In The Know: State Supreme Court to decide if oil companies can be held liable for earthquake injury
In The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.
In a case expected to set a precedent for future earthqfuake claims in Oklahoma, the state Supreme Court will consider whether two oil companies can be held liable in state court for injuries a Prague woman suffered during the 2011 earthquake. While state authorities are quietly scrutinizing wells in quake-prone parts of the state, most of the companies that operate the wells are staying silent. The Oklahoman editorial board criticized OK Policy for pointing out that tax breaks to the oil and gas industry are costing Oklahoma more than $500 million this year alone.
Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman said it is alarming that Texas pays teachers so much more than Oklahoma. On the OK Policy Blog, Steve Lewis discussed House Speaker Jeff Hickman’s comments that Oklahoma is “one lawsuit away” from a federal takeover of our prison system. The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Terri White said she is hopeful the agency will be one of the few not receiving budget cuts this legislative session. Officials with the highway patrol say they can already see the rise in interest from trooper recruits because of a pay raise that went into effect at the start of 2015. Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman has given $217,655 in pay raises to Senate employees.
More than 100,000 Oklahomans have selected or were automatically re-enrolled in private health insurance plans they bought through healthcare.gov. The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will review the drug protocol used in Oklahoma executions to determine whether the procedure violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. A recent federal policy reversal, long-sought by states and health care advocates, could enable schools to take a lead role in managing chronic childhood diseases and result in the hiring of many more school nurses. The Oklahoma Department of Health says influenza has taken the lives of 16 people during the past week, bringing the total numbers Oklahomans who have died due to flu-related illness since the flu season began to 47. The Tulsa school board has called off its Monday vote on a new superintendent, citing a need for more time to deliberate between finalists Millard House II and Deborah Gist.
The Tulsa World discussed the comprehensive set of election reform ideas being put forward by Senator David Holt. OK Policy discussed many of the ideas in our report on repairing Oklahoma’s broken democracy. Tulsa World editor Julie Delcour looked at how the state budget breaks down. More information and charts about the state budget can be found in OK Policy’s 2015 budget highlights report. The Washington Post profiled how families in Oklahoma are reacting to the sudden arrival of same-sex marriage.
The Number of the Day is the percentage of Oklahomans vaccinated for for the seasonal flu between fall 2013 and spring 2014. In today’s Policy Note, Wonkblog discusses recent research showing that when public schools get more money, students do better.
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