In The Know: Care for Millions at Risk as Community Health Centers Lose Billions in Funding

In The KnowIn 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.

Today In The News

Care for Millions at Risk as Community Health Centers Lose Billions in Funding: Community health centers have long enjoyed bipartisan support. But Congress has recently failed to renew a critical funding source for them: the Community Health Center Fund, which was authorized in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). [The Commonwealth Fund] More holes in the safety net: Oklahoma reduces Uncompensated Care Fund [OK Policy]

Amid Budget Crunch, One In Five Oklahoma School Districts Have Gone To Four-Day Weeks: Last year in Oklahoma, the number of school districts that had gone to four-day school weeks nearly doubled. But while closing one extra day per week may be saving districts a lot of money, many critics say it’s hurting students in the long run. [HPPR] The growing debate over four-day school weeks [TrustED] Another year goes by, and Oklahoma still leads the nation for cuts to education [OK Policy]

Wind investors send Fallin letter: ‘We must have a voice’: A group of energy executives has sent Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin a letter asking “to be included” in ongoing revenue negotiations that feature new potential taxes on wind production. [NonDoc] Oklahoma’s wind subsidies are dwarfed by subsidies to the oil and gas industry [OK Policy]

Meet our new Board members!: Oklahoma Policy Institute is excited to announce the appointment of three new members to our Board of Directors – Kara Berst of Ada, Dr. Jason Kirksey of Stillwater, and Erika Lucas of Oklahoma City. [OK Policy]

New Oklahoma County district judge wants to focus on drug court and mental health court: The state’s newest district judge is ready to take on Oklahoma County’s drug, mental health and diversions courts. Kenneth Morgan Stoner fills the vacancy created by the retirement last year of Oklahoma County District Judge Bryan Dixon. [The Oklahoman] Arrests for possession of marijuana spiked in Oklahoma in 2016. What happened? [OK Policy]

Department of Health releases ‘Corrective Action Report’: As part of the statutory conditions outlined in a $30 million emergency appropriation for the agency, the Oklahoma State Department of Health has released its “Corrective Action Report.” The 40-page document includes an overview of then-and-now operations from the agency, which has been rocked by scandal over the use of federal funds and controversial accounting practices. [NonDoc] Oklahoma health department releases plan for cuts, shake-up [The Oklahoman]

This state locks up more women than anywhere else in America: It’s the latest front in the war on drugs. Oklahoma imprisons about 151 out of every 100,000 women, more than any other state per capita, according to a new report. With about 0.15% of the state’s entire female population behind bars, the Republican-controlled state has a female incarceration rate that’s double the United States national average. [Moneyish] Oklahoma’s sprawling criminal code could make a felon of almost anyone [OK Policy]

Oklahoma ranks high on efforts to fight tobacco: Oklahoma is spending more to combat tobacco use than most states — but it still isn’t close to what experts think is needed. Oklahoma ranks seventh on spending to curb tobacco use, with $19 million going to anti-smoking programs in the current fiscal year, according a report from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. [The Oklahoman]

Feds employ early warning system in opioid fight: While the effectiveness of the Trump administration’s broader strategy remains to be seen, the Justice Department’s data-driven effort is one small area where federal prosecutors say they can have an impact.The data analysis provides clues about who may be breaking the law that are then corroborated with old-fashioned detective work — tips from informants or undercover office visits, said Shawn A. Brokos, a supervisory special agent in the FBI’s Pittsburgh division. [AP]

Once the tax bill is paid for, low- and middle-income households will be worse off: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) will cut taxes by almost $1.5 trillion over the next decade, largely benefiting corporations, pass-through businesses such as partnerships, and people who inherit large estates. The bill will also provide modest tax reductions for most wage and salary earners. But tax cuts are not free; they eventually have to be financed with higher taxes or lower spending. [Brookings] Congressional tax plan would take Oklahoma’s budget mess national [OK Policy]

Group Mounting Ballot Effort to Remove Legislature from Redistricting Process: A newly formed group is seeking a state constitutional change that would strip the Legislature of its power to rewrite the state’s legislative and congressional boundaries when redistricting work begins after the 2020 Census. [Oklahoma Watch]

Preschool helps our children: Oklahoma is among states leading the way in bringing preschool to all. Studies have shown that children who attend a high-quality preschool are more adjusted for the rest of their academic lives and have better outcomes as adults, from higher incomes to healthier lifestyles, according to an Associated Press story. [Editorial Board/Muskogee Phoenix] Watch This: The economic case for preschool [OK Policy]

DUI Warranty Sparks Concerns: The DUI Warranty is a company that started last year in Oklahoma City. The company sees itself as a second option for those who plan to drink and drive. Lauren Rutledge said, “It’s more or less insuring yourself for a 24-hour period.” For as low as 20 dollars, a person can buy a protection plan. [News9]

How Oklahoma Spent Years Muddying the Connection Between Industry and Earthquakes: News reports have long hinted that Oklahoma officials turned a blind eye to the proliferation of earthquake activity in order to protect the oil and gas industry. Likewise, the longstanding ties between industry leaders and former Oklahoma attorney general (now EPA administrator) Scott Pruitt have been well documented. [Earther]

Quote of the Day

“Addiction is the public health crisis of our time, and is a significant underlying factor in the majority of cases at our courthouse. We can’t wait for somebody else to solve this problem for us. We have to be responsibly creative and innovate in this area.”

– Kenneth Stoner, newly appointed Oklahoma County district judge, on the importance of strengthening and expanding drug courts and mental health courts in Oklahoma (Source)

Number of the Day


Percentage of adults who reported binge or chronic drinking in Oklahoma, 2nd lowest in the US in 2017

Source: United Health Foundation

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

A Journey Through A Land of Extreme Poverty: Welcome to America: A cruel streak – the violence of looking away – has been a feature of American life since the nation’s founding. The casting off the yoke of overweening government (the British monarchy) came to be equated in the minds of many Americans with states’ rights and the individualistic idea of making it on your own – a view that is fine for those fortunate enough to do so, less happy if you’re born on the wrong side of the tracks. Countering that has been the conviction that society must protect its own against the vagaries of hunger or unemployment that informed Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson. But in recent times the prevailing winds have blown strongly in the “you’re on your own, buddy” direction. [The Guardian]

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


Courtney Cullison worked for OK Policy from 2017 to 2020 as a policy analyst focused on issues of economic opportunity and financial security. Before coming to OK Policy, Courtney worked in higher education, holding faculty positions at the University of Texas at Tyler and at Connors State College in eastern Oklahoma. A native Oklahoman, she received an Honors B.A. in Political Science from Oklahoma State University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. with emphasis in congressional politics and public policy from the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, Courtney was a fellow at the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center. As a professor she taught classes in American politics, public policy, and research methods and conducted original research with a focus on the relationship between representatives and the constituents they serve.

Leave a Reply

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