“There may indeed be an ‘Oklahoma plan’ for Medicaid worth considering, but hopefully the governor won’t propose an ill-advised block grant scheme that will fail legal muster and, without Congressional approval, will almost surely never be implemented.”

-Former Oklahoma House Speaker Steve Lewis, writing about a consideration to use a Medicaid block grant program. [OK Policy]

“Many folks who have been involved in the system at some point hope that their inability to pay doesn’t land them back in prison, but also assume that they will die still owing fines and fees.”

-Nicole McAfee, director of policy and advocacy for the Oklahoma ACLU. [The Oklahoman]

“I’m hoping that I’ve paved the way for the men and women coming behind me to know that they can get their pardon, that just because they wear the label of felon doesn’t mean that it has to stop them from accomplishing anything.” 

-Rhonda Bear, a criminal justice reform advocate who was pardoned by Gov. Stitt on Thursday [Public Radio Tulsa]

“You can’t just let people out and say ‘Good luck.’ There are so many variables when it comes to why someone is incarcerated and just being given the opportunity to get out doesn’t mean you’ve solved a lot of those problems so we have to be vigilant about going after those issues.” 

-State Rep. Jason Dunnington speaking about criminal justice reform [KFGO]



“It’s an overdue step, even, but really the real work for the community starts now in supporting our fellow Oklahomans. We want to make sure that we’re giving them all the tools that (we) can to be successful. They’re our neighbors.”

-Lynde Gleason, re-entry case manager at The Education and Employment Ministry non-profit group [The Oklahoman]

“We have decades of politics and policy that led to our incarceration rates. Our system has been very punitive, it’s been based on retribution. But ultimately these reforms were directly the will of the people, the voice of the people.”

-Kris Steele, Executive Director of Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform [The Frontier & The Marshall Project]

“More than 450 Oklahomans are getting a second chance today.”

-Gov. Kevin Stitt, speaking after Friday’s Pardon and Parole Board meeting. [The Oklahoman



“Sometimes folks in these rural counties are having to choose between feeding their kids, buying medicine, putting gas in their car or making their payments to avoid going to jail.”

-Tim Laughlin of the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System. [Journal Record]

“This is a complicated solution to a simple problem. The simple problem is gerrymandering, and the complicated solution is creating multiple firewalls to prevent the influence of partisan politics from corrupting the redistricting process.”

-Andy Moore, executive director of People Not Politicians speaking about the group’s redistricting ballot initiative. [NonDoc]

“Every dollar the legislature is willing to allocate to its constitutional obligation to fund public education is one step closer to reversing the regressive trend that has kept Oklahoma at the bottom nationwide when it comes to public education.”

-Nancy Garber with the Cherokee County Democrats speaking about the state education department’s FY2021 budget request. [Tahlequah Daily Press]