To better serve our loyal readers, OKAgPolicy Today will become a weekly e-newsletter update beginning next week. The new format will include top headlines from the week along with video updates and more. Stay tuned for this exciting new tool!
Let cities use property tax to pay for public safety costs (opinion):
It is time that cities are allowed to ask their citizens to support public safety with property taxes, as we do for public health, public libraries, and public schools. Oklahoma is the only state in the nation where cities are not permitted to do so [Tulsa World].
EPA staff to prepare for Trump executive orders:
Staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have been told that President Donald Trump is preparing a handful of executive orders to reshape the agency, to be signed once a new administrator is confirmed. Trump’s pick to run the EPA, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, is scheduled to face a Senate confirmation vote on Friday [Reuters].
Puzder withdraws as Labor Secretary nominee:
Dogged by charges that he had employed an undocumented immigrant as a housekeeper, his stance on immigration and other issues, Andy Puzder withdrew his nomination to be Secretary of Labor today [Agri-Pulse].
Endangered Species Act needs fixing, not scrapping: witnesses:
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee heard from a variety of witnesses on Wednesday that the Endangered Species Act, now more than 40 years old, still provides an important function, but agreed it needs to be modernized [Agri-Pulse].
Farm bill is for bad times, Lucas says:
“We don’t do farm bills for the good times but to address the bad times. If the folks on the farm can’t produce the food and fiber, it’s not going to be on the shelf in the store” [Rep. Frank Lucas].
How liberals undermine the food stamp program:
In 2016, $13.2 billion out of the $66 billion SNAP program funded junk food. Numbers like these cry out for common-sense reform: a prohibition on the use of SNAP benefits to buy sodas and, if possible, other nutritionally empty products [Washington Post].
More funding needed to ensure safer dams in OK:
Oklahoma dams aren’t being maintained or rehabilitated like they should because of state budget cuts. That’s the word from the State Conservation Commission executive director [News 9].
Senate passes six teacher pay raise bills:
State officials expect to have $868 million less to spend in crafting the fiscal year 2018 budget, but legislative leaders have said increasing teacher pay is a priority [Tulsa World].