 788. She conceded that she expects modifications to occur in the future on an issue that is “uncharted territory” for the state. The board, in a 5-4 vote, authorized a last-minute amendment that bans the sale of smokable products and requires that a pharmacist be on staff at dispensaries [Tulsa World]. Oklahoma House Democrats have voiced strong opposition to the emergency medical marijuana rules [OKCFOX]. This isn’t the first time Oklahoma officials have heard that a policy could be illegal [Journal Record].

State agencies could lose power in furor over new cannabis rules: The medical cannabis rules introduced Tuesday by the Oklahoma State Board of Health surprised many political observers and marijuana industry hopefuls. Perhaps most surprising was the last-minute introductions of rules that would ban smokable forms and some edibles, and the requirement that retailers employ a pharmacist to dispense marijuana. Oklahomans took to social media to express outrage, including members of the Legislature. That kind of thinking could galvanize support for stripping agency boards of power. [NewsOK]

Plea deals have unbalanced Oklahoma’s justice system: One of the most basic rights for Americans accused of a crime is the right to a fair trial before a jury. However, the vast majority of criminal convictions – 90 to 95 percent – don’t happen at trial. Instead, they’re the result of a guilty plea, a deal negotiated by prosecutors and defense attorneys absent a trial. Plea deals are the norm for a number of reasons, but the justice system’s dependence on them is a serious problem [OKPolicy].

Continue Reading »

In The Know: Ban on sale of ‘smokables’ could set up legal challenge as rules for medical marijuana approved

by | July 11th, 2018 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

In The News

Ban on dispensary sale of ‘smokables’ could set up legal challenge as new rules for medical marijuana approved: The Oklahoma Board of Health, by a 5-4 vote on Tuesday, approved a last-minute amendment banning the sale of smokable medical marijuana products at dispensaries — a move that shocked cannabis industry representatives and could lead to legal challenges [Tulsa World]. The Oklahoma State Medical Association and a host of other health care organizations had called for the Board of Health to ban the smoking of marijuana entirely [NonDoc]. ACLU of Oklahoma threatens lawsuit over newly-adopted marijuana rules [KFOR]. Criminal Justice Policy Analyst Ryan Gentzler spoke with KTUL about medical marijuana revenues [KTUL].

Aug. 28 #okleg runoffs: ‘Education is the No. 1 issue’: Runoff-primary elections typically feature lower turnouts than their parent elections. Yet without SQ 788 on the ballot as it was in June, Oklahoma could see a large drop in participation come the Aug. 28 runoff. However, #oklaed issues remain a top priority for many Oklahoma voters, and stakeholders say the topic could shape the outcomes of several legislative runoff elections [NonDoc].

OEA President: Editorial Mischaracterized Our Efforts: An important byproduct of the teacher walkout in April was the unprecedented number of candidates filing for office in mid-April, including record numbers of teachers. We count 115 educators or people with close ties to education (e.g. a spouse who teaches) who filed for the state Legislature or Congress. That has been a huge story locally as well as nationally. In “Union targeting its allies in GOP” (Our Views, July 6), the Oklahoma Education Association was accused of ignoring Republicans who supported last session’s revenue-raising bills and the teacher pay raise in favor of Democrats. Nothing could be further from the truth [Alicia Priest / NewsOK].

Continue Reading »

In The Know: Health leaders push the state to adopt more restrictive marijuana rules

by | July 10th, 2018 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

In The News

Health Leaders Push the State to Adopt More Restrictive Marijuana Rules: Modeling their recommendations on some of the most restrictive medical marijuana laws in the country, a group representing doctors, hospitals, clinics and other health professionals on Monday urged the state to prevent smokable marijuana from being sold at dispensaries, limit the number of dispensaries to 50 statewide, and require a pharmacist to be in the dispensary and “part of the approval process” [StateImpact Oklahoma]. Medical industry won’t rule out lawsuit on medical marijuana if smokables aren’t banned from dispensaries [Tulsa World].

Oklahoma Is Looking for Ways to Stop Marijuana-Impaired Drivers, but Solution May Not Be Cut-And-Dry: As Oklahoma works to implement medical marijuana following the passage of State Question 788, law enforcement is working to establish ways to field drivers under the influence of the drug. But finding a solution may not be easy. Agency leaders say funding is an obstacle, and at the same time, defense attorneys say a state law could further complicate the issue [The Frontier].

(Capitol Update) With Revenue Growing Again, Can Oklahoma Make up for a Lost Decade? According to State Treasurer Ken Miller, gross receipts to the state treasury during FY-18 were at an all-time high. Receipts for the 12 months ending June 30, 2018, were $12.18 billion, an increase of $1.2 billion, or 11% over FY-17 gross receipts. According to Treasurer Miller, last month marked the 15th consecutive month of positive growth in monthly gross receipts compared to the prior year. Interestingly, only $33.8 million of the increase in receipts are attributable to revenue measures passed by the legislature in the 2017 session. This year’s tax increases only began to be collected on July 1, so none of the FY-2018 increased revenue is attributable to the 2018 tax measures [OKPolicy].

Continue Reading »

In The Know: Number of runoffs statewide may be unprecedented

by | July 9th, 2018 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

In The News

The Number of Runoffs Statewide May Be Unprecedented: One of the most remarkable periods in Oklahoma’s political history has entered another phase, one that is largely inconsequential in most election years, but that this time is almost certain to have long-lasting effects. From governor to county assessor, the number of runoffs statewide is easily the most in at least a generation and may be unprecedented. The House of Representatives alone has 29 runoffs, of which 10 involve incumbents, all Republicans [Tulsa World].

Rule Change Conceals Statewide Candidates’ Personal Finances: When Oklahomans return to the polls to select the state’s next governor and a host of statewide and legislative officers, they will be making their choices without potentially decisive information. That includes how much candidates earn in their private-sector careers and what their sources of income and investments are. If they have any financial dealings that could pose conflicts of interest in office, the facts won’t likely be made public. Voters will only know what candidates choose to divulge [Oklahoma Watch]. Oklahoma Watch requests personal financial details from candidates [Oklahoma Watch].

Waiver Proposal Is a Threat to Health Care for Thousands of Oklahoma Parents and Caretakers: Thousands of Oklahoma families are able to see a doctor or fill a prescription because of the state’s Medicaid program, SoonerCare. But instead of working to strengthen this proven, cost-effective program, Oklahoma is asking the federal government for permission to cut off Oklahoma parents and caretakers who don’t report working enough hours every week. SoonerCare was built to ensure that low-income families get essential health care, not to punish families for losing a job or missing some paperwork. The state’s new proposal is unworkable and should be withdrawn [OKPolicy]. Statement: Soonercare waiver request is deeply flawed and should be withdrawn [OKPolicy].

Continue Reading »

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 177