Skip to Content

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 »

With revenue growing again, can Oklahoma make up for a lost decade? (Capitol Update)

by | July 9th, 2018 | Posted in Budget, Capitol Updates | Comments (1)

Steve Lewis served as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1989-1991. He currently practices law in Tulsa and represents clients at the Capitol.

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.

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 »

The Weekly Wonk: A threat to health care for parents and caretakers; a strong message to legislators

by | July 7th, 2018 | Posted in Weekly Wonk | Comments (0)

What’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk shares our most recent publications and other resources to help you stay informed about Oklahoma. Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know. Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

This Week from OK Policy

This week the Oklahoma Healthcare Authority released a draft of their Medicaid waiver proposal, and Policy Director Carly Putnam laid out why this waiver proposal is a threat to health care for thousands of Oklahoma parents and caretakers. OK Policy released a statement saying the waiver proposal is severely flawed and called on OHCA to withdraw it. You can use this form to speak out about the proposal.

Steve Lewis’s Capitol Update noted that more people voted during last month’s primaries, and it mattered. David Blatt’s Journal Record column pointed out that Oklahoman voters had a strong and clear message for their legislators.

Continue Reading »

Waiver proposal is a threat to health care for thousands of Oklahoma parents and caretakers

by | July 6th, 2018 | Posted in Blog, Healthcare | Comments (2)

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.

The proposal creates serious problems for Oklahoma families, with or without jobs. Most non-elderly adult Medicaid enrollees work, but they have low-wage jobs that generally do not offer health insurance and are often unstable, with frequent job losses and work hours that can fluctuate sharply from month to month. As a result, many working parents would be at risk of losing coverage for one or more months under this proposal.

Continue Reading »

In The Know: Scandal-plagued EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigns

by | July 6th, 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

Scandal-plagued EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigns: Scott Pruitt will no longer lead the Environmental Protection Agency, President Trump announced Thursday afternoon via Twitter. “I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt,” Trump tweeted. “Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this,” Trump also wrote. The president also said that on Monday Andrew Wheeler will “assume duties as the acting Administrator of the EPA” [StateImpact Oklahoma]. Following Scott Pruitt’s resignation, Inhofe maintains support; others happy he stepped down [Tulsa World]. Does Scott Pruitt Have An Oklahoma Political Future? [Associated Press]

Medical Marijuana Groups Split on Special Session: From his position as House Majority Floor Leader, Rep. Jon Echols (R-OKC) has met with both factions of Oklahoma’s medical marijuana advocacy groups, which do not agree on how best to implement State Question 788 and have seen their interactions grow more tense since the vote June 26. Echols said this afternoon that all parties have good ideas, but he compared the groups to Oklahoma’s oft-disagreeing oil and gas associations, and he said he offers each the same biblical advice [NonDoc]. The state health board will take up medical marijuana regulations next week. However, it will be longer before the city of Tulsa gets its zoning codes redefined to include medical marijuana dispensaries [Public Radio Tulsa]. Voter approval of medical marijuana could boost activity in the industrial real estate market. [Journal Record]

Awakened by Walkout, Educators and Parents Organize to Elect Politicians That Support Their Vision for Public Schools: On the night of the primary elections, Ainsley Hoover was at a small watch party at the Chili’s restaurant in Enid. She had helped her friend, a fellow teacher, campaign for House District 41,  and they were anxiously awaiting the results. Hoover, who was also tracking the vote totals for House District 40 with hopes the incumbent in that seat would lose, says she didn’t use to be political. When Hoover did vote, it was usually in the presidential election [StateImpact Oklahoma].

Continue Reading »

In The Know: Oklahoma Treasury Announces Two Revenue Records Set in June

by | July 5th, 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

Oklahoma Treasury Announces Two Revenue Records Set in June: The Oklahoma Treasury had its best June on record, with $1.1 billion in gross receipts. That wasn’t the only record set last month. “During fiscal year 2018, the fiscal year that ended on June 30, gross receipts to the treasury were at an all-time high for any 12-month period in the state of Oklahoma. Gross receipts totaled almost $12.2 billion,” said Deputy Treasurer for Communications Tim Allen [Public Radio Tulsa].

While Officials Work to Implement New Medical Marijuana Law, Activists Gathering Signatures to Bring Recreational Use up for a Vote: Amid efforts to establish a new medical marijuana industry in Oklahoma, activists want to enshrine the right to use marijuana — both for medical purposes and recreationally — in the state constitution. Green the Vote, headed by Tulsan Isaac Caviness, is promoting two state questions — 796 and 797 — of which it filed notice on April 3 with the Oklahoma secretary of state [Tulsa World]. Amid a minefield of federal regulations that prohibit marijuana products from crossing state lines, some Oklahomans are questioning just how pot growers are going to get the initial start-up seed into the state legally [Claremore Daily Progress]. Some members of Oklahoma’s legal community said State Question 788’s passage will likely raise demand for their services, but existing rules might render that demand difficult to meet [Journal Record]. OSBI’s toxicology lab processes nearly all of the blood samples collected across the state, and they are expecting to see a significant increase in workload with the passage of State Question 788. [News9].

Oklahoma’s 4.0 earthquakes up significantly in 2018, but overall seismicity still in downward trajectory: Two earthquake swarms in Garfield County contributed to Oklahoma’s six quakes of at least magnitude 4.0 halfway through 2018, which is one more than all of 2017. Also notable, a magnitude 4.6 on April 7 near Perry in Garfield County is the 12th largest in state history. But overall, the rate of earthquakes continues to decline. There were 96 of magnitude 3.0 or greater through June 30, compared to 144 at this point in 2017 and 302 by the end of that year [Tulsa World].

Continue Reading »

In The Know: Supporters abandon effort to repeal tax hikes funding teacher raises

by | July 3rd, 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

Supporters Abandon Effort to Repeal Tax Hikes Funding Teacher Raises: ‘We Don’t Have Enough Time,’ Leader Says: An effort to repeal a tax-hike bill to fund teacher pay raises will not move forward, Ronda Vuillemont-Smith, co-founder of Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite, said Monday. “We don’t have enough time,” she said. The Oklahoma Supreme Court on June 22 tossed out the referendum petition, saying it was legally insufficient and invalid for various reasons [Tulsa World]. The Oklahoma Education Association is claiming victory. The OEA President, Alicia Preist, declared after she learned the anti-tax group, Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite was abandoning its efforts to repeal the tax hikes linked to teacher pay raises [KFOR]. The chances of a veto referendum that would nix about $400 million in tax revenue have dropped to zero, catching the attention of a credit rating agency [Journal Record].

Medical Marijuana Trade Group to Fallin: Decision Not to Call Special Session a ‘Failure of Leadership’: The leader of a trade group for Oklahoma’s fledgling medical marijuana industry said Monday that Gov. Mary Fallin’s decision not to convene a special legislative session regarding State Question 788 is a “failure of leadership” and called on the governor to reverse her Friday announcement [Tulsa World]. As Oklahoma joins the ranks of nearly 30 states that have legalized medical marijuana, it will also join a swath of states that reduce the cost of access for low-income patients. State Question 788 states that Oklahoma State Department of Health officials must charge residents $100 for their licenses. However, that rate drops to $20 for those on Medicaid or Medicare [Journal Record].

(Capitol Update) More People Voted, and It Mattered: This election year in Oklahoma, and probably nationally, is shaping up to be one of the strangest in a while. So far, the best explanation seems to be “participation.” For quite a while now, a lot of people have just been absent from the political process. Probably many felt their participation didn’t matter. As a result, some candidates who logically would seem unelectable have gotten elected or re-elected because of the apathy. At least for this election cycle, that seems to have changed [OKPolicy].

Continue Reading »

More people voted, and it mattered (Capitol Update)

by | July 2nd, 2018 | Posted in Capitol Updates, Elections | Comments (1)

Steve Lewis served as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1989-1991. He currently practices law in Tulsa and represents clients at the Capitol.

This election year in Oklahoma, and probably nationally, is shaping up to be one of the strangest in a while. So far, the best explanation seems to be “participation.” For quite a while now, a lot of people have just been absent from the political process. Probably many felt their participation didn’t matter. As a result, some candidates who logically would seem unelectable have gotten elected or re-elected because of the apathy. At least for this election cycle, that seems to have changed. Whether it’s the medical marijuana question or outrage over education and other issues, people voted, and it mattered.

But the question remains, what will be the effect of the increased participation. Well, it was immediately discernible on medical marijuana. It’s amazing what a 14-point victory will do. Before the election it was hard to find a politician speaking kindly of the state question. The governor was going to call a special session, and the legislature seemed ready to come in and re-write the measure. Now, it’s just fine to let the Health Department take care of it.

Continue Reading »

In The Know: Battle brewing for state Republican party’s tone, direction

by | July 2nd, 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

There seems to be a battle brewing for state Republican party’s tone, direction: In the past two years, Oklahoma voters have made alcohol and medical marijuana more readily available, reformed criminal justice procedures, reaffirmed a state constitutional ban on using state resources for religious purposes and turned away nine incumbent Republican lawmakers in their own party’s primaries. Clearly, something is going on. Mostly, it seems the policy points that carried Oklahoma Republicans to power over the last quarter-century aren’t working with voters the way they used to [Tulsa World].

Cities, counties begin dialogue on zoning, other details of medical marijuana: Here’s something Tulsans might not know about State Question 788: It gives cities the authority to allow medical marijuana license holders and caregivers to have more marijuana than set forth in the referendum. But don’t expect that to happen. Mayor G.T. Bynum said he and his staff are beginning to explore the implications of the initiative, which will become law July 26 [Tulsa World]. With voter approval of State Question 788, Oklahoma gun owners join residents of 25 other states in a conflict between state and federal laws governing guns and marijuana [Tulsa World].

Groups Joust over Proposed Content of Medical Marijuana Regulations: The medical marijuana election is over, but jousting continues over the shape of proposed regulations. Some would like to see major changes in the law before it takes effect. Others would like to see just minor tweaks and the adoption of laboratory testing standards designed to ensure product safety. Supporters and opponents, alike, have been weighing in as the Oklahoma Health Department seeks to develop regulations to guide the new industry [NewsOK]. Medical Marijuana: From policy setting to cultivation to testing and transportation, many months will pass before Oklahomans can buy it [Tulsa World]. Looking for a new job? Oklahoma is looking for someone to run the medical marijuana bureaucracy [NewsOK].

Continue Reading »

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8
  10. 9
  11. ...
  12. 421