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...]

Legislature tackles major issues of Medicaid expansion funding, budget agreement (Capitol Update)

At the beginning of last week, legislators had two big policy issues to resolve before the end of session: The state budget and Medicaid. The job on Medicaid expansion was made easier by the availability of federal funds for use… Read more [More...]

Budget, managed care remain major items as session winds down (Capitol Update) 

Time is closing in on legislators. The constitutional deadline for sine die adjournment is the last Friday in May, which this year May 28. But in the past few years the Legislature has recessed before the deadline to give itself… Read more [More...]

New law seeks to improve health education in schools (Capitol Update)

Despite all the hoopla this session over the many politically charged bills dealing with wedge issues, there has been some truly positive legislation passed by thoughtful legislators. One of those signed by Gov. Stitt last week is Senate Bill 89,… Read more [More...]

New law provides academic, behavioral supports for students in need (Capitol Update)

Third-year Representative Sherrie Conley, R-Newcastle, has been on a mission to provide for the implementation of multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) to address the core academic and non-academic needs of all students in Oklahoma public schools. During the 2020 interim… Read more [More...]