HB 2259 will revolutionize processing and collecting of court financial obligations owed by defendants (Capitol Update)

Despite repeated efforts over the past few years, not a lot was accomplished during this last session toward the repeal of various costs of the criminal legal system that are imposed on defendants in criminal cases. Costs imposed include various… Read more [More...]

Last-minute budget dispute offers insight into closed-door negotiations (Capitol Update)

A dispute that developed on the final day of session offers a window into the closed-door negotiations which occur each year to produce a budget and bring each legislative session to an end.  Strange as it may seem, since both… Read more [More...]

Budget special session points to lack of trust between legislature, governor (Capitol Update)

Because of the protracted fight over education funding and tax credits for people sending their children to private schools, the legislature was pushed to the brink in getting its appropriations measures passed before the constitutionally-required end of legislative session this… Read more [More...]

Past economic development efforts should inform decision making (Capitol Update)

Frustrated by Oklahoma’s recent high-profile failures to land large manufacturing facilities, Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, last March created the Senate Economic Development Select Committee. At the time Pro Tem Treat said, “Oklahoma has abundant resources, qualified… Read more [More...]

Gov. Stitt vetoes bill allowing students to wear tribal regalia at graduation (Capitol Update)

It was disappointing to see that the governor vetoed Senate Bill 429 which allows students to wear tribal regalia at official graduation ceremonies. The bill defines “tribal regalia” narrowly as “traditional garments, jewelry, other adornments such as an eagle feather,… Read more [More...]

This week is crucial for budget issues, education bills (Capitol Update)

With only four weeks left in this year’s Legislative session, the feud between the House, Senate, and governor over education funding — including tax credits for parents sending their children to private schools — still dominates and is yet to… Read more [More...]

Gov.’s education plan ignores public school funding equity, provides tax cuts to only benefit a small percentage of Oklahomans (Capitol Update)

Gov. Kevin Stitt has made a late entry into the school funding discussions between House and Senate leadership with an $800 million three-part plan: $300 million to the “Oklahoma Student Fund;” $300 million into the funding formula based partially on… Read more [More...]

Checking status of major Senate education bills (Capitol Update)

Sen. Adam Pugh worked with educators during the interim on an ambitious common education proposal that was introduced in the form of 16 separate bills. With passage of the deadline for Senate bills to clear House committees, it would be a good time to see how his proposals are faring.  [More...]

Adding penalties to felony reclassification efforts is vital (Capitol Update)

Sen. Dave Rader, R-Tulsa, for the second year, is trying to enact a felony criminal reclassification system based on recommendations by the Criminal Justice Reclassification Coordination Council. The proposal is contained in House Bill 1792 by Rep. Mike Osburn, R-Edmond.… Read more [More...]

A closer look at House, Senate proposals to spend public dollars for private schools (Capitol Update)

With just under $1 billion in new recurring revenue potentially on the table for appropriation this session, the leaders of the House and Senate have directed their attention to increased education funding. But the conversation has taken unexpected twists and… Read more [More...]