In The Know: Gov. Fallin to speak at Republican National Convention

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 you should know that Governor Fallin has been selected as a headline speaker at the Republican National Convention.  Authorities suspect that arson is responsible for a fire at a mental health facility in Lawton.  The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office opened arson tip lines for the public to report information on fires that have been intentionally set.

Legislators discussed the role of parole violations in prison overcrowding at a regional conference.  Oklahoma will likely not run its own health insurance exchange.  OK Policy recently explained the options left on the table for Oklahoma regarding health insurance exchanges, a requirement under the federal health law.

The OK Policy Blog reviewed a new report on structural budget deficits in the states, or ongoing gaps between the cost of providing services and the revenues to pay for them.  In today’s Policy Note, The Atlantic presents graphed data showing government employment at its lowest level since 1968.  The Number of the Day is the number of volunteers in Oklahoma serving in AmeriCorps, SeniorCorps, or a similar program.

In The News

Governor Mary Fallin To Speak At GOP National Convention

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has been selected as a headline speaker at the Republican National Convention in Florida later this month.  Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced Tuesday that Fallin will deliver an address at the convention in Tampa, which will be held from August 27-30. Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz says the date and time of Fallin’s speech hasn’t been determined.

Read more from NewsOn6 at

Investigators suspect arson in Lawton mental health facility fire

Authorities in Lawton say a weekend fire at a mental health facility is being investigated as a possible arson.  The fire happened Saturday night at the Jim Taliaferro Mental Health Facility.  A local television station reports the fire was started with a stack of papers in a closet in the facility’s outpatient area.

Read more from NewsOK at

OCSO establishes arson tip lines

Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office investigators are seeking information from the public regarding the reported arson in Luther that sparked wildfires on Friday, an agency spokesman said.  An eyewitness called dispatchers about 4 p.m. Friday and said that a white male driving a 2008 black Ford F-150 was tossing out a newspaper that had been set on fire, sheriff’s office spokesman Mark Myers said. More than 2,000 acres were burned and dozens of homes were destroyed, causing millions of dollars in damage, Myers said.

Read more from The Edmond Sun at

Parole violations add to jail woes

During the Southern Legislative Conference in Charleston last week, officials from Oklahoma and North Carolina said parole violators were a key factor in their states’ overcrowding crises.  Many technical violators in Oklahoma were being sent back to jail for one to two years, said Kris Steele, Republican speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.  Those multi-year jail sentences proved costly.  “It doesn’t make a lot of sense, I’m embarrassed to tell you all this,” Steele said.

Read more from The Daily Mail Capital Reporter at

Health exchange likely dead in state

Plans for state health insurance exchanges — a centerpiece of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act — appear mortally ill if not completely dead in 29 states, including Oklahoma.  A health insurance exchange is an electronic marketplace where uninsured people can compare and purchase health insurance and, under the health care act, receive federal subsidies for the cost.

Read more from NewsOK at

Step up or step aside: Looming deadline forces Oklahoma’s hand on a health exchange

Up until now, states have faced a choice between two basic options: to operate their own exchange or let the federal government operate one for them.  Fourteen states have already established their exchanges and several others are well on their way in terms of planning and implementation.  States have until November 16th – just four months from now – to submit a detailed blueprint of how they plan to implement and operate a compliant state-based health insurance exchange.

Read more from the OK Policy Blog at

Faulty Structures: Report puts spotlight on threats to states’ fiscal stability

This session, the Oklahoma legislature debated a slew of proposals to cut and, in some cases, eliminate Oklahoma’s personal income tax. While some proposals were revenue-neutral, doing away with tax credits and deductions to offset cuts to the top marginal rate, others would have substantially reduced state revenues over time without any plan for how to meet the state’s commitments and obligations.

Read more from the OK Policy Blog at

Quote of the Day

It doesn’t make a lot of sense, I’m embarrassed to tell you all this.

Rep. Kris Steele, speaking to a Southern Legislative Conference about an uptick in Oklahoma in ex-offenders sent back to prison for technical violations of their release

Number of the Day


Number of volunteers in Oklahoma serving in Americorps, Seniorcorp, or a similiar program, 2011-2012

Source: Corporation for National and Community Service

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

We Now Have Our Smallest Government in 45 Years

Since the official end of the Great Recession, America’s public sector has shrunk. And shrunk. And shrunk some more. We’ve said goodbye to about 600,000 government jobs, handing the economy a nasty self-inflicted wound in the process.  But how small has our public sector really become? Here’s one way to think about it: Compared to our population, it hasn’t been this size since 1968.

Read more from The Atlantic at

You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.


One thought on “In The Know: Gov. Fallin to speak at Republican National Convention

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.