StateImpact Oklahoma


Medical marijuana businesses say patient drives are key to access, but state lawmakers want to end it

To get a medical marijuana license in Oklahoma, patients need a recommendation from their doctor — paperwork attesting that, in their medical opinion, a patient would benefit from the drug. But what happens when there’s not a doctor in the area willing to sign off?

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Fifteen bills StateImpact is watching in the 2019 Oklahoma legislature

With a huge freshman class and a promise for less gridlock, Oklahoma lawmakers filed more than 2,800 bills this legislative session. With a third of the session now over, the StateImpact team has an update on some bills we’re following.

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Bill making some crimes retroactive would reduce prison population but could have unintended consequences

A bill in the state Legislature would make a controversial state question retroactive. As a result around hundreds of people could receive shorter prison sentences. But state prosecutors warn of unintended consequences.

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Trump plan to halt HIV hits rough road in rural Oklahoma

Experts say HIV prevention strategies that work in progressive cities like Seattle won’t necessarily work in rural Oklahoma.

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The ‘trade-ups’ and trade-offs of consolidating Oklahoma’s largest school district

Oklahoma City is growing, but student enrollment in district schools is on the decline. The distribution isn’t felt evenly, and some schools are overcrowded while others are operating at less than half capacity. District officials estimate they spend $2.4 million heating and cooling empty buildings each year.

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Years after charter school divided rural community, some see broken promises while others note academic progress

Two years ago the Oklahoma State Board of Education exercised its authority to approve a rural charter school for the first time. This decision was a contentious one. By approving the charter’s application, the state board had overturned a local board’s decision to deny it, leaving some wondering who’s really in control.

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State investigators say sexual assault kit tracking system will aid investigations, inform victims

A state agency is preparing to launch a website next month to keep tabs on forensic evidence collected after a sexual assault. A Democratic lawmaker has also proposed legislation regulating how the system should be used.

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Winter storms to heat waves, how better climate data can make us more prepared

Scientists are getting better data on the earth’s changing climate. Now there’s a push to use the information stream to help us cope with the extremes we know are coming. One leader in this is Oklahoma.

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Bills aim to add training on consent to patchwork of sex education in Oklahoma schools

Oklahoma has the third highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation and studies have shown that comprehensive sex education can help. Two bills filed in the state legislature could widen the optional curriculum without changing sex education.

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Decline in school arts programs follows funding drop, but cuts aren’t equally felt

In 2018, nearly 30 percent of Oklahoma students went to a school with no music, dance or visual art education.

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