Oklahoma

Honesty is the Best Policy | 11-16-2018

Or so recent Oklahoma House candidate LaVelle Compton has learned. Compton was thrilled recently include a lengthy endorsement from popular former Sooner State gov Brad Henry in a mailer he sent out as part of his campaign to unseat House Majority Leader...

‘Pink Wave’ Hits State Legislatures | 11-09-2018

‘Pink Wave’ Hits State Legislatures: As anticipated, given the record number of female candidates running for political office this year , women made significant gains in state legislatures on Election Day. Preliminary analysis by the...

More Democratic Women Candidates Than Republican Ones in Most States | 11-02-2018

Of the 3,388 women running for legislative office in 46 states this year, 70 percent are Democrats. In 19 of those states, there are about twice as many Democratic female candidates as Republican ones. In 15 states, there are three times more. In five...

OK Ballot Measure Would Mandate Oil Revenue Reinvestment | 11-02-2018

Any time oil prices take a tumble like they did last week, states with oil-reliant economies take a financial hit. Oklahoma is particularly vulnerable to such dips because it’s one of just two of the country’s oil producing states (the other...

States Seek to Maintain Net Neutrality | 10-12-2018

At least 32 states have introduced legislation this year that would require internet service providers to uphold net neutrality principles, according to analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net . Many of those...

Baker Remains Most Popular Governor | 10-12-2018

For the seventh quarter in a row, polling by Morning Consult shows that the ten most popular governors in America are all Republicans. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker topped the list with a 70 percent approval rating, followed closely by Maryland Gov...

Boom in Energy States May be Helping Drive National Economy | 09-14-2018

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, America’s GDP grew by 4.2 percent between the first quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of this year, the highest quarterly rate since 2014. And an energy boom, fueled by higher oil and gas prices...

Many States Taken Action but Many Yet to Act on Wayfair Ruling | 09-07-2018

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that a law passed by South Dakota had freed it from a longstanding legal precedent barring states from imposing sales taxes on internet and mail-order retailers that did not have a physical presence within their...

Voters Gravitate to Political Poles in Key Aug. 28 Primaries | 08-31-2018

Primary elections were held in three states on Aug. 28. And a few of the results suggest that the energy of the Democratic and Republican parties is moving to the left and the right, respectively. In Florida’s gubernatorial primaries, Democrats...

Pension ‘Funded Ratios’ Going in Opposite Directions in Some States | 08-17-2018

Alaska’s public pension “funded ratio” – the level of assets compared to accrued liabilities – increased 10.3 percent between 2013 and 2016, more than in any other state, according to data from the Pew Charitable Trusts....

Health & Science - August 13 2018 | 08-10-2018

CA Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals Rules The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in CALIFORNIA rules that the Trump administration endangered public health by keeping a widely used pesticide on the market despite extensive scientific evidence that...

Budgets in Brief - July 16 2018 | 07-13-2018

TRUCKING INDUSTRY SUES RI OVER NEW TOLL SYSTEM The American Trucking Association and three companies - MASSACHUSETTS -based, convenience-store chain Cumberland Farms; MASSACHUSETTS -based cargo carrier M&M Transport Services; and NEW JERSEY -based...

Legislative Efforts to Arm Teachers Bog Down in States in 2018 | 07-06-2018

At least 20 bills dealing with the arming of teachers and other school employees have been introduced in 12 states since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, according to legislative information...

Environment - July 2 2018 | 06-29-2018

Going On In OK The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approves a plan that will make OKLAHOMA the first state to oversee coal ash disposal within its borders. Under the agreement, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality will fully take over...

Energy - June 18 2018 | 06-15-2018

PA Governor Signs SB 234 PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signs SB 234 , which allows municipal governments to set up energy improvement districts where private lenders can loan money to commercial or agricultural property owners who want to finance...

Half of States Have Considered Internet Privacy Bills in 2017-18 | 06-08-2018

At least 27 states have considered but only two, Oregon and Virginia, have passed legislation dealing with internet privacy in the current session, according to information compiled from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State...

Politics in Brief - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

OK VOTERS TO WEIGH LESS RESTRICTIVE MEDICAL MARIJUANA MEASURE: OKLAHOMA voters will consider a ballot measure on June 26 that would make the state the first to adopt a medical marijuana program that doesn’t specify ailments for which doctors...

Many States Have Considered Sports Betting Bills in 2018 | 06-01-2018

Nineteen states have considered legislation related to sports betting in 2018, according to information compiled from the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Legal Sports Report and LexisNexis State Net . One state, West Virginia, has passed...

Battle Over Tax Hikes in OK | 05-18-2018

In March, as an uprising over teacher pay and classroom funding was spreading across the country, the Oklahoma Legislature passed and Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signed a package of tax hikes on cigarettes, energy production and motor fuel ( HB 1010 b ) to help...

Everybody Hates Mary | 05-18-2018

California Gov. Jerry Brown likes to say the key to governing is like steering a canoe: to move ahead you have to paddle a little to the right, then a little to the left. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin must be listening. As the Associated Press reports , Fallin...

Social Policy - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

MI Senate Approves SB 741 The MICHIGAN Senate approves SB 741 , which would bar local governments from banning the ownership of certain dog breeds. The bill, which would nullify all current bans and bar municipalities from imposing new ones, moves...

Reinsurance Programs Catching On in States | 05-11-2018

Since 2016 at least 19 states have introduced and 9 have enacted legislation creating a state reinsurance program and/or authorizing the state to apply for a State Innovation Waiver under Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act to obtain federal funding...

States Return to Reinsurance to Stabilize ACA Marketplaces | 05-11-2018

Soaring premiums and declining insurer participation in the health insurance marketplaces states set up in accordance with the Affordable Care Act have been among the most common complaints about the federal healthcare law. To address those issues states...

Governors in Brief - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

BAKER OPEN TO NEW MA DEATH PENALTY In the wake of the murder of a Bay State police officer, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) says his office is talking with lawmakers and law enforcement officials about crafting a bill to reinstate the death penalty...

Politics in Brief - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

NY AG RESIGNS NEW YORK Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) a prominent antagonist of the Trump administration - and a prominent advocate for the #MeToo movement - abruptly resigned last week, hours after news broke that four women had accused him...

Health & Science - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

NH House Approves SB 313 The NEW HAMPSHIRE House approves SB 313 , which would expand Medicaid eligibility to cover an additional 50,000 residents. It has returned to the Senate (UNION LEADER [MANCHESTER]). CO House Approves HB 1436 The COLORADO...

Teacher Strikes Portend Potential Election Issue in Red States | 04-13-2018

As teachers were preparing for a walkout in Arizona last week, thousands remained out of the classroom in Oklahoma in protest of limited school funding and a protest continued in Kentucky over the restructuring of teacher pensions. The unrest suggests...

States Angle for Revenue Windfalls from Supreme Court | 04-05-2018

Sports betting and remote sales taxes have been getting a lot of attention in statehouses recently. The main reason for the surge of interest in the two issues is a pair of cases currently before the U.S. Supreme Court that could allow states to collect...

KY, OK Teachers Protest Pay, School Funding | 04-05-2018

Rejecting a recently-approved pay hike as inadequate, almost 300,000 teachers in Oklahoma went out on strike last week seeking even greater raises and a significant increase in state education funding. The strike came less than a week after Gov. Mary...

Budgets in Brief - April 2 2018 | 03-30-2018

AZ BANS LOCAL SODA TAXES: ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed HB 2484 , prohibiting local governments in the state from imposing extra taxes on sodas or other sugary beverages, as some left-leaning cities in other states, including San Francisco and...

Half of States Use Commissions for Redistricting | 03-16-2018

Commissions, rather than legislatures, have primary responsibility for drawing state legislative and/or congressional districts in 13 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In another 12 states, commissions either assist legislators...

Surge in Online Sales Tax Bills in States | 03-16-2018

Legislation is under consideration in at least nine states providing for the collection of sales taxes on remote purchases, according to the National Association of State Legislatures. The bills include Oklahoma SB 337 , passed by that state’s...

Social Policy - March 19 2018 | 03-16-2018

MO House Approves HB 1443 The MISSOURI House gives initial approval to HB 1443 , which would, among several things, bar welfare recipients from cashing out benefits at an ATM machine and more clearly identify items that are may not be bought with those...

Over Half of States Seeking to Maintain ‘Net Neutrality’ | 03-02-2018

At least 29 states have introduced legislation this year aimed at reinstating the requirement that internet service providers treat all content the same in terms of price and accessibility, which was eliminated last year with the Federal Communications...

State Charitable Giving Programs Model for SALT Cap Workaround | 01-12-2018

In response to the $10,000 cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) included in the federal tax overhaul, lawmakers in high-tax states like California are considering allowing taxpayers to make charitable contributions to state funds...

Governors in Brief - December 18 2017 | 12-15-2017

Fallin Cracks Down On Sexual Harassment : Saying “Sexual harassment is wrong and cannot be tolerated,” OKLAHOMA Gov. Mary Fallin (R) issued Executive Order 2017-41 last week, which directs state agency heads to take action to ensure workers...

More Familiar Issues Likely to Draw State Lawmakers’ Attention in 2018 | 12-08-2017

As SNCJ ’s Rich Ehisen reported last week, some of the issues likely to receive the most attention from state lawmakers next year are those that are already familiar, such as health care, the opioid epidemic and sexual harassment. Here are several...

States Preparing for Legal Sports Betting | 11-10-2017

Thirteen states have introduced and three have passed legislation this year dealing with the legalization of sports betting, currently prohibited in all but a handful of states by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) passed by Congress...

Sexual Harassment Prevalent Problem in Statehouses | 11-03-2017

Incidents of sexual harassment or sexual assault involving female state lawmakers, legislative staff or lobbyists have been reported recently in at least 16 states. The legislatures in all of those states have training programs or policies in place to...

Politics In Brief - October 23 2017 | 10-20-2017

GA TRIES OUT PAPER-BALLOT VOTING MACHINES GEORGIA initiated the first step of a new paper-ballot voting machine pilot program last week with the start of early voting ahead of local contests and special elections on Nov. 7. The aim of the test, in...

Lawmaker Resignations Costing OK | 10-13-2017

Oklahoma could spend over a quarter of a million dollars on special elections this year. The reason? The need to fill eight vacancies in the state’s Legislature - four in the House and four in the Senate. One of those vacancies was created...

Budgets In Brief - October 16 2017 | 10-13-2017

NY NEEDS $27B FOR BRIDGE REPAIRS NEW YORK state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli (D) said the state needs $27 billion to repair hundreds of locally owned bridges in the state. Nearly 13 percent of the roughly 8,500 bridges owned by local governments are...

Politics In Brief - October 16 2017 | 10-13-2017

OK CONSIDERS COOLING-OFF PERIOD FOR STATE OFFICIALS The OKLAHOMA Ethics Commission is considering banning state officials and employees from lobbying for two years from the time their government service ends. Over 30 states already have such cooling...

Social Policy - October 16 2017 | 10-13-2017

Social Policy In Oklahoma An OKLAHOMA court strikes down a Sooner State law that required doctors prescribing abortion-inducing medications to follow a protocol established in 2000 rather than updated protocols offered by drug makers. District Judge...

Politics In Brief - October 2 2017 | 09-29-2017

DHS CONTACTS STATES ABOUT 2016 ELECTION HACKING The Department of Homeland Security directly notified election officials in 21 states last month that they had been targeted by hackers connected to the Russian government during the 2016 election campaign...

Budgets In Brief - September 18 2017 | 09-15-2017

OK GOV TO CALL SPECIAL SESSION TO FIX BUDGET: OKLAHOMA Gov. Mary Fallin (R) said she will ask lawmakers to convene a special session on Sept. 25 to make adjustments to the budget after the Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected a proposed cigarette tax. The...

New Front Opens In GOP Fight Against Unions | 08-18-2017

After Republicans won control of the Iowa Senate last year, giving them control of both the legislative and executive branches of that state’s government, they enacted a package of labor reforms curbing the collective bargaining rights of public...

States Struggling To Tax Services | 06-30-2017

Over the past 50 years the manufacturing industry has gone from comprising a third of the U.S. economy to 18 percent, while the services industry has gone from making up half of U.S. GDP to over two-thirds. States have tried to adjust to that shift...

Budgets In Brief - July 3 2017 | 06-30-2017

KS Gov Signs Budget With Tax Increase KANSAS Gov. Sam Brownback(R)signed a $15.6 billion state budget last month that includes the $1.2 billion income tax increase approved by lawmakers. The governor vetoed that rollback of the income tax cuts he championed...

Budgets In Brief - June 19 2017 | 06-16-2017

IL Gov Calls Special Budget Session ILLINOIS Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) has called a special session to try to end the state’s unprecedented budget impasse that has already drug on for two years and will enter its third on July 1. The special session...