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.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court osided upheld a district court’s decision letting Governor Fallin withhold from the public records related to her decision-making process. The Tulsa World reported that Devon Energy’s political action committee and executive chairman have poured nearly $1 million since 2006 into the campaign funds of GOP candidates for state offices, including the maximum allowed contribution to Attorney General Scott Pruitt even though he faced no opponent. A new OK Policy report looks at the evidence that democracy is broken in Oklahoma and lays out several reforms that could fix it. You can download the full report here, download an executive summary, or watch an animated video summarizing the report.
The Obama administration announced Tuesday it had chosen Oklahoma to receive an Affordable Care Act grant of up to $2 million to develop innovative models for delivering health care. Despite Department of Corrections efforts to release inmates to make room for offenders from the county jails, the prison system remains significantly over capacity, understaffed, and badly in need of repair. The Enid News & Eagle wrote that Oklahoma needs to reform the prison system soon or risk the federal government taking over and mandating expensive changes. Tulsa World business columnist John Stancavage examined how cheap gas may cost the state economy down the road. A Community Action Project program providing education and job opportunities to low-income parents with young children celebrated its first participants’ graduation from a Registered Nurse program. On the OK Policy Blog, we previously discussed why it’s so important to expand policies that help parents.
The U.S. Geological Survey says groundwater levels are rapidly declining in an aquifer that serves parts of Oklahoma and seven other states. The Oklahoma Water Resources Board approved a plan to conduct a $1.4 million study of ways to conserve and manage water in southwest Oklahoma’s Upper Red River Basin. The Oklahoma City utilities department plans a public meeting Thursday on a proposal by a private company to drill for oil and natural gas near Lake Hefner. The Number of the Day is the percentage of women who entered the state correctional system in 2013 with a moderate to high need for substance abuse treatment. In today’s Policy Note, Nature discusses evidence that estimates of abundant natural gas reserves in the United States may be wishful thinking.
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