The state Pardon and Parole Board on Wednesday approved the first group of inmates for a new, streamlined parole. The process, called administrative parole, could be a first measure of how much a board composed mostly of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s appointees will embrace changes intended to relieve Oklahoma’s overcrowded prisons.
Gov. Kevin Stitt used his first State of the State address to call for an additional pay raise for teachers, a more modernized state government and greater control over state agency leaders’ employment.
What was absent, however, might be as important as what was included.
Gov.-elect Kevin Stitt ran as a political outsider and business success promising to elevate Oklahoma’s standing in a number of critical areas. Here’s a checklist of some of those promises, with facts on the issues and the challenges Stitt faces.
The huge increase in college costs has priced some families out of higher education altogether. Even fallback schools often cost a low-income family more than they earn in a year, putting them entirely out of reach regardless of financial aid, scholarships and other assistance.
Only four of 28 candidates for statewide elected office in Oklahoma have voluntarily released details about their personal finances similar to what is typically disclosed by federal candidates and candidates in other states. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Drew Edmondson released his tax returns and detailed finances. Republicans Mick Cornett and Kevin Stitt declined to release theirs, as did most of the non-gubernatorial candidates.
Some candidates made it clear why they refused to provide details about their personal finances as requested by Oklahoma Watch. Others explained why thought it best to release them. Read their statements.
The 2018 session of the Oklahoma Legislature, which ended Thursday, was one of the most contentious in recent history. But lawmakers’ actions went well beyond teacher pay and tax increases. Here’s a look at how various groups will be affected by what the Legislature did, and didn’t do, this year.