Equalization board sets estimate for FY 2025 budget (Capitol Update)

The most important number is the amount certified for the general revenue fund from which most appropriations for agency operating budgets are appropriated. The board’s preliminary estimate for the general revenue fund is $8.7 billion for Fiscal Year 2025, which starts on July 1, 2024. [More...]

Rep’s. call for investigation on supervision fee shines light on appropriations, fines & fees (Capitol Update)

Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, who wears the mantle of criminal justice watchdog well, is at it again. His latest foray into reform is a letter to Attorney General Gentner Drummond asking the AG to investigate the $40 per month “supervision”… Read more [More...]

Policy Matters: Senate’s budget transparency pledge is step in right direction

Senate leaders last week shared their intention to make the annual budget process more transparent. This is a welcome first step towards making this vital process more inclusive and democratic. But more can be done. [More...]

Last year’s voucher push prompts Senate to commit to budget transparency 

It’s going to be interesting to see how the new, more transparent appropriations process works in the Senate next session. Dissatisfaction with the process seemed to reach a high-water mark in the Senate last session.  [More...]

Oklahoma’s overreliance on incarceration is increasing prison population (Capitol Update)

Oklahoma's justice system remains heavily tilted toward overincarceration. Even unnecessarily lengthy deferred and suspended sentences are often only a precursor to a lengthy prison sentence. As the prison numbers are now beginning to go back up, other essential state services are being shortchanged to support overincarceration. [More...]

Attracting a new generation of teachers (Capitol Update)

If a blue ribbon study were conducted today, it’s likely the most urgent threats to America’s schools would be (1) not enough people want to be a teacher, and (2) too many students are chronically absent from school. Solutions would be difficult both to agree upon and to implement.  [More...]

Updated youth justice campus in Tecumseh provides opportunities for Oklahoma kids (Capitol Update)

It was recently announced by the Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA) that the Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center (COJC), located in Tecumseh, completed its American Correctional Association (ACA) audit and received a 100 percent compliance score of the 38 mandatory files… Read more [More...]

State experiencing churn in agency directors (Capitol Update)

With the change giving the governor the hiring and firing of agency directors, the state will continue to see more turnover in agency leadership. Political appointees will come and go rather than seeing their job as a career. In the five agencies above, a majority of the boards are appointed by the governor and serve at the pleasure of the governor so, in effect, the governor can control both the boards and the directors. [More...]

Years of unrestored budget cuts have kept vital state agencies underfunded (Capitol Update)

During the decade downturn in the state’s economy, state agencies were hollowed out. When the economy turned around, the governor insisted on agencies submitting flat budget requests to the legislature and “saving” the increased revenue in various accounts. Then he used the “savings” to demand tax cuts.  [More...]

Interim study on youth justice shows need for funding, cohesive systems for prevention and treatment services (Capitol Update)

Rep. Amanda Swope, D-Tulsa, who in her life outside the legislature is the Tribal Juvenile Justice Program Director for the Muscogee Nation, brought her passion for helping troubled youth with her when she was elected to the House of Representatives.… Read more [More...]