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OKPolicyCast 42: The 2018 OK Policy Holiday Gift Guide

by | December 11th, 2018 | Posted in OK Policy, Podcast | Comments (2)

The OKPolicyCast is hosted by Gene Perry and produced by Gene Perry and Jessica Vazquez. You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre. If you have any questions for the OKPolicyCast, topics you’d like us to cover, or people you want us to interview, you can reach us at policycast@okpolicy.org.

There are a lot of reasons why winter is our favorite time of year (Fewer tornadoes! Legislative session starts soon!). However, one big reason is that it’s when we’re most likely to give and be given books — always dear to a policy nerd’s heart. It’s also the time when we get to share them with you!

In the latest episode of the OK PolicyCast, we discuss some of the books we’ve read and loved over the last year that we hope you’ll consider picking up, whether it’s to give them away or keep them for yourself (Or to buy with every intention of giving and then never getting around to it, and eventually keeping for yourself. Unless that’s just us?).

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OKPolicyCast 41: Fair Wages and Overtime for State Workers (with Sterling Zearley)

by | November 13th, 2018 | Posted in Podcast | Comments (2)

The OKPolicyCast is hosted by Gene Perry and produced by Gene Perry and Jessica Vazquez. You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre. If you have any questions for the OKPolicyCast, topics you’d like us to cover, or people you want us to interview, you can reach us at policycast@okpolicy.org.

 Today our guest is Sterling Zearley, who leads the Oklahoma Public Employees Association. OPEA represents thousands of state workers, including everyone from child welfare caseworkers to transportation engineers, corrections officers, mental health counselors, and more. In recent years in Oklahoma, teachers have gotten the most attention to their stagnant or falling pay and rising class sizes. Many state workers have faced very similar issues, as they try to do jobs that may be less visible than teachers but are still very important.

Now as Oklahoma approaches next year’s legislative session with a new governor and many brand new legislators, I spoke with Sterling about what are the biggest issues for state workers right now and what OPEA hopes to accomplish in next year’s session. It’s a conversation about many problems that deserve more attention in Oklahoma.

You can download the episode here, subscribe at the links above, or play it in your browser:

OKPolicyCast 40: In prison for what’s now a misdemeanor (with Damion Shade and Colleen McCarty)

by | October 30th, 2018 | Posted in Criminal Justice, Podcast | Comments (4)

The OKPolicyCast is hosted by Gene Perry and produced by Gene Perry and Jessica Vazquez. You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre. If you have any questions for the OKPolicyCast, topics you’d like us to cover, or people you want us to interview, you can reach us at policycast@okpolicy.org.

In 2016, Oklahomans voted to approve State Question 780, which changed simple drug possession crimes and low-level, non-violent property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. That law went into effect on July 1, 2017 and is already reshaping Oklahoma’s justice system, with many fewer Oklahomans being charged with a felony and sent to prison for drug possession.

Yet there are still thousands of Oklahomans serving long prison sentences or living with a felony record and all the serious consequences that come with it for a crime that would now be a misdemeanor. This raises a serious moral and practical question: Is it just to keep imprisoning those people when Oklahomans have clearly said that their crime should not lead to prison?

To get at this question and what might be done about it, I spoke with OK Policy’s criminal justice analyst Damion Shade, as well as Colleen McCarty, a law student and intern with Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform’s commutation campaign, which is advocating to commute the sentences of some of those Oklahomans most dramatically affected by felony possession charges before SQ 780.

You can download the podcast here, subscribe at the links above, or play it in your browser:

OKPolicyCast 39: Bad Voter, Good Voter (with David Glover)

by | October 16th, 2018 | Posted in Elections, Podcast | Comments (0)

The OKPolicyCast is hosted by Gene Perry and produced by Gene Perry and Jessica Vazquez. You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre. If you have any questions for the OKPolicyCast, topics you’d like us to cover, or people you want us to interview, you can reach us at policycast@okpolicy.org.

In recent years, Oklahoma has seen some of the lowest voter turnout in the nation. Turnout was well below the nation in the 2012 and 2016 presidential races. In our last governor’s race in 2014, Oklahoma had the fewest votes cast for governor going back to 1978. But that wasn’t always true in Oklahoma. For decades before the 2010s, Oklahomans voted at rates near or above the national average.

Then in June elections this year, Oklahomans showed up at unprecedented levels for a primary race. Will that energy continue, or will it die back down now that marijuana is not longer on the ballot?

To get at some of these questions about what influences voter turnout, I spoke to David Glover, the founder of the website badvoter.org. At badvoter.org, you can look up all the information you need to get registered to vote, vote by mail, or find your polling place. And, as we’ll discuss, you can also look up the recent voting history of your friends and family to see who’s a good voter or a bad voter.

You can find more information about the upcoming Oklahoma elections, state questions, and how to vote at okpolicy.org/okvotes.

You can download the episode here, subscribe at the links above, or play it in your browser:

OKPolicyCast 38: All The State Questions (with David Blatt and Carly Putnam)

by | October 2nd, 2018 | Posted in Elections, Podcast | Comments (1)

The OKPolicyCast is hosted by Gene Perry with production help from Jessica Vazquez. You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre. If you have any questions for the OKPolicyCast, topics you’d like us to cover, or people you want us to interview, you can reach us at policycast@okpolicy.org.

On November 6, besides voting for a new governor and several other state offices, Oklahoma voters will decide five state questions on topics from optometry to school funding. To help you make informed choices on these state questions, OK Policy has already released fact sheets for each one with background information and a summary of arguments made by both supporters and opponents. To add to this resource, today I spoke with OK Policy’s Executive Director David Blatt and Policy Director Carly Putnam to discuss what each of the five state questions on the ballot mean and what people are saying about them. This conversation will be one of the easiest ways for you to quickly get up to speed before election day.

You can download the episode here, subscribe at the links above, or play it in your browser:

OKPolicyCast 37: Together Oklahoma (with Sabine Brown)

by | September 18th, 2018 | Posted in Podcast | Comments (0)

The OKPolicyCast is hosted by Gene Perry with production help from Jessica Vazquez. You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre. If you have any questions for the OKPolicyCast, topics you’d like us to cover, or people you want us to interview, you can reach us at policycast@okpolicy.org.

Sabine Brown

In this episode, I spoke with Sabine Brown, who is the outreach and advocacy coordinator for Oklahoma Policy Institute. Through that work, Sabine heads up Together Oklahoma, a grassroots coalition with chapters across the state of people joining with their neighbors to advocate for better public policy. We talked about how Sabine got into this work, and how many others have become members and leaders of Together Oklahoma without having a lot of prior experience working on state policy or advocacy. It’s a very useful conversation for anyone who may be a frequent follower of OK Policy’s information but now wants to know what you can do with it.

You can download the episode here, subscribe at the links above, or play it in your browser:

OKPolicyCast 36: Back to School (with Rob Miller)

by | August 21st, 2018 | Posted in Education, Podcast | Comments (1)

The OKPolicyCast is hosted by Gene Perry with production help from Jessica Vazquez. You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre. If you have any questions for the OKPolicyCast, topics you’d like us to cover, or people you want us to interview, you can reach us at policycast@okpolicy.org.

This month many kids and teachers are heading back to school in Oklahoma. Also this month, an increase in Oklahoma’s teacher pay scale is going into effect for the first time in a decade. It was a hard won raise for teachers, and it came only after massive advocacy efforts culminating in a teacher walkout and rally at the state capitol near the end of the last school year. But even this much-needed raise won’t be enough to make up for years of cuts to education in Oklahoma, and the symptoms of these cuts are still visible in rising class sizes, missing programs, and reduced support staff.

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OKPolicyCast 35: A frank conversation about criminal justice (with D’Marria Monday, Jill Webb, Erik Grayless, and Kris Steele)

by | August 7th, 2018 | Posted in Criminal Justice, Podcast | Comments (0)

The OKPolicyCast is hosted by Gene Perry with production help from Jessica Vazquez. You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre. If you have any questions for the OKPolicyCast, topics you’d like us to cover, or people you want us to interview, you can reach us at policycast@okpolicy.org.

Last week, Oklahoma Policy Institute hosted our annual Summer Policy Institute for about 60 college students from all over Oklahoma. The 4-day event featured speakers and panels on a wide range of topics. For this episode of the OKPolicyCast, we’re sharing the live recording of one of those panels — an interesting, frank, contentious discussion of Oklahoma’s criminal justice system.

If after listening to this you’d like to hear more from panelist Jill Webb, check out Episode 25 of the OKPolicyCast, which features an interview with her.

You can download the episode here, subscribe at the links above, or play it in your browser:

Episode 34: No job? No doctor. (with Carly Putnam & Hannah Katch)

by | July 24th, 2018 | Posted in Healthcare, Podcast | Comments (0)

The OK PolicyCast is hosted by Gene Perry with production help from Jessica Vazquez. You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre. If you have any questions for the OK PolicyCast, topics you’d like us to cover, or people you want us to interview, you can reach us at policycast@okpolicy.org.

This year, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and the state Legislature ordered the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, which runs Medicaid in Oklahoma, to come up with a plan to require Oklahoma adults on Medicaid to work at least 20 hours each week. If they don’t meet this requirement, or if they don’t do the paperwork to report their work or get an exemption in time, they will lose their Medicaid coverage and become uninsured.

OK Policy’s Carly Putnam has been doing a lot of work on this issue, and for this episode, I spoke with Carly and Hannah Katch of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, who’s been looking at this from a national perspective since the idea has been pushed in multiple states.

Right now public comments are being submitted about Oklahoma’s plan, and after the interview we read several of the comments that have been sent in so far. These do a great job of showing how real people’s lives would be affected if this is implemented. The comments are illuminating, and often heartbreaking.

After listening, you can learn more and take action by going to https://okpolicy.org/stop-attacks-soonercare/.

You can download the episode here, subscribe at the links above, or play it in your browser:

Episode 33: Keith Gaddie on the forces shaking Oklahoma politics

by | July 10th, 2018 | Posted in Elections, Podcast | Comments (2)

You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre. If you have any questions for the OK PolicyCast, topics you’d like us to cover, or people you want us to interview, you can reach us at policycast@okpolicy.org.

Keith Gaddie

A couple weeks ago was one of the most interesting and unexpected elections in Oklahoma in a long time. From a big surge in turnout, strong approval of medical marijuana, and numerous incumbents either being forced into a runoff or voted out altogether, it’s clear that something is changing in Oklahoma politics.

What happened, what does it mean for the coming runoffs and general elections, and what will our state look like after it all shakes out? To better understand these questions, I spoke to Keith Gaddie, a political science professor at the University of Oklahoma and one of the most well informed, insightful, and balanced commentators on Oklahoma politics today.

You can download the podcast here, subscribe at the links above, or play it in your browser:

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