Kevin Stitt

State officials urged Oklahomans not to panic in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic that is impacting the state in a press conference Tuesday.

Governor Kevin Stitt says that a pair of executive orders will help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. And in the meantime, he wants people to stay calm.

"I know Oklahomans are hurting. A lot of them are anxious and fearful of the future," said Stitt. "But I want Oklahomans to know that we will get through this."

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma students won’t come back to school until at least April 6.

In a move to stop the spread of COVID-19, a global pandemic that’s spread to Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State Board of Education voted unanimously to close schools and stop instruction for two weeks after spring break.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Politcal Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director about a ruling from State Attorney General Mike Hunter telling the governor he can't keep funds from tribal gaming compacts in an escrow while he waits on a federal lawsuit, a drop in oil proces and Oklahoma energy company stocks could have a major impact on the state's budget and Governor Stitt calls on the health department to move forward with paperwork to file with the federal government for Medicaid expansion.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about Oklahoma's involvement in the upcoming Super Tuesday Presidential Primary, a call to the Attorney General on whether Governor Stitt can keep tribal gaming funds in an escrow without putting them in state coffers and Stitt signs his first bill of 2020 to increase transparency in private school money from public dollars.

 

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 State Equalization Board certifying revenue estimates showing Oklahoma will have about $85 million less to spend then the current year, state leaders say they have the drugs to resume lethal injection executions for the first time since 2015 and Governor Stitt wants to expand Medicaid by July of this year.

 

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

A popular desire for reform led lawmakers to push the release of hundreds of people from Oklahoma prisons in a record commutation last year. The climactic event was born from a series of reforms that have moved Oklahoma away from the number one spot for incarceration. But, that progress might be temporary.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The last executions in Oklahoma were embarrassing failures.

Before he died, Clayton Lockett writhed and moaned on his gurney. Charles Warner said his body was “on fire.” Richard Glossip’s execution had to be called off at the last minute.

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 judges order to send the legal battle over tribal gaming compacts into mediation, Governor Stitt hiring a Washington, D.C. firm to re-imagine the structure of the state government and the battle of abortion bills at the state capitol between revoking the license of a doctor who performs abortion and an outright abolition of the practice.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma tribes will pay the state an estimated $13 million dollars in Class III gaming money next Thursday. Since tribes believe the compacts auto-renewed at the start of the year – they are going to continue to remit their gaming funds like they have been for the past 15 years.

But the state isn’t going to put that money directly into education – the largest recipient of gaming money – even though it’s supposed to, under state law.

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