Ron Sharp

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 a petition filed to allow voters to add recreational marijuana to the state constitution, the battle between Governor Stitt and tribal leaders over gaming compacts heats up as the end of the year gets closer and Oklahoma City Democratic Representative Shane Stone delays his resignation by one daym removing the need for a special election.

 

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about campaign reports showing House Appropriations Chairman Kevin Wallace is renting a garage apartment from former House Appropriations Chair and now OG&E lobbyist Ken Miller and Governor Stitt signs an executive order requiring all state agencies to get approval from his office for grant applications more than  $50,000.

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.

Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma investigators believe Epic Charter Schools embezzled money by inflating its enrollment with homeschool and private school students. Because of the state’s dedication to privacy, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister says the alleged abuse would not have been preventable under current state law.

A bill that would save Oklahoma $84 million by changing Medicaid income requirements passed out of the state Senate Monday.

The measure would would change parent and caretaker group income requirements from 41 percent of the federal poverty level to 20 percent, a move that would make more than 43,000 currently covered adults ineligible for Medicaid.

Senator Josh Brecheen (R-Coalgate) is one of the bill's authors. He says the adults who lose coverage under his plan could get health care on a sliding scale from a federally qualified health center.

oksenate.gov

Oklahoma Senator Rob Standridge (R-Norman) chose not to push forward with a controversial school choice bill on Wednesday.

Standridge told committee members that he wanted to lay his Education Savings Account bill over until next year. But says he'll keep discussing and working on the issue in the mean time.

Education Savings Accounts—or school vouchers— are controversial because they allow parents to use state tax dollars towards private school tuition if they feel their child's needs aren’t being met in the public school.

Sen. Ron Sharp has filed legislation banning the use of cell phones or other handheld devices to text, email or call while driving. Senate Bill 67 would make it a misdemeanor to use a handheld device while behind the wheel.

Violators would face up to a $1,000 fine or up to a year in jail, or both. The measure would enable law enforcement officers to cite drivers for using the devices as a secondary offense.

Sharp, R-Shawnee, said Oklahoma is one of only six states that has no laws on the books addressing texting while driving.