Budget & Tax, Criminal Justice

Lawmakers told criminal justice reform requires increased spending

While many criminal justice reforms have been sold as a way to lower crime rates and taxpayer costs, lawmakers were told the reform process currently requires additional spending on treatment programs even as its unintended consequences are reducing the incentive for offenders to seek drug treatment and fueling a rise in homelessness.

Ray Carter
October 14, 2019
Budget & Tax, Education

How much is enough?

With our state’s political leaders operating in an environment of scarce resources and competing demands, it's time for the education community’s entrenched special interests to answer the question: How much is enough?

Jonathan Small
October 8, 2019
Budget & Tax

Oklahoma rig count highlights wisdom of fiscal prudence

Oklahoma’s rig count reached a three-year low, pointing to a dampened confidence in the energy industry. This lack of confidence could impact Oklahoma’s economic outlook as the global economy continues to slow.

Curtis Shelton
October 8, 2019
Budget & Tax

Stitt cracks down on federal grants that lead to state spending hikes

One agency’s use of federal grants led to diversion of a half-million dollars in state appropriations this year to replace those funds when the agency lost the grant. To prevent history from repeating, Gov. Kevin Stitt has ordered agencies to submit federal grant applications to his office for advance review.

Ray Carter
September 27, 2019
Budget & Tax, Health Care

Does Oklahoma’s uninsured rate reflect reality?

Officially, 14 percent of Oklahomans are uninsured. But one Senate leader questions whether that statistic reflects reality because it excludes a significant number of people: those who receive care through Indian Health Service facilities or other tribal government programs.

Ray Carter
August 28, 2019
Budget & Tax, Economy, Good Government

Stitt’s proposal would not be first change to state gaming compacts

While Gov. Kevin Stitt’s call to renegotiate Oklahoma’s gaming compacts has drawn opposition, Stitt’s proposal would not be the first alteration of those state-tribal agreements. In fact, just over a year ago, the compacts were indirectly revised. And the year-ago revisions drew opposition not from tribal governments, but from officials who felt the new agreement shortchanged state government.

Ray Carter
August 26, 2019
Budget & Tax, Economy, Good Government

Deregulation could spur state growth, lawmakers told

For Oklahoma lawmakers seeking to boost economic growth and job creation in Oklahoma, one expert says a key step is to pare down regulation. “There is considerable evidence, academic evidence, that regulations slow economic growth.” 

Ray Carter
August 26, 2019
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