Gov. Mary Fallin gave lawmakers an 'A' grade for approving much of her agenda during the recently concluded legislative session, but at least one key issue remains unresolved, which is how the state plans to address the more than 630,000 Oklahomans without health insurance.
Fallin rejected the opportunity under the federal health care law to expand Medicaid coverage to nearly 200,000 people without health insurance, saying last November that doing so would prove too costly to the state and the country.
A new law modeled after legislation written by the National Right to Life Committee could influence end-of-life decisions in Oklahoma. Critics say the law limits options, while supporters say it prevents doctors from going against the desires of patients and their families.
TULSA, Okla. - University of Tulsa law professor Marguerite Chapman has been studying end-of-life issues in Oklahoma for three decades and has come to a conclusion: "It's getting almost to the point that you need a government permit in order to die in this state."
Four groundbreaking African-American judges have been honored by the Oklahoma Senate.
The Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution honoring U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange, Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Tom Colbert, Court of Criminal Appeals Judge David Lewis and Tulsa County District Court Judge Carlos Chappelle.
Miles-LaGrange was the first African-American elected chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma in 2008.
Gov. Mary Fallin has vetoed a bill that would have given state workers the option of enrolling in a defined contribution retirement plan similar to a 401(k).
The bill by Oklahoma City Republican Rep. Randy McDaniel that Fallin vetoed Friday would have allowed state employees hired after July 2014 to choose between a defined contribution option and the current defined benefit system. The bill was approved earlier this week by the House on a 72-20 vote.
Democrats in the House argued the bill would increase the risk involved in state workers' retirement years.
State Sen. Constance Johnson (D-Oklahoma City) said Friday she will seek the post during the party's annual convention on Saturday, May 18. Democratic campaign strategist Jed Green will seek the vice-chair position.
Current Democratic Party Chairman Wallace Collins also is seeking re-election to the post, along with current vice-chair Dana Orwig. Collins is a former Democratic state legislator from Norman.
State leaders have been looking for a way to cover thousands of uninsured Oklahomans after Gov. Mary Fallin rejected a federal expansion of Medicaid. A consultant told the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to look toward Arkansas for an answer.
A consultant hired by Oklahoma to propose ideas on state health care policies is recommending the state adopt a plan similar to one in Arkansas that channels state and federal money to private insurers to cover the uninsured. The approach would mean changing and expanding the current Insure Oklahoma plan, which subsidizes premiums for more than 30,000 uninsured people but is capped.
Oklahoma prison workers say they are worn out due to staffing shortages, low wages and the increasing prison population.
About a dozen uniformed prison guards visited the state Capitol Wednesday, urging lawmakers to reconsider their decision not to support a pay raise for workers at the Department of Corrections.
“DOC is at a breaking point,” said Sgt. David Edelman, an officer at the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center. “We are being forced to do 60-to-80 hours a week, and used to we could ask for overtime, but not anymore, we’re being forced.”
A $12 million proposal to give prison workers a five percent pay increase stalled earlier this session in a House committee.
The public will get its first glimpse of an Oklahoma plan to provide health care to uninsured residents. The Oklahoma Health Care Authority is supposed to present some of the findings from the study at its Thursday meeting. The entire report, though, is not being released.
A consultant hired by Oklahoma to help create a plan for covering people without health insurance has delivered a draft report on its findings to state officials, but officials refuse to release the report.