Corrections Reform

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the announcement by Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson to retire from the position effective at the end of next year, AG Mike Hunter announces the state is hiring a Michigan law firm for $250,000 to deal with tribal gaming compacts and the Department of Corrections locks down state prisons after gang-related violence kills one inmate and injures dozens of others.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about Epic Virtual Charter School calling for an investigation of State Senator Ron Sharp over "defamation" of the institution, Oklahoma still ranks second in the number of uninsured people in the state and more people are getting recommendation for commutations and paroles.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and sitting in for Ryan Kiesel is ACLU Oklahoma Director of Policy and Advocacy Nicole McAfee. They discuss the call by Governor Stitt to remove Glen Johnson as Higher Education Chancellor, a claim by QuikTrip of an increase in property thefts since State Question 780 was passed by voters and the Cherokee Tribe pointing to a nearly 200 year old treaty in calling for representation in Congress.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a bill signed by Governor Stitt which he had originally vetoed giving patients the right to choose their own pharmacy provider and lawmakers pass a measure putting restrictions on the powers of the Attorney General over settlements.

Ryan LaCroix / KOSU

This session was far less contentious than last session in part because lawmakers were working with a budget surplus. Oklahoma teachers didn’t stage any walkouts, but education was still a dominant topic.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a row in a Senate committee over a gubernatorial nomination for Finance Secretary as worry grows concerning executive power over state agencies, criminal justice advocates worry about a former corrections reform opponent working on Stitt's team and the House opens an investigation against a Republican lawmakers leveled by the co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Tracy Smallwood says her life before she went to prison was just “dead time.”

“I was always in a room just getting high,” Smallwood explained. “But there’s so much more. So much more out there.

Smallwood tries to hold back tears in her two-bedroom apartment north of downtown Tulsa. Today, she’s an active church member, she’s in a 12-step recovery program and she works as a forklift operator. However, a few months ago, she was in prison for multiple drug-related convictions.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about Governor Stitt signing his first bill allowing anyone over 21 to carry a gun without a permit or training, a Senate committee passes measures to give the governor power over the hiring and firing of five state agency directors and another Senate committee passing legislation making abortion illegal if Roe v. Wade gets overturned in the US Supreme Court.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about accusations of thousands of dollars in back child support against House Appropriations Chairman Kevin Wallace, legislators are heading into the 2019 session with more than 2,800 bills and one of those is a bipartisan measure to make State Question 780 retroactive.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about nearly $600M extra for the state to allocate in the coming fiscal year, incoming Governor Kevin Stitt nominate Blayne Arthur to be the state's first female Secretary of the Agriculture and a federal judge declares an OKC ordinance banning panhandling in certain medians constitutional.

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