In The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.
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Capitol Update: Health coverage expansion still in the waiting room: Although nothing is certain until the session ends, it looks like one of the disappointments for this year will be the failure to pass a method for Medicaid expansion. Thousands of people who need medical and mental health treatment will have to wait. [Steve Lewis / Capitol Update]
In The News
Dueling budget pressers show ‘rough waters before the agreement’: The Oklahoma House of Representatives and Gov. Kevin Stitt agree on a FY 2020 budget, Stitt and House Speaker Charles McCall said this afternoon during a press conference that did not feature members of the State Senate. [NonDoc] But as Stitt and House leadership clash with Senate leadership on spending priorities, both sides revealed more details Monday about what might be included in the final state budget. [NewsOK]
After spat, Senate advances Mike Mazzei nomination: Five days after a fiery encounter between himself and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Roger Thompson (R-Okemah), the nomination of former Sen. Mike Mazzei as Gov. Kevin Stitt’s secretary of budget advanced this morning. [NonDoc] The hearing was a continuation of one that began last week and was adjourned after some lawmakers aired concerns that they’d been denied access to state agency financial information. [Journal Record]
Oklahoma revenue continues growth, but warning signs ahead: Oklahoma State Treasurer Randy McDaniel says April revenue to the state treasury shows continued growth in the economy, but he says there are warning signs for the future. McDaniel said Monday the state collected $1.6 billion, up $177.9 million, or 12.7%, from April 2018. Gross revenue totals $13.4 billion from the past 12 months. That is $1.5 billion, or 12.3%, more than from the previous 12 months. [AP News]
Governor signs bill changing liquor distribution rules: Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill Monday that changes how alcohol is distributed in the state. The bill’s opponents have said the change is unconstitutional. Senate Bill 608 requires the top 25 wine and spirits manufacturers to offer their products to all wholesalers. The new law, which becomes effective 90 days after the Legislature ends its session, represents an about-face from the distribution rules approved in State Question 792. [Journal Record]
Investigator says cattle rustling on the rise in Oklahoma: A state investigator says cattle rustling is on the rise in Oklahoma. The lead agent for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture’s criminal investigation unit tells The Journal Record that the number of cattle reported stolen through March has already surpassed all of 2018. [AP News] Losses from cattle theft exceed $1 million a year. [Journal Record 🔒]
Health care panel: Oklahoma can do better: The city is struggling to remake its image as a community with good health care, industry executives said Monday. Businesses seek out healthy environments because it saves money in the long run, a panel of four told several hundred attendees at the State of Health forum in downtown Oklahoma City. [Journal Record]
Norman judge rules opioid trial can continue: Oklahoma’s multibillion dollar lawsuit against opioid manufacturers remains on track to start May 28. Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman on Monday rejected drug company arguments that the lawsuit should be dismissed because the state was attempting to misapply Oklahoma’s public nuisance law. [NewsOK]
Outside prosecutor appointed to investigate overpayments to Grady County officials: Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter has appointed an outside prosecutor to investigate current and former Grady County elected officials who received more than $727,000 in overpayments over a 10-year period. Angela Marsee, district attorney for Custer and four other counties, confirmed Monday that she will be leading the investigation. [NewsOK 🔒]
Malware takes down OKC school district’s computer network: Oklahoma City Public Schools’ computer network has been “significantly compromised” by a form of malware, district officials reported Monday afternoon. “Although our IT Services Team has been hard at work all day, this issue is continuing to worsen,” spokeswoman Arely Martin said Monday in a statement. [NewsOK]
‘Palpable fear’: Community leaders speak out against sheriff’s participation in ICE 287(g) program: Eighteen speakers stood before Tulsa County commissioners and Sheriff Vic Regalado on Monday and demanded that the county end its participation in the federal government’s 287(g) program, which has detention officers conducting background checks on prisoners’ immigration status. [Tulsa World]
Students asking ‘What’s Next’ after Gallogly retirement announcement: Gallogly announced on Sunday evening he was retiring as OU’s president just 10 months since becoming the 14th president in school history. In that time, Gallogly faced many challenges, including an ongoing investigation into former President David Boren, several racist incidents on campus and a budget crisis. [NewsOK] Tumultuous tenure: a timeline of events under OU President James Gallogly. [Norman Transcript]
Boren, Hall accusers issue statement about Gallogly’s retirement: The alleged victims of sexual misconduct at the University of Oklahoma said President James Gallogly’s decision to retire is a good first step to restoring transparency at the university. In a statement released by Jess Eddy and Levi Hilliard, the two say Gallogly’s resignation was necessary. [NewsOK] After James Gallogly’s sudden resignation, who could be the next OU president? Here are some educated guesses. [Tulsa World]
Sen. Inhofe aiming to help law enforcement officers get training for dealing with mentally ill suspects: Senator Jim Inhofe (R – Oklahoma) is hoping to tackle a tough topic for authorities across the nation – mental illness in suspects. It’s something law enforcement officers across the country are encountering daily. [KFOR]
Quote of the Day
“I am very frustrated whenever I hear our elected officials say that victims of crime are not being deported. I see it, and I have seen it, and I continue to see it, and I’m tired of it.”
-Molly Bryant with Domestic Violence Intervention Services, who is among the community members calling on Tulsa County commissioners to end a contract that provides assistance to ICE through the sheriff’s office [Tulsa World]
Number of the Day
Percent decrease in licensed child care centers in Oklahoma since 2010.
Thousands of Americans are jailed before trial. A new report shows its lasting impact: Pretrial detention, or keeping a person who has been accused of a crime in jail until their trial, is a common practice. It’s been touted as a way to both ensure public safety and get people to appear in court. But a growing body of research suggests that its effectiveness has been overstated — and that this practice is causing serious harm to the hundreds of thousands of unconvicted people pushed into jails largely because they can’t afford to pay the bail money required to remain free. [Vox]
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