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Articles written by Trevor Brown

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As Oklahoma reopens, cities shy away from enforcing restrictions

Police in some of Oklahoma's largest cities are electing to use a softer touch, rather than aggressive enforcement, with state and local business restrictions as Oklahoma gradually reopens amid the...

 
 By Trevor Brown    Local    May 8, 2020

Moments of Truth: 4 remaining scenarios for Medicaid expansion

Medicaid expansion is inching closer to reality in Oklahoma. Legislative leaders announced a budget deal Monday that includes funding to expand the state's Medicaid program and extend health coverage...

 
 By Trevor Brown    Local    April 24, 2020

Experts: Oklahoma among nation's unhealthiest states, faces heightened risks for COVID-19

It wasn't the number of patients that worried Dr. Mark Doescher the most as he made his rounds through the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City last week. The hospital was emptier...

 

Experts: Oklahoma among nation's unhealthiest states, faces heightened risks for COVID-19

It wasn't the number of patients that worried Dr. Mark Doescher the most as he made his rounds through the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City last week. The hospital was emptier... Full story

 
 By Trevor Brown    Local    April 19, 2020

Stitt sets vote on Medicaid question; How does it compare with his plan?

After years of debate and political fights, Oklahomans learned Friday when they will get to vote on a proposal to use state and federal funds to extend health-care coverage to 200,000 low-income residents. Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a proclamation Frida...

 
 By Trevor Brown    Local    March 22, 2020

Amid epidemic, new details on Stitt's health plan are released for public comment

Oklahoma Watch Oklahoma has quietly released details of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s Medicaid expansion plan, with the state’s own report saying the plan “will likely depress enrollment” by thousands of Oklahomans compared to a traditional Medical expa...

 

Will coronavirus cause Oklahoma to expand mail-in voting?

******************* Voting by Mail - Key Dates Election Last Day to Register Deadline to Request Absentee April 7: Board of Education General Elections/Special Elections March 13 5 p.m. April 1 June 30: Primary Election/ Special Elections June 5 5...

 

Exclusive: Stitt's plan would implement full Medicaid expansion as early as July

Oklahoma could implement traditional Medicaid expansion far earlier than expected. Deputy Secretary of Health and Mental Health Carter Kimble told Oklahoma Watch on Friday that Gov. Kevin Stitt is...

 

Highlights of Stitt's State of the State address, annotated

Gov. Kevin Stitt used his second State of the State speech Monday to urge lawmakers to continue his effort to transform state government and turn Oklahoma into a "top ten state." Among the most dramat...

 
 By Trevor Brown    Local    January 5, 2020

Unfinished business: Stitt, lawmakers face persistent issues in 2020

Oklahoma Watch Gov. Kevin Stitt has some big decisions to make in 2020. The Republican governor is entering his second year in office with his promise from the 2018 political campaign still defining expectations for success – to make Oklahoma a...

 
 By Trevor Brown    Local    December 6, 2019

With prison staff shortage, Oklahoma looks to hire teenagers as guards

Teenagers, fresh out of high school, could be hired to guard and oversee hardened criminals in Oklahoma’s chronically overcrowded and understaffed prisons. In a little-noticed action, the Oklahoma Board of Corrections passed a set of legislative re...

 
 By Trevor Brown    Local    October 24, 2019

As new gun law approaches, seizures of firearms in largest cities keep rising

The number of illegally used or owned guns taken off the streets in Oklahoma's two most populous cities continues to be on the rise. Data from the Oklahoma City and Tulsa police departments show gun...

 

What comes next after opioid ruling?

-Oklahoma Watch Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said there is no question Monday was a “day of reckoning” for pharmaceutical companies that helped accelerate the spread of dangerous opioids across the country. Minutes after Cleveland County...

 
 By Trevor Brown    Regional    July 5, 2019

Oklahoma air quality dips after years of steady gains

Oklahoma's air may be getting worse. The newest data from the Environmental Protection Agency shows air quality throughout much of the state was down during each of the past two years. That bucked a... Full story

 

Working in background, lawyer reaps fees in opioid case

Attorneys in the state's sprawling opioid lawsuit have bragged that they slept on cots in their offices and went through millions of pages of evidence. But one private attorney in the case, a former... Full story

 
 By Trevor Brown    Regional    April 4, 2019

Oklahoma prepares to purge thousands of inactive voters

Election officials are gearing up to remove tens of thousands of Oklahomans from the state’s voter rolls – a controversial practice voting-rights advocates say can lead to disenfranchised voters. Oklahoma is one of seven states that allow...

 

Medicaid work proposal could prove a high hurdle for ex-felons

Like many other Oklahomans who have a criminal conviction, Lena Chatmon has struggled to rebuild her life since pleading guilty to motor vehicle-related and larceny charges in 2017. Chatmon, 21, who lives in Tulsa, is unemployed and said many employe...

 

Outreach could affect rural areas

Oklahoma bucked expectations as enrollment on the federal health-care marketplace climbed to a record level for the upcoming year. Federal data released Wednesday showed about 150,000 Oklahomans signed up for health care coverage during the 45-day Af...

 
 By Trevor Brown    Regional    May 13, 2018

Hand-picked group to begin wielding powers over state agencies

A small group of unelected citizens, all appointed by Republican state leaders, will soon be exercising significant powers to decide how the state’s top agencies spend their funding and which services they should provide. Legislators and Gov. Mary...

 
 By Trevor Brown    Regional    April 8, 2018

High-earners' tax break could be key to ending teacher walkout

A controversial proposal to end a tax break that benefits fewer than 18,000 Oklahomans – the vast majority of whom make upwards of $200,000 – is at the center of the debate over how lawmakers can find more money for education and potentially end...

 

Non-Christian denominations could be shut out of House chaplain program

Faith leaders are looking for answers after a Republican legislator issued guidelines that could block a large swath of the state's religious community from leading lawmakers in prayers that kick off...

 
 By Trevor Brown    Regional    July 23, 2017

State's Obamacare waiver would assess fee on 1.7M Oklahomans

Oklahoma is preparing to unveil a $350 million plan designed to reduce health insurance premiums and avert a scenario where the state is left with no provider offering plans on the federally run marketplace. But the effort comes with a catch: The...

 

Donations, lobbying reflect influence of oil and gas industry

In recent weeks, Oklahoma's budget stood in limbo for a time as Republicans and Democrats battled over how much to raise gross production taxes on oil and gas wells. But a third party was at the...

 
 By Trevor Brown    Regional    May 4, 2017

State budget deal remains elusive after new proposals unveiled

Republican lawmakers have introduced their first big-ticket revenue bills, with a month remaining in the legislative session. But committee votes and lawmakers’ comments show it will be a tough task to find consensus – even within the Republican...

 
 By Trevor Brown    Regional    April 6, 2017

As victims' rights law makes ballot, other states grapple with pitfalls

Oklahoma House members’ unanimous vote Tuesday to put a constitutional amendment expanding crime-victims’ rights on the 2018 ballot suggests the need for it is obvious and indisputable. “Marsy’s Law,” as it is called, would amend the...

 

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