Spottedcrow case highlights Oklahoma justice system’s flaws (Capitol Update)

At some point it would seem to be of no benefit to the state or to offenders to keep them in debt under threat of arrest and jail.    [More...]

Improving Oklahomans’ education is a key to better health (Capitol Update)

Excellent and accessible education and social services will lead the way to more productive people and better health, but as a state we seem to continue, for now to see ourselves as better off being a low-tax, low-service state. [More...]

Not so Quik! (Capitol Update)

QuikTrip is run by very smart businesspeople. Perhaps they should employ better risk management practices and not rely on taxpayers to pay the actual and social costs of felony charges and imprisonment for petty thieves. [More...]

Custody death of 16-year old may help spark changes in pretrial juvenile detention (Capitol Update)

These three recent actions together - change in federal law, the investigation and recommendations for change by OCCY, and OJA's desire to update the state detention plan - may create an opportunity for progress in the area of pretrial treatment of juvenile offenders [More...]

Lawmakers scramble to come up with Plan B on health care expansion (Capitol Update)

As often happens, on a given issue the people may be out ahead of the politicians they elect. Now it appears there is a lot of support for full expansion as proposed in SQ 802. [More...]

Standardized tests fail the test (Capitol Update)

Giving whole schools performance evaluations and comparing them based on a standardized testing regime, regardless of the situations in the lives of the students, their parents, or the community, has become the norm... The result is standardized curricula forced on teachers, regardless of the needs of their students and teaching to the test as a matter of self-defense. No wonder teachers are in short supply. [More...]

New budget oversight office has LOFTy goals

Tuesday will mark the beginning of a new relationship between the legislature, the governor and state agencies. It will be interesting to see how it develops [More...]

Speaker McCall greenlights nearly 100 interim studies (Capitol Update)

You can't read a lot into the 50 request denials. The Speaker doesn't have to give a reason, and his reason may be different for different requests and different members. It could be that he likes the idea but wants some other member to take the lead or he doesn't like the idea and doesn't want it to gain traction. In some instances, it may be about the author. [More...]

To address opioid crisis, expand Medicaid (Capitol Updates)

As Dr. Clancy described it, "New Mexico has done many of the same things we have done in Oklahoma to combat opioid overdose deaths such as the development of closer tracking of opioid prescriptions before physicians write another prescription, intervening when physicians are overprescribing opioids and the use of Narcan by first responders to prevent a death when there is an opioid overdose." [More...]

In better budget times, Legislature takes back control of the purse strings (Capitol Update)

Legislators learned quickly they were not off the hook with the public when  popular and needed programs were eliminated. It was not long until line items began to show up in appropriations measures again, and the practice has grown steadily. [More...]