Columns/Opinions

Tue
23
May

Savvy Senior

By Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior,

Can you tell me how to go about replacing important lost documents? My wife and I recently downsized to a retirement community, and somewhere in the move we lost our Social Security and Medicare cards, birth certificates, marriage license and passports.

Worried Ron

Dear Ron,

Replacing important documents that are lost, stolen or damaged is pretty easy if you know where to turn. Here are the replacement resources for each document you mentioned, along with some tips to protect you from identity theft, which can happen if your documents end up in the wrong hands.

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Tue
23
May

House Report

By State Representative Todd Russ

We are in uncharted waters at the state Capitol. By law, we cannot hear revenue bills (bills that raise money) the last five days of a regular session.

We can still hear appropriations’ bills (bills that give money). Because we are in the final week of the regular session, we cannot raise any revenue unless the governor calls a special session or unless 2/3 of both the House and the Senate vote for one.

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Tue
16
May

House Report

By State Representative Todd Russ

It’s the final two weeks of the legislative session and all eyes continue to be on the state budget. One surprise proposal to help fill the state’s budget gap is House Bill 2376.

This measure would allow modifications to Class 3 gambling already played at tribal casinos. The modifications would allow a ball and dice to be used for games such as roulette and craps.

From what I’m told, right now those games are only allowed with cards to determine the odds.

 

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Tue
16
May

Rural Healthcare Realities

By Landon Hise

Unintended consequences can do the most damage.

Our legislators are on the verge of harming state healthcare— and the state itself—by harming higher education. Again.

The last two state budgets have been extremely hard on higher education in general and Southwestern Oklahoma State University in particular.

 

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Tue
09
May

House Report

By State Representative Todd Russ

We have three weeks to go in the House, and all eyes are on the state budget.

We have a budget gap of $878 million from what was appropriated last year.

Here are the options:

Leave the gap and let state agencies continue to find efficiencies and cut waste, keeping in mind some agencies have absorbed previous large cuts;

Fill most of the gap with savings already implemented by reducing tax incentives, exemptions and deductions and by using money available through various revolving funds;

Raise revenue to fill the gaps. One measure passed by the Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget would increase revenue in three ways:

Increase the price of tax on a pack of cigarettes, by $1.50, bringing about $215 million for healthcare and to help discourage new smokers.

 

Tue
09
May

A Word From The Superintendent

By Brad Overton

With only one week remaining in the school year, there is a hectic pace of school activities coupled with the end of the year tests. This all makes for busy times within our school system.

The past couple of weeks have seen some great successes for some of our students and programs.

Last week Megan Brown became the first state champion in golf for Cordell Schools. Megan won by ten strokes over the field.

Megan battled through tough conditions on both days to grind out the victory. Congratulations Megan, we are proud of you!

 

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Tue
02
May

Working Hard for Oklahoma

By Governor Mary Fallin

April is science and technology month in Oklahoma. What a great time to highlight the emerging computer science scene that is shaping our economy and driving our future.

In Oklahoma, our emerging software community has taken on a life of its own. These are coding professionals who know programming languages with names like C++, Perl, Ruby, Elixir, Python or Javascript.

Colleges, universities and technology centers across the state offer classes and postsecondary degree programs in computer science; software development is part of the curriculum.

 

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Tue
02
May

House Report

By State Representative Todd Russ

Last week at the Capitol was a long one. Thursday was another deadline for the House to hear the remainder of the Senate bills and the same for House bills on the Senate side.

A significant part of the week was the fact that the Senate didn’t hear our teacher pay raise bill.

The Senate chose not to hear the bill because we are down nearly $900 million dollars for next year’s budget, and we did not have a dedicated funding stream identified for all three years of the pay raise.

 

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Tue
25
Apr

Savvy Senior

By Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior,

Can you explain how Medicare covers physical therapy services? I’m a new beneficiary, and would like to get some treatments for my back.

Need Help Dear Need,

Medicare covers a variety of outpatient therapy services including physical, occupational and speech therapy, if you meet their coverage criteria. Here’s how it works.

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Tue
25
Apr

A Word From The Superintendent

By Brad Overton

The school year is quickly coming to a close. We only have about three weeks until summer break.

The close of the school year brings about a full schedule of banquets and events that highlight the accomplishments of the school year.

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