Lawmakers should clear up conflicting language about remaining in office following criminal pleas, convictions (Capitol Update)

It is unfortunate that Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, has had to resign his seat in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, effective September 1. He is a serious-minded legislator who, as Vice-Chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee, had worked… Read more [More...]

Governor issues executive order to change workforce development responsibilities (Capitol Update)

Gov. Kevin Stitt filed an interesting executive order last week transferring the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development from the Department of Commerce to the Oklahoma Employment Security (OESC) Commission and giving OESC control over all money received by the state… Read more [More...]

Senate District 32 special election draws six candidates (Capitol Update)

The race to replace Sen. John Michael Montgomery, R-Lawton, who recently resigned to become CEO of the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce, will be interesting and perhaps more competitive than might have been expected, given the short notice to… Read more [More...]

Rejected House Interim Studies show breadth of issues facing state (Capitol Update)

UPDATE (8/1/23): An earlier version said that an interim study on medical debt (Interim Study 23-69 by Rep. Suzanne Schreiber, D-Tulsa) was not approved. That study was approved.  – – – Last week, Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, approved 85 of… Read more [More...]

A closer look at emergency rules for Oklahoma’s health information exchange (Capitol Update)

It appears that, with the passage of emergency rules by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) board on July 17, the battle over the health information exchange (HIE) in Oklahoma is, at least temporarily, on pause. Those wanting a more… Read more [More...]

New task force created to recommend criminal justice reforms (Capitol Update)

It is a hopeful sign that Governor Kevin Stitt has demonstrated his continued commitment to criminal justice reform by creating a new task force called MODERN (Modernizing Operations through Data and Evidence-based Restoration Now) to work until February 2, 2024.… Read more [More...]

Caring for Caregivers Act had a difficult road to passage; it shouldn’t have been so hard (Capitol Update)

The Caring for Caregivers Act, requested by Oklahoma AARP and championed by Rep. Tammy West, R-Oklahoma City, and Sen. John Michael Montgomery, R-Lawton, passed last session. The act creates a tax credit up to 50 percent of eligible caregiver costs,… Read more [More...]

Two bills creating the lion’s share of anticipated revenue reduction for FY 2024 (Capitol Update)

The State Board of Equalization met recently and certified $190 million less in revenue available for appropriation for Fiscal Year 2024, which begins this week on July 1. The state constitution requires the board to meet in June each year… Read more [More...]

HB 2259 will revolutionize processing and collecting of court financial obligations owed by defendants (Capitol Update)

Despite repeated efforts over the past few years, not a lot was accomplished during this last session toward the repeal of various costs of the criminal legal system that are imposed on defendants in criminal cases. Costs imposed include various… Read more [More...]

Last-minute budget dispute offers insight into closed-door negotiations (Capitol Update)

A dispute that developed on the final day of session offers a window into the closed-door negotiations which occur each year to produce a budget and bring each legislative session to an end.  Strange as it may seem, since both… Read more [More...]