ARPA funds offer start to transform nursing needs, but state will need to step up in the long run (Capitol Update)

The first public hearing by a legislative working group of the American Rescue Pandemic Act (ARPA) Committee was held last Thursday. The working group, led by co-chairs Rep. Kyle Hilbert, R-Bristow, and Sen. John Haste, R-Tulsa, will do the nuts… Read more [More...]

Budget choices have dramatically shifted college costs to students, families (Capitol Update)

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education have requested an $85.1 million budget increase for next year. Good for them. The increased funding would amount to a 10.5 percent increase over the $812.8 million appropriation for the current year. A… Read more [More...]

Managed care discussions likely to continue this session (Capitol Update)

Chapter two of last year’s Medicaid managed care saga is underway. It appears from the introduction of Senate Bill 1337 and comments by Senate Majority Leader Greg McCortney, R-Ada, that discussions about changing Oklahoma’s delivery system for Medicaid services from… Read more [More...]

SB 1548 would prioritize treatment, stability over punishment in Oklahoma’s drug courts (Capitol Update)

Of the 2,297 bills filed for the upcoming session, one of the best is Senate Bill 1548 by Sen. Roger Thompson, R-Okemah. The bill reorganizes drug courts in Oklahoma, giving the upper hand in decision making to mental health professionals… Read more [More...]

Three early bill filings that caught my attention (Capitol Update)

It’s interesting to read the early bill filings each year. Some are remarkable in the degree of change they would make. Others are not so consequential, and yet others give you the feeling they’ll never see the light of day.… Read more [More...]

Policy issues can take center stage in election year (Capitol Update)

This is the first week of election year 2022. The filing period for statewide and legislative offices will be April 13-15. Election years always provide a fascinating dynamic for the legislative session. A few legislators will already have announced opponents,… Read more [More...]

Working together to reduce developmental disability waitlist (Capitol Update)

Fate. I saw a news clip of President Biden last week in which he said he is a believer in fate. By that I suppose he meant that certain things in life happen—or have happened— that are beyond our ability… Read more [More...]

Prioritizing how tax dollars are spent (Capitol Update)

The monthly state revenue report by State Treasurer Randy McDaniel shows another large increase in receipts by state government for this November over November 2020. The collections for November totaled $600.7 million, which were $154.6 million or 34.7 percent above… Read more [More...]

Funding requests signal approaching session (Capitol Update)

It’s a sure sign the legislative session is close when the appropriations committees begin hearing from state agencies about how they are spending their funding for the current fiscal year and what their funding requests are for the next year.… Read more [More...]

Focus on the Pardon and Parole Board (Capitol Update)

Everyone who makes decisions in criminal cases — from judges to prosecutors and defense attorneys to the parole board and the governor — bears the weight of the decisions they are making. They live in apprehension that a wrong decision could cost damage, injury, or life. It goes with the territory. No one in the system is infallible. [More...]