Emily Virgin | KGOU
KGOU

Emily Virgin

Oklahoma House Democrats are criticizing Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt for his response to the coronavirus and calling for the creation of a bipartisan task force.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s  administration has taken a step forward with COVID-19 transparency, but as StateImpact’s Catherine Sweeney reports, other officials continue to raise concerns.

Gov. Kevin Stitt and legislators celebrated a budget deal in the waning days of the session.
Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Multiple polls show the majority of Oklahoma voters support criminal justice reforms.

Survey data commissioned by Oklahoma Public Radio stations for the Oklahoma Engaged Project also suggest a majority of voters believe the state’s sentencing laws need to be reworked.

Oklahoma is now the number one incarcerator in the country, but only one bill targeting prison population control reached the governor’s desk this session.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin used her final state of the state address to tell lawmakers to act immediately to shore up the state’s finances.

The state faces an estimated $425 million budget shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year, while the government still does not have enough money to fund services for the current year.

“No more delaying. No more putting things off. No more kicking cans down the road. No more addressing long-term budget problems with short-term fixes,” Fallin said.

woman, women, working, women in the work place, working women
eflon / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

State Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, is pushing a bill this session designed to close the pay gap between men and women. She says women in Oklahoma make an average of just 73 percent of what their male counterparts do.

“That's not including minority women,” Virgin said. “Latina women make 55 cents on the dollar for men. And Native American women and African-American women are at 63 to 65 cents."

Provided

The House Judiciary Committee this week approved workers' compensation legislation by Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman (R-Sapulpa), but didn’t get in any hurry about it.

The novel-length bill that would move the decision on how to compensate injured workers from a court-based system to an administrative one is another step closer to being law. The hearing on the bill was delayed by two weeks while the House made changes to fix some problems in the plan.