Government & Politics

Not just Ohio: Biased language is the hot new tactic to thwart ballot measures

BY: - September 1, 2023

Abortion-rights supporters filed a lawsuit Monday against what they call “deceptive” ballot language produced by Ohio officials for the state’s closely-watched upcoming referendum on the issue. But it isn’t just the Buckeye State that’s lately seeing fierce battles over the once-obscure topic of ballot language. In recent weeks, officials in Missouri — where another abortion-rights […]

Four people stand in front of security gates above which there is a sign welcoming people to the rodeo

Oklahoma corrections department aims to revive state’s prison rodeo in McAlester

BY: - August 31, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s corrections director is backing a $9.3 million effort to revive the state’s prison rodeo, an event that was once among the largest in the nation, drawing thousands of spectators to McAlester every year. Although rodeo fans have long advocated for the state to re-launch the event that was stopped in 2010 […]

A blond man in a navy blue suit jacket is pictured from behind while sitting in a chair at the head of a long wooden table.

Former Norman teacher who shared link to banned books still in license limbo

BY: - August 31, 2023

The future of a former Norman High School educator’s teaching license remains unresolved after an attempt to revoke it never came before the state’s top school board in August. The Oklahoma State Board of Education was expected to consider revoking Summer Boismier’s teaching license at its meeting. That’s despite a finding from an assistant attorney […]

Campus food pantries are seeing greater demand — and more state dollars

BY: - August 31, 2023

SOUTH BRONX, New York City — In the South Bronx, one of the nation’s poorest communities, Hostos Community College has long positioned itself as an educational pathway out of poverty. But to make that journey, many Hostos students must contend with more than their schoolwork. Without the school’s child care center, students who are single […]

New law seeks to maximize investment yields, Oklahoma officials say

BY: - August 31, 2023

Oklahoma city and county governments will have the ability to pool their investments when a new law takes effect later this year.  House Bill 2538 allows cities and counties to combine funds to increase the potential for higher yields on investments, said Rep. Mark Lepak, R-Claremore, co-author of the bill. “You’ve got a bigger bulk […]

Harm of anti-LGBTQ laws includes economic pain for communities, families

BY: - August 30, 2023

Roberto Che Espinoza had been thinking about leaving Tennessee after the 2024 election, but in June they noticed that the state attorney general was seeking medical records on gender-affirming medical care, which Espinoza, a nonbinary transgender man, said included their own records. “Being on any kind of list … I knew after the release of […]

Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks from the head of a conference table. (Carmen Forman/Oklahoma Voice)

At odds with the tribes, Stitt stripped of power over Native American education council

BY: - August 30, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma lawmakers curtailed Gov. Kevin Stitt’s influence over a board devoted to Native American education as the state’s chief executive continues to feud with tribal leaders.  Lawmakers stripped Stitt of eight of his nine appointments to the Oklahoma Advisory Council on Indian Education — a lesser known state board that could play […]

Affordable housing investment falls short in Oklahoma, report shows

BY: - August 30, 2023

Oklahoma lawmakers’ investment in affordable housing programs isn’t enough to keep up with rising demand, low wages and a shortage of homes, according to a legislative watchdog’s analysis. While lawmakers recently appropriated $215 million to boost supply, the Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency (LOFT) found that lawmakers have not made regular appropriations to the Oklahoma […]

A medical bed with straps is pictured in a Texas execution chamber

Oklahoma to continue lethal injections as Alabama eyes nitrogen gas executions

BY: - August 30, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma prison officials are watching closely as Alabama attempts to become the first state to use  nitrogen hypoxia to carry out an execution. Steven Harpe, Department of Corrections director, said in an interview that he’s open to the alternate method, but he’d like to see nitrogen hypoxia used in a series of […]

Oklahoma Ethics Commission seeks new executive director after Kemp resigns citing poor resources

BY: - August 30, 2023

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission is searching for a new executive director after the current agency head announced she will resign by the end of the year due to a lack of state funding.  In tendering her resignation, Director Ashley Kemp accused legislators of underfunding her state agency, which she said made it difficult to enforce […]

A closeup shot of the flashing red lights of an ambulance

Officials respond to shooting at high school football game with few concrete ideas

BY: - August 29, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY – A loud pop of gunshots rang from the visitor’s side of the Choctaw High School football stadium. The screams of a terrified crowd followed as people fled or dropped to the ground. The shooting at the Choctaw-Del City football game Friday left a 16-year-old student dead and two other people wounded. Two […]

A woman holding a banner for a local missing and murdered Indigenous persons group stands in front of the Oklahoma state Capitol.

Oklahoma law to tackle missing, murdered Indigenous crisis remains unfunded

BY: - August 29, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY — Two years after Oklahoma lawmakers passed bipartisan legislation to address the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people, a state law enforcement entity has not secured federal funding to carry out the new law. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, in following the law, has appointed an agent to tackle these cases. […]