Education

School officials defend use of contract lobbyists

In the last school year four Oklahoma districts paid nearly $200,000 combined to contract lobbyists despite already spending thousands more for membership in other organizations that formally lobby on their behalf.

Officials at two of those districts defend the use of contract lobbyists, saying statewide organizations are not always well positioned to advocate for specific schools.

Ray Carter
August 21, 2019
Budget & Tax

LOFT Oversight Committee debates how to measure effectiveness

Members of the Oversight Committee for the Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency (LOFT) voted Tuesday to begin the process of hiring a director for the newly created office, but much of the meeting was spent discussing a more fundamental question: How can officials best measure the effectiveness of LOFT without making it subject to undue political influence?

Ray Carter
August 20, 2019
Health Care

Oklahoma officials prepare for federal Medicaid cuts

In the last few years, the federal match for state dollars spent on Medicaid in Oklahoma has increased by a dramatic rate. But officials don’t expect that to last, and are preparing for future cuts in federal funding.

Ray Carter
August 19, 2019
Health Care

Health care committee leaders say group’s work is bigger than Medicaid

The leaders of a legislative working group examining Medicaid expansion say the group’s goal is to dramatically change Oklahomans’ health outcomes—and concerns about government expense should be put aside for now.

Ray Carter
August 15, 2019
Education

Approaching her third sobriety birthday, Mission Academy graduate looks to the future

Mission Academy, operated by the nonprofit Teen Recovery Solutions, is one of some 44 similar schools nationwide, bent on reclaiming young people long lost to drug and alcohol addiction.

Mike Brake
August 15, 2019
Health Care

Lawmakers told behaviors to blame for most of Oklahoma’s health problems

Members of the Healthcare Working Group, a bicameral special committee studying potential expansion of Medicaid to able-bodied adults, were told Wednesday that personal behaviors are more to blame for many of Oklahoma’s low health rankings than a lack of insurance coverage.

Ray Carter
August 15, 2019
Good Government

Proposed election change could create costs, headaches

Some liberal activists want to require Oklahoma and other states to eliminate runoff primaries and instead use “ranked choice” voting. But Oklahoma’s top election official warns that change would involve substantial taxpayer expense and likely voter confusion.

Ray Carter
August 8, 2019
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