Kevin Stitt

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Civil Rights Attorney Ryan Kiesel and former House Speaker Kris Steele about Governor Stitt's restrictions on bars and restaurants and mask requirement for state employees and in state buildings to curb the spread of COVID-19 as well as Stitt's firing the president of the Virtual Charter School Board as he was investigating Epic Virtual Charter School.

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Rules surrounding masks have become more and more common in Oklahoma schools as case numbers of the coronavirus explode statewide. But those rules for masking aren’t consistent.

Citizen Potawatomi Nation

On Monday, the Cherokee Nation hit a grim milestone in its battle against COVID-19. The Nation's ICU beds were at capacity with coronavirus patients. But the number fluctuates and they will be able to transport patients to other facilities.

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Following two weeks of broken records for hospitalizations due to the coronavirus, active cases and single-day increases in cases and deaths, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has announced three executive orders to help slow the spread of the virus.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Civil Rights Attorney Ryan Kiesel and sitting in for Neva Hill is former House Speaker Kris Steele. They discuss an end to an amendment on the Open Meetings Act allowing for public bodies to hold meetings virtually, the Oklahoma County Budget Board voting to take $15M returned by the Jail Trust for businesses and others impacted by the pandemic and former Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine stepping down as the head of NASA.

 

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As intensive care units run out of capacity and hospital administrators ring alarm bells, Gov. Kevin Stitt's administration has maintained that hospital capacity is not under threat, and that messaging otherwise is a tactic to scare Oklahomans.

Jenny Mae Harms / KOSU

Continued growth in Oklahoma’s coronavirus cases have led to a heightened push for statewide mask mandates, but public health officials say that’s not likely.

Seth Bodine / KOSU

The pandemic is getting worse in Oklahoma, and science says mask wearing is one of the best ways to slow the spread of COVID-19. But with spotty mandates, mitigating the virus comes down to whether Oklahomans are willing to wear a mask voluntarily.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and Civil Rights Attorney Ryan Kiesel about the outgoing Republican Oklahoma County Sheriff endorsing the Democratic candidate for the election to replace him, State Question 805 to remove sentence enhancements for nonviolent offenders and State Question 814 to take money from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust to give to lawmakers to pay for Medicaid expansion.

 

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Last Friday, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt decided against appealing a U.S. District Court Judge's ruling that said compacts between the state and the tribes renewed on January 1st of this year.

"While I have chosen not to appeal this decision, I believe that the people of Oklahoma will demand a fair deal that benefits all 4 million Oklahomans," Stitt said in a statement.

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