What are community schools? (Capitol Update)

Community schools represent a place-based strategy in which schools partner with community agencies and allocate resources to provide an integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development, and community engagement. [More...]

Implementing community schools would better serve child well-being in Oklahoma (Capitol Update)

There are numerous things that would benefit Oklahoma's 49th place education system, beginning with better funding. Adopting community schools would give many children a chance to overcome some of what life has dealt them. [More...]

Dispute over settlement proposal for mental health lawsuit points out incongruities (Capitol Update)

In Oklahoma (as in the rest of the country) criminal defendants are considered incompetent to stand trial if they are found by a court to be unable to appreciate the nature of the charges against them and/or are unable to consult with their lawyer and rationally assist in the preparation of their defense. [More...]

Looking at budget items after legislative dust has settled (Capitol Update)

The 15-day deadline for bill signing expired last week and Gov. Kevin Stitt largely honored the deal he made with legislative leaders to not veto the state budget if they did four things. [More...]

Court ruling on cabinet secretaries provides lesson in unintended consequences (Capitol Update)

The ruling of Oklahoma County District Judge Richard Ogden in a case filed by Gov. Kevin Stitt against Attorney General Gentner Drummond provides an interesting lesson in unintended consequences. [More...]

Criminal justice reform in Oklahoma seems to come in small doses (Capitol Update)

Senate Bill 325, which passed this session, improves the timeline for case completion by amending the Oklahoma Speedy Trial Act. Prior to passage of SB 325, the Act required a felony case to be tried within one year if the defendant is confined in jail. [More...]

Policy Matters: Steps to improve budget transparency next session

This legislative session, lawmakers placed great emphasis on budget transparency. It’s been revealing to watch the process unfold, but there are steps lawmakers can take to build on this progress for next year. Throughout May, legislative leaders and the governor… Read more [More...]

Public budget discussions are an opportunity to gain a better appreciation of the state budget process (Capitol Update)

For those with interest and time to watch, the negotiations are an opportunity to gain a better appreciation of the state budget process and those who write the budget. If nothing else, the people watching have been treated, for the most part, to civil discussions by knowledgeable legislators doing the work they were elected to do to the best of their ability. [More...]

State’s anti-ESG law filled with twists, turns (Capitol Update)

Oklahoma politics is sometimes a small world. In 2022, given the opportunity to demonstrate their loyalty to the state's oil and gas industry, legislators passed House Bill 2034, the "Energy Discrimination Elimination Act of 2022, known as Oklahoma's anti-ESG (environmental, social and governance) law." [More...]

Bill seeking to change State Dept. of Ed. board likely no longer a threat to status quo (Capitol Update)

It looked for a while as though the state school board and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction were going to get their wings clipped a bit. But after recent changes to a bill intended to change the state Board of Education membership. HB 2562 is not a threat to the status quo at the State Department of Education. [More...]