“It’s something that we need to go in and have an actual conversation about – not go to Washington, D.C., and be a guinea pig for whatever we have coming out. We’ll be the first state in the nation to try this if we do it. Oklahoma doesn’t need to be a guinea pig.”

State Rep. Matt Meredith, D-Tahlequah, speaking about the Governor’s proposed Medicaid expansion proposal [Tahlequah Daily Press]

“Addiction, substance abuse, the low-level property crime to feed the addiction, that’s a health issue, not a criminal issue. We’re incarcerating people that we’re not really afraid of, we’re just mad at them and we’re putting them in prison for the majority of their productive years for earning a living and stand on their feet.”

-Sarah Edwards, campaign president for Yes on 805 [Tulsa World]

“When (Earned Income Tax Credits) are not refundable, that means people are not getting that money back to spend on what they need … That’s a big loss for those families and it’s also a big loss to your local economy.”

-Courtney Cullison, Economic Opportunity Analyst for the Oklahoma Policy Institute, speaking about negative impacts from Oklahoma’s decision to make EITC credits non-refundable. [The Daily Ardmoreite

“The key to success for those being released (from prison) is having education opportunities, job training, mental health resources and other social supports. Commutations are only one part of the equation. Real reform begins with reducing the number of people going to prison in the first place.”

-Tulsa World Editorial Board [Tulsa World]

“My hospital in Pauls Valley closed last year, and this was no doubt a contributing factor. There’s a segment of my district that doesn’t have hospital and emergency room access because of this.”

-Sen. Greg McCortney, R-Ada, speaking about how Oklahoma’s decision to not expand Medicaid impacted hospitals in the state [NonDoc]

“(We) really see providing access to education while a person is incarcerated is in the best interest of public safety, certainly good for local employers, and of course good to help someone get their footing on the path to economic stability when they come back home.”

-Le’Ann Duran, economic mobility director for the Council of State Governments Justice Center [Tulsa World]

Burdensome licensing rules make it more challenging for many Oklahomans, particularly lower-income earners, to find work and they can make services more expensive for consumers. The laws approved last year will help, but further action should be pursued.

– The Oklahoman Editorial Board calling on the Oklahoma legislature to expand on 2019’s occupational licensing reform. [The Oklahoman]

“(The plan) would slash and cap Medicaid, hurting the people Medicaid is supposed to help. This scheme would take the funds our state uses for SoonerCare, putting coverage for 500,000 children at risk.”

-U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn, D-Oklahoma City, speaking about a proposed new Medicaid initiative embraced by Gov. Stitt [The Oklahoman]

“You’re asking sheriffs in rural counties who operate these jails to take care of, essentially, individuals who have untreated mental illness while they’re in their jail with almost no resources.”

-Mike Brose, CEO of Mental Health Association Oklahoma [The Frontier

“Justice is best served when we can begin making something that was broken, whole. Justice is best served stopping a crime before it starts. Justice is best served when people feel they can seek help without fear of being punished themselves. And while in some cases justice is best served behind bars, sentences should be chosen based on data and best practices to ensure we’re not causing deeper harm.”

-Jacqueline Blocker, Community Engagement Director at Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform [CNHI]