Joint committee to evaluate uses for federal relief dollars (Capitol Update)

Last Wednesday the Joint Committee on Pandemic Relief Funding — co-chaired by Sen. Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, and Rep. Kevin Wallace, R-Wellston — outlined the process it will use to distribute the $1.87 billion that will be coming to Oklahoma through… Read more [More...]

Addressing ‘upstream’ issues in Oklahoma’s over-incarceration problem (Capitol Update)

Gov. Stitt’s new Secretary of Public Safety Tricia Everest attended last Monday’s Pardon and Parole Board meeting and publicly addressed its members. Her remarks were encouraging. Regarding criminal justice reform, she told the board that incarceration isn’t necessarily the best… Read more [More...]

Medicaid expansion coverage starts in Oklahoma (Capitol Update)

The citizens who organized, advocated, and voted for Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma saw a major milestone achieved on July 1 when the new law that was placed into the constitution by voters last year went into effect. Now anyone aged… Read more [More...]

A look at corrections-focused interim studies (Capitol Update)

It’s always interesting to see the interim study requests made by legislators. The studies are a good opportunity for legislators to learn more and educate others about issues they care about. The House requests that caught my eye were by… Read more [More...]

Is it good for the children? (Capitol Update)

Several years ago, some business and community organizations in Kansas decided to urge policymakers in making decisions to ask the question, “Is it good for the children?” The question in some political circles might bring hoots of scorn as not… Read more [More...]

Reducing Oklahoma’s excessive reliance on incarceration (Capitol Update)

At the beginning of the 2018 legislative session, former Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) Director Joe Allbaugh was asking for over $1.5 billion in appropriations for the Department of Corrections for FY 2019. More than $800 million of the request… Read more [More...]

Quartz Mountain renovation brings back memories

There is a nice article by Jennie Melendez in eCapitol News, reporting a grand reopening and ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil the newly renovated Quartz Mountain State Park Lodge at Lone Wolf near Altus. Reading the article brought back warm… Read more [More...]

What comes next after Supreme Court strikes down managed care plan? (Capitol Update)

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled last week that the actions of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) implementing a capitated managed care plan — at the direction of Gov. Stitt — violated state law and was therefore void. The Court… Read more [More...]

New laws should help improve health, well-being for Oklahoma children (Capitol Update)

This was a remarkably good year for legislation on behalf of children and youth, whether they are in the child welfare system, the juvenile justice system or at home and school. Below is a brief synopsis of several forward-looking bills… Read more [More...]

Lawmakers expand private school scholarship tax credits (Capitol Update)

Getting a “nose under the tent” is an expression used regularly at the legislature when a new idea or program is proposed. The expression refers to an alleged Arab proverb that if a camel is allowed to get its nose… Read more [More...]