• Education important if Oklahoma poverty statistics are to improve

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, May 19, 2015

    Too many Oklahoma children are trapped

  • Foreign invaders taking root on Oklahoma soil

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, May 19, 2015

    Invasive plant species can be a problem

  • Rhetoric aside, discussion about civil asset forfeiture is worth having

    The Oklahoman editorial | Published: Mon, May 18, 2015

    Oklahoma lawmaker looking to protect citizens’ rights

  • PETA response to Oklahoma cat video overblown

    The Oklahoma Editorial | Published: Mon, May 18, 2015

    WE agree with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that it’s in poor taste to make a video of dead cats “dancing,” as some Oklahoma City high schoolers did. But it’s just as bad, if not worse, to demand a state investigation of and significant instructional changes at an award-winning school simply because some kids acted juvenile. At some point a video, made in an anatomy class at Harding Charter Preparatory High School in fall 2013, was posted recently on Facebook. It showed several Harding students using dead cats destined for dissection for a choreographed “dance” to a cat food jingle. PETA wrote to the school to object. By that time, most of the students involved had graduated.

  • Declining Christian numbers in Oklahoma, elsewhere no cause for celebration

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, May 17, 2015

    THE Pew Research Center reports that the share of Americans describing themselves as Christian is declining while the share of atheist/agnostics/“nones” is increasing. This is being touted as a sign of progress by those opposed to organized religion. In reality, it’s cause for concern. Obviously, not everyone who calls themselves a Christian is an ideal citizen, nor does professing atheism mean a person will be a bad neighbor. But there’s no denying that people genuinely devoted to a religion emphasizing love for others, denial of self, and belief that one answers to a higher power have generated far more societal improvement than what’s been rendered by those pursuing a self-directed “do whatever makes you feel good”

  • 'Small' Oklahoma budget items merit scrutiny

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, May 17, 2015

    WHILE working to address a $611 million shortfall, state budget writers would do well to consider the recommendations of the free-market Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. Many of its recommendations appear entirely sensible — which probably means most will be ignored. Nonetheless, OCPA has done a public service by identifying some state spending practices that should be reconsidered, particularly in a down year. To take just one example, the Oklahoma City Zoo is nationally recognized as among the best in the country. It has achieved that distinction without a state subsidy. The Tulsa Zoo also survives without a state subsidy.

  • Oklahoma ScissorTales: Well-deserved recognition for E. Melvin Porter, Oklahoma's first black state senator

    The Oklahoman Editorials | Published: Sat, May 16, 2015

    IT’S one thing to learn history from a textbook, and something else entirely to learn it from someone who lived through it. E. Melvin Porter is someone who can provide the latter. In 1956, Porter was a member of the first class at Vanderbilt University Law School that included black students. That was not the last time Porter was on hand for a major part of the civil rights struggle. After graduating, Porter went on to become president of the Oklahoma City chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1961. In that role, he provided legal services and also participated in sit-ins and boycotts with Clara Luper and other NAACP members.

  • Oklahoma Indian museum legislation making its way through Legislature

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, May 15, 2015

    IT’S not difficult to see why Oklahoma City Manager Jim Couch didn’t exactly turn cartwheels on learning the details of legislation to complete the long-delayed American Indian Cultural Center and Museum. Lawmakers are considering the bill, which was unveiled late last week by House Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview. We appreciate Hickman’s attempt to get this project off high center and closer to completion, but share some of Couch’s concerns. Under House Bill 2237, the state would use $25 million in bonds as final payment on the museum. To date, the state has spent $64.7 million on the AICCM, which had a price tag of $110 million in 2003 but now is in the range of $170 million.

  • No single solution to hospitals' financial, service challenges

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, May 15, 2015

    PASSAGE of the Affordable Care Act, combined with other longstanding trends, has left many hospitals on precarious financial footing. Some will almost certainly close, including in Oklahoma. The good news is this doesn’t necessarily mean worse overall health outcomes for people in surrounding communities, according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. The Harvard study, which examined 195 hospital closures between 2003 and 2011, reviewed health experiences in the year before and the year after a hospital closed its doors. Researchers found death rates for those on Medicare were no different in areas where hospitals closed than in areas where hospital access was unchanged. This was true for those who were

  • No need to water down government contract bid guidelines

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, May 14, 2015

    Oklahoma Gov. Fallin was right to veto bill

  • State agencies, energy companies taking reasonable approach to Oklahoma quakes

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, May 14, 2015

    Drilling moratorium isn’t the answer

  • Washington Examiner: Where the tax cheats are

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Wed, May 13, 2015

    PERHAPS it comes as no surprise that Internal Revenue Service officials have not been held to account for their role in targeting conservative nonprofit applicants. Perhaps the multiple deceptions involved in that scandal — including the concealment of retrievable emails — just offers another example of what Americans have come to expect from the federal bureaucracy. That IRS malingering deliberately made this year’s tax filing season harder for taxpayers should surely add to this same impression. So should the fact that many IRS employees are behind in paying their own taxes — there were 18,300 cases of this in the last 10 years, in an agency with roughly 85,000 employees. But it’s actually much worse than that.

  • Logic behind using bond issues applies to more than just one Oklahoma proposal

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, May 13, 2015

    PROPONENTS of a pop culture museum in Tulsa say it can be financed without “new” bond debt. There’s truth to that claim, but the same thing can be said about many bond proposals. If bond financing is acceptable for one project, there’s no reason to reject it for other legitimate needs. Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, wants to provide funding for the Tulsa museum, called OKPOP. In a nutshell, the Oklahoma Historical Society would issue new bonds as existing bonds are paid off. Bonds issued in 1999 to build the Oklahoma History Center are scheduled to be retired in 2018. Thus, there would be no “new” debt accrued by the OKPOP project, simply a continuation of existing levels.

  • Raiding Oklahoma teacher pensions would be a bad idea

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, May 12, 2015

    Idea has been floated at Legislature

  • OSU grads received sound advice from Sen. James Lankford

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, May 12, 2015

    Work with others, love your country

  • Fiscal policy should be designed to cover fat times and lean times

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, May 11, 2015

    IF Oklahoma’s economy is “thriving,” as two economists noted recently, how can gross production receipts be down? Why does a group of (mostly) liberal-leaning citizens want to prevent the next personal income tax cut? What’s “thriving” about energy companies’ big losses in the first quarter? Reminds us of the quip about how professional economists successfully predicted nine of the last five recessions. But this is no joking matter. Economic analysis is complex. An economy can be “thriving” even if some metrics indicate otherwise. Finally, tax policy by and large should never be situational.

  • Are misconceptions fueling bad policy?

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, May 11, 2015

    ONE problem with laws based on feel-good goals rather than concrete analysis is their results can leave much to be desired. This in turn can prompt countermeasures that are just as poorly conceived. Efforts to mandate the sizes of chicken cages illustrate the problem. California now requires that eggs come from facilities where hens have sufficient space to lie down, turn around and extend their wings. That law wasn’t driven by food safety or environmental concerns, but by purported animal welfare benefit. Many hens are housed in cages measuring about 67 square inches in size. So California producers are shifting to either larger cages or cage-free facilities.

  • Oklahoma making small but welcome steps in criminal justice reform

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, May 10, 2015

    TO expect sweeping criminal justice reform in Oklahoma is asking too much. We saw evidence of that a few years ago when a reform bill was approved with great fanfare, only to see implementation essentially screech to a halt as soon as the law’s champion left the Legislature due to term limits. Yet this session has produced some progress in this important arena, a few signs that the Republicans who control both chambers of the Legislature are beginning to realize that fiscally and morally, the status quo on corrections can’t continue. This progress deserves mention. Last week Gov.

  • Lawsuit against Oklahoma scholarship program defies logic

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, May 10, 2015

    We hope the individuals challenging an Oklahoma scholarship program for children with special needs are double-jointed. If not, all the contortions they’re going through to justify their lawsuit could do permanent damage. The Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program Act provides state funds for children with special needs to attend private school if they aren’t being properly served in public schools.

  • Oklahoma ScissorTales: State court website is worth protecting

    The Oklahoman editorials | Published: Sat, May 9, 2015

    THE website oscn.net is a treasure trove of legal information that’s viewed more than half a million times a day by attorneys, judges, media and the general public. It’s also in danger of going out of existence due to dwindling funds. The website is paid for through a $25 fee assessed in all civil cases. Those fees generated nearly $15 million in fiscal year 2014 — money that’s also used to pay for judges’ information technology. Last year, the Legislature siphoned $10 million away from the IT fund to use it for other court operations. The IT fund has about $23 million in it, but lawmakers — wrestling with a $611 million budget shortfall — are considering taking all but $1 million of that for other court