Budget & Tax

Expert warns against legal games with pension protections

During a recent legislative study that included a review of a pension-protection law, the head of one state pension system offered lawmakers a recommendation for improving such laws: Stop allowing bills to self-exempt from pension protections.

Ray Carter
November 20, 2019
Budget & Tax

New report shows Oklahoma’s casino compacts should be renegotiated

A new report by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) highlights the need for Oklahoma to renegotiate its gaming compacts.

Staff
November 20, 2019
Budget & Tax

Officials urge caution in passing unfunded pension benefits

Under legislation passed by the Oklahoma House of Representatives this year, retired state workers’ benefits would have been increased by 4 percent. But that bill, which did not advance in the Senate, included no funding to cover the additional cost, making the measure an unfunded mandate.

Ray Carter
November 19, 2019
Budget & Tax

Officials say state’s ‘merit protection’ system harms workforce quality

Under the “merit protection” system used in Oklahoma government, it’s too hard to fire bad employees or give promotions to good employees, according to several officials. That has some officials calling for a major overhaul, or even repeal, of the system.

Ray Carter
November 18, 2019
Budget & Tax

Governor, tribal officials discuss casino compact dispute

Gov. Kevin Stitt said state-tribal negotiations over casino compacts have reached an impasse, but said he remains committed to an improved agreement that will require state casino operators to pay market rates for monopoly gaming rights.

Ray Carter
November 15, 2019
Health Care

Conflicting responses given on Medicaid agency’s role in teen program

Thrive, an OKC organization that works on teen-pregnancy issues, prominently lists the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) as one of seven partners on its website. A spokesperson for the OHCA, downplayed any ties between the agency and Thrive.

Ray Carter
November 14, 2019
Education

OKC district’s effort to penalize charter schools for attracting students prompts lawsuit

The Oklahoma City school district has announced plans to impose a fee on area charter schools that would financially penalize charter schools for attracting students from the traditional district. Two area charter schools have filed a lawsuit in response.

Ray Carter
November 13, 2019
Education

Ethics questions arise as law firm hosts school administrators’ golf event

Ask the average teacher what his or her Wednesday looks like, and the answer will usually involve working in the classroom. In contrast, on a recent Wednesday, as many as 100 school administrators and board members spent their day in a very different fashion—playing golf.

Ray Carter
November 11, 2019
Education

Father of Parkland shooting victim says Enid Public Schools’ actions dangerous

The recent action of Enid Public School administrators who fired a school resource police officer for seeking prosecution of at least two students who had threatened classmates sent precisely the wrong signal, nationally known school safety crusader Andrew Pollack has told OCPA.

Mike Brake
November 8, 2019
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