Capitol Insider | KGOU

Capitol Insider

Fridays at 4:49 and 6:49 p.m. and Mondays at 6:50 and 8:50 a.m.
  • Hosted by Dick Pryor

A weekly feature produced by KGOU in partnership with eCapitol, an Oklahoma City-based legislative news and bill tracking service. KGOU general manager Dick Pryor talks to eCapitol news director Shawn Ashley, elected officials and newsmakers about legislative matters in the state of Oklahoma.

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Legislative Service Bureau (LSB) Photography

On Thursday, Oklahoma lawmakers completed the rush to pre-file bills and joint resolutions for the upcoming 2021 legislative session. The volume of legislation indicates we can expect an ambitious session when the legislature resumes on February 1. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss the work just ahead as ideas move toward becoming laws. 

NIAID Coronavirus Prevention Network/National Institute of Health

As the Spring 2021 school semester is beginning, Governor Kevin Stitt issued new recommendations regarding quarantining of students who have come in contact with a person who may have COVID-19. Under the new guidelines, schools are allowed to lift quarantine requirements if enforcing mandatory mask usage and social distancing unless the person in question shows symptoms of the virus.

Legislative Service Bureau (LSB) Photography

The first week of 2021 was one of the most stunning weeks in American politics. Controversies over the presidential election, special elections in Georgia that shifted the balance of power in the U.S. Senate, Electoral College confirmation of a new administration in the White House and an unprecedented ransacking of the U.S. Capitol by a riotous mob made it an historic week for the ages. Through all the turmoil, legislators in Oklahoma remained focused on preparations for the legislative session that begins on February 1st. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss how state lawmakers plan to do their work in 2021.

Sen. Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle

In Part Two of their discussion on redistricting, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley talked to the two legislative leaders tasked with completing the complicated process by the end of the 2021 legislative session.

Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond

The 2021 Oklahoma legislative session doesn't begin until February, but already members of the Senate and House of Representatives are working on one of the biggest challenges of the year: redistricting. In the first of two parts, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss how the chambers will handle redistricting with the two legislators who are spearheading the effort.

Oklahoma State Department of Health

For months, infectious disease experts have warned of a big surge in COVID-19 cases in the fall and winter. Cases and deaths have gone up dramatically across the nation and Oklahoma has seen its numbers rise, as well. With the holidays upon us, and vaccines just now reaching high-risk groups, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley asked Oklahoma's interim commissioner of health, Dr. Lance Frye, about the state's response and plan for the new year. 

As Oklahoma's coronavirus death toll passed 2,000, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported a stunning 3,900 new positive COVID-19 cases on Friday (Dec. 11, 2020). The additional cases push the state's cumulative case total to 229,353 and bring the rolling seven-day average up to 2,925. With cases surging, state officials are taking new steps to reduce the spread. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss in Capitol Insider.


In an unprecedented year for health care around the world, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority has had to adjust to serve Oklahoma's significant uninsured population. Adding to that challenge was Oklahoma voters' decision in June, through Constitutional Amendment, to require the state to expand Medicaid next year. In this week's Capitol Insider, Kevin Corbett, the chief executive officer of Oklahoma's Medicaid agency, tells KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley how the Oklahoma Health Care Authority is handling 2020 with an eye toward 2021.

Oklahoma Capitol Restoration Project

The restoration team completed exterior work on the Oklahoma State Capitol in March, and now the Capitol Restoration Project is heading into its final phase. Begun in 2015, the extensive restoration is expected to conclude next summer, after adjournment of the 2021 legislative session, and be ready for official reopening in 2022. In this Capitol Insider segment Capitol Project Manager Trait Thompson discusses recent progress and what remains to be done as the Oklahoma legislature prepares to return for its 2021 session. 

Now that they have been sworn into office, the members of Oklahoma's next legislature are focusing on getting ready for the session that begins in February. In this week's Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley talk about the work that lies ahead.

President-Elect, Oklahoma State Medical Association
Stillwater Medical

New figures from the Oklahoma State Department of Health show the rapid rise of coronavirus cases is pushing the state into new territory. Over the last five days, the state has registered 11,100 new cases, including 2,667 on Friday, November 13th. The state's trend line in November is going practically straight up and the White House Coronavirus Task Force has issued a stern warning about the direction the state is heading with winter approaching.

As results rolled in on Election Night, November 3rd, Oklahoma Republicans scored more big wins and solidified their hold on the state's politics. President Donald Trump completed another 77-county sweep, the fifth straight presidential election in which the Republican nominee won every county on his way to gaining the state's seven electoral votes. 

Unprecedented absentee mail-in and in-person voting is occurring in Oklahoma and around the nation leading up to General Election Day, November 3rd. KGOU and its Oklahoma public radio partners are planning comprehensive coverage on election night - both on-air and online. KGOU will broadcast national coverage from NPR beginning at 7:00 p.m. while simultaneously hosting a "second screen experience" online at Oklahoma results and expert analysis will be available there for engaged voters via tablet, smart phone and computer. 

Oklahoma Democratic Party

New voter registrations in 2020 show the Republican Party out-pacing the Democratic Party by a large margin in Oklahoma. The party that held a firm group on Oklahoma politics for a century now faces an uphill battle to grow its influence in what has become a deep red state. With election day nearing, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley talk to Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair Alicia Andrews about Democrats' approach to the 2020 election. 

Oklahoma GOP

Already sporting a 270,000 registered voter lead over Democrats in Oklahoma at the beginning of 2020, the state GOP has seen a big surge in registrations heading into the November 3rd General Election. KGOU's Dick Pryor and Shawn Ashley discuss that and more from the GOP perspective with Oklahoma Republican Party Chair David McLain. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

On Friday, October 9, the State Department of Health reported the largest one-day total for number of new coronavirus cases in Oklahoma - 1,524. The new number pushed the seven-day rolling average for new cases in Oklahoma to 1,075. And, statewide hospitalizations reached a record high for the second time in a week.

State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma's State Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd said she is "deeply concerned" as she announced the initial findings of a five-year audit of Oklahoma's largest school district, Epic Charter Schools. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss the report and how it might affect charter schools in Oklahoma in this Capitol Insider segment.


Mail-in absentee voting has already begun in Oklahoma's 2020 General Election. State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax discusses the procedures for voters to follow to make sure their votes count amid the coronavirus pandemic with KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley. 

In this July 9, 2020 file photo, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks during a news conference in Oklahoma City. Stitt, the first governor in the nation to test positive for the coronavirus, says he has donated plasma to help other virus patients recover.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Coronavirus again dominated news coming out of Oklahoma's state capitol, as Governor Kevin Stitt pointed to positive trends in the state and questioned data being used by the Trump Administration's Coronavirus Task Force. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss the latest on the state of Oklahoma's COVID-19 response in this week's Capitol Insider.

NIAID Coronavirus Prevention Network/National Institute of Health

Like much of the rest of the nation, Oklahoma is still trying to manage the spread of coronavirus. While deaths remain relatively low, White House metrics show the Oklahoma trend line is among the most troubling in the nation. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss the latest numbers and how COVID-19 is affecting the state's prison population.