Although the Pauls Valley hospital has closed, the city continues to hold on to 28 nursing homes whose enhanced federal payments were supposed to help keep the hospital open. The city is waiting for a determination from federal regulators on the arrangement.
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.
Because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, all transactions in medical marijuana in Oklahoma will likely be made in cash, from growers to buyers, as banks will avoid the business. That will bring a host of complications.
Over the years, the University of Oklahoma has spent millions of dollars on awards for National Merit Scholars, then aggressively marketed their presence. But the Merit Scholars program, promoted heavily by former President David Boren, is being scaled back. Is that good or will it lessen OU’s reputation?
Since 2012, the number of child care facilities has dropped by nearly one-quarter, putting parents in a pinch as they try to find places to take their kids. Industry representatives blame excessive regulation and subsidy income limits that exclude many parents who still struggle with the expense.
Oklahoma officials say that using inhalation of nitrogen to carry out the death penalty will be safe and humane. But uncertainty surrounds the process, including how it will force inmates to inhale the gas and what will happen if they resist.
Far fewer voters are likely to cast ballots in the Aug. 28 runoff compared to the June primary. The typical drop in turnout has raised questions about whether Oklahoma should join most other states and abandon the runoff.
Four out of five Oklahoma school districts and charter schools spend less than 60 percent of their funding on instruction – a minimum set by Gov. Mary Fallin last year in an executive order. But the state may find that classroom spending isn’t easy to define, and the situations districts face vary widely.
Oklahoma Watch has filed a request with all statewide candidates asking them to voluntarily disclose financial information that is typically released by federal candidates and state-level candidates in other states.