In the New Year’s weekend edition of Capitol Report for the CBS News affiliate in Oklahoma City, Patrick B. McGuigan laid out some of listing of the top state government news stories. In first place (mentioned last week), is the financial scandal at the Oklahoma Department of Health.
In second, McGuigan told News9’s Alex Cameron, is the surging state economy – allowing Treasurer Ken Miller to document good news for the state for several months, in the form of major increases in tax revenues. In this year’s listing, McGuigan had three parts for his third top story, and that is cumulative impact of mismanagement – “not to mention waste, fraud and abuse” – flowing from government’s inability to control major “cost-drivers,” Health, Corrections and Education.
The policy analyst expressed disappointment that government officials “had to work hard to avoid implementing”a bipartisan consensus supporting prison reform. In fourth place, McGuigan put Governor Mary Fallin’s shift toward the liberalism in tax policy.
The state’s fifth top story was the continuing moratorium on the death penalty, with no executions for more than two years. The sixth top state story, according to the CapitolBeatOK editor, was historic levels of turnover at the Legislature (through one death, several early retirements and a cluster of scandal-driven resignations). In seventh place, heput Democratic Party gains in recent special elections. The remainder of the top 10 can be read in detail at CapitolBeatOK.com.