Tax cut deja vu: Governor’s income tax proposal echoes past attempts (Capitol Update)

Those listening have heard Gov. Kevin Stitt repeat his mantra “the people of Oklahoma elected me to lay a fresh set of eyes on state government.” The implication is the people were looking for someone with new ideas. His latest… Read more [More...]

Taking a deeper look at the latest special session call (Capitol Update)

The Oklahoma Constitution provides for a regular session of the legislature once a year, but last week Gov. Kevin Stitt called the third special session for 2023 to begin on Oct. 3. This follows two special sessions in 2022, one in 2021, and two in 2020. Special sessions are provided for in the Constitution, but they are called Extraordinary Sessions. If the name means anything, you’d think special sessions would be rare. [More...]

Refreshing to see bipartisan work on capital needs for regional, rural universities (Capitol Update)

An encouraging piece of bipartisan work will occur in the form of an interim study to help assess the capital needs for regional and rural universities. [More...]

Current events show need to revisit education governance (Capitol Update)

State government was dominated these past several weeks by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters and the State Department of Education. As the newly elected state superintendent, Walters continued a war of words with Tulsa Public Schools and its… Read more [More...]

Lawmakers should clear up conflicting language about remaining in office following criminal pleas, convictions (Capitol Update)

It is unfortunate that Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, has had to resign his seat in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, effective September 1. He is a serious-minded legislator who, as Vice-Chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee, had worked… Read more [More...]

Governor issues executive order to change workforce development responsibilities (Capitol Update)

Gov. Kevin Stitt filed an interesting executive order last week transferring the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development from the Department of Commerce to the Oklahoma Employment Security (OESC) Commission and giving OESC control over all money received by the state… Read more [More...]

Senate District 32 special election draws six candidates (Capitol Update)

The race to replace Sen. John Michael Montgomery, R-Lawton, who recently resigned to become CEO of the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce, will be interesting and perhaps more competitive than might have been expected, given the short notice to… Read more [More...]

Rejected House Interim Studies show breadth of issues facing state (Capitol Update)

UPDATE (8/1/23): An earlier version said that an interim study on medical debt (Interim Study 23-69 by Rep. Suzanne Schreiber, D-Tulsa) was not approved. That study was approved.  – – – Last week, Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, approved 85 of… Read more [More...]

A closer look at emergency rules for Oklahoma’s health information exchange (Capitol Update)

It appears that, with the passage of emergency rules by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) board on July 17, the battle over the health information exchange (HIE) in Oklahoma is, at least temporarily, on pause. Those wanting a more… Read more [More...]

New task force created to recommend criminal justice reforms (Capitol Update)

It is a hopeful sign that Governor Kevin Stitt has demonstrated his continued commitment to criminal justice reform by creating a new task force called MODERN (Modernizing Operations through Data and Evidence-based Restoration Now) to work until February 2, 2024.… Read more [More...]