In The Know: Gov. Fallin tells state agencies to prepare for 10 percent cuts

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today In The News

Oklahoma’s governor tells state agencies to prepare for 10 percent cuts: Facing falling revenues amid an oil industry downturn, Gov. Mary Fallin ordered state agencies  Monday to prepare to cut nonessential expenses by 10 percent. “I’m asking every agency to start planning for potential spending cuts and to develop a strategy that protects essential services,” she said. “It’s important we get ahead of this issue as we enter a difficult budget year. Families and businesses tighten their belts during lean times; our state agencies can do the same.” [NewsOK] If revenues fall substantially below the estimate for an extended period, ultimately a revenue failure will be declared and cuts must be imposed [OK Policy]. Budget cuts are service cuts; it’s state government doing less for its residents [Editorial Board / The Journal Record]. The executive order can be read here

After OSU homecoming crash, mental health advocate asks for attorney, DA to refrain from using stigmatizing language:  A state mental health leader sent a letter Monday to the Payne County district attorney and the attorney of the woman accused of crashing into the crowd at the Oklahoma State University homecoming parade, asking them to refrain from using language that will further stigmatize mental illness and addiction [NewsOK]. 

Commissioners vote to let outgoing Sheriff Stanley Glanz keep his badge and gun: Tulsa County commissioners voted Monday to let outgoing Sheriff Stanley Glanz keep his badge and gun when his resignation takes effect. He agreed to step down Nov. 1 after a grand jury indicted him last month, but Glanz requested he retain his “peace officer” status — a common request from retiring law enforcement officials [Tulsa World].

How Medicaid expansion is playing out for Arkansans with mental illnesses: Once every month or so, an Oklahoman will call and ask me about their adult child with mental illness. They will ask about what their options are, in terms of treatment. Often times, this adult child is older than 26 and unable to work because of their illness. And often times, if this adult child lived in one of the 31 states that expanded their Medicaid program, they would qualify for coverage [Jaclyn Cosgrove].

Oklahoma mental health commissioner, Oklahoma County DA speak at online forum on mental illness, addiction: People continue to misunderstand what mental illness and addiction is and isn’t and the role that choice plays in those illnesses, experts said during an online panel. “When we talk about diabetes, disease of the pancreas, when we talk about asthma, disease of the lungs — when we talk about mental illness and addiction, we still have Oklahomans who think or wonder or speculate, ‘Isn’t this really a choice? Couldn’t they just stop using drugs or alcohol?’ Even though they’re physiologically and chemically addicted,’ ” said Terri White, commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services [NewsOK].

Losing the Red River Showdown every year: As I drove back from Dallas earlier this month, I thought about all the things Oklahoma was leaving in Texas. After losing to the Longhorns, we left the Golden Hat Trophy there for another year. And after the loss, we definitely left some pride there as well. But, most importantly, Oklahoma was leaving hundreds of teachers in Texas. It turns out the real “Red River Showdown” isn’t about football or pride or a trophy. It is about the hundreds of highly qualified teachers we are losing to Texas thanks to Oklahoma’s unwillingness to value our teachers and pay them what they are worth [Sen. John Sparks / Norman Transcript].

What role do e-cigarettes play in Oklahoma’s smoking rate decline? Emily Crawford was tired of waking herself up coughing, long before her alarm clock went off. Crawford had smoked for 21 years, starting when she was only 15. She decided it was time for a change. Since Crawford stopped smoking and switched to vaping two years ago, Crawford has noticed that her skin and hair are better, and she overall feels healthier [NewsOK]. 

Support for wine, high-point beer in Oklahoma grocery stores grows: Support for wine and full-strength beer in grocery stores in Oklahoma is at an all-time high, according to a new poll. The poll of 500 registered voters conducted by The Oklahoman and the polling and political strategies firm Cole Hargrave Snodgrass and Associates Inc. found that 63 percent favor loosening Oklahoma’s liquor laws, while 29 percent oppose a change [NewsOK]. 

Oklahoma Attorney General Prepares Lawsuit To Fight Clean Power Plan: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday officially published its controversial Clean Power Plan — meant to reduce carbon emissions from power plants — and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is already taking the first step toward challenging it in court. A press release from Pruitt’s office says representatives from Oklahoma were at the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. first thing Friday morning to ask the federal court to review the Clean Power Plan [StateImpact].

Spokesman For Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin To Resign: The chief spokesman for Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has announced plans to resign. Alex Weintz says he will step down as Fallin’s communications director on Nov. 13 and will take over the communications division of the Oklahoma City-based public affairs company FKG Consulting [News9].

Quote of the Day

“Budget cuts are service cuts; it’s state government doing less for its residents. The people who educate your children will have less to work with. So will the people who keep your drinking water safe, contagious diseases under control, help the poor find food and shelter, and help children find a safe home.”

– The Journal Record staff, on Gov. Fallin’s executive order requiring agencies to submit plans for reducing expenses by 10 percent (Source)

Number of the Day


The number of Oklahoma students receiving free- and reduced-price meals in school during the 2013-2014 school year

Source: Food Research and Action Center.

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Are You Hungry? Pediatricians Add A New Question During Checkups: An estimated 7.9 million kids in the U.S. live in “food-insecure” households. This means there’s not always enough to eat at home. But when these kids go to the doctor for a checkup, or a well-child visit, the signs of malnutrition are not always apparent. So pediatricians say it’s time to start asking about it. [NPR].

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Carly Putnam joined OK Policy in 2013. As Policy Director, she supervises policy research and strategy. She previously worked as an OK Policy intern, and she was OK Policy's health care policy analyst through July 2020. She graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2013. As a student, she was a participant in the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute and interned with Planned Parenthood. Carly is a graduate of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Nonprofit Management Certification; the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council’s Partners in Policymaking; The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship in Tulsa; and Leadership Tulsa Class 62. She currently serves on the boards of Restore Hope Ministries and The Arc of Oklahoma. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and doing battle with her hundred year-old house.

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