Podcast

Capitol Watch Episode 133 The federal government shut down last week and host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy go over how a shutdown is not necessarily a shutdown. But there are certain government functions being stopped which are causing problems for Oklahomans. The final House interim study on the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) was held last week and included a presentation by OSSAA Executive Director Ed Sheakley. His talk did not dissuade several lawmakers from saying they intend to introduce bills for next year that will change the organization that oversees high school athletics. (Recorded 04-October-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 132 Is there any wiggle room in the Governor's position opposing any expansion of Medicaid? Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy parse some recent statements on the issue to find the answer. Some lawmakers are not happy with the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) which oversees high school athletics. They are taking the private group to task in a series of interim studies which could lead to bills being proposed to change how the sports are controlled. (Recorded 26-September-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 131 A new study is out claiming Oklahoma has seen the biggest education spending cuts in the nation, but host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy explain how the figures don't include all the money spent on education in the state. According to State Insurance Commissioner John Doak, the reforms to the states Worker's Compensation system should result in cost reductions of nearly 15% that could result in lower premiums. And the August receipts to the General Fund were way below estimates, but officials aren't panicking. (Recorded 13-September-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 130 The special session was short and sweet, as promised by lawmakers. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy go over what happened during the session and why it was deemed important. The State Insurance Commissioner has concerns about health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act. And some local labor leaders are responding to their national counterparts who want to see some changes in the sweeping federal health care laws. (Recorded 13-September-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 129 Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy have Higher Education on their minds. Rogers State University just got a federal economic development grant at a time when its student loan default rate is higher than its graduation rate. New statistics compiled by the Chronicle of Higher Education seem to indicate Oklahoma has more public colleges and universities than it needs. Plus the special session starts on Tuesday and it looks like lawmakers will have 30 or more bills to deal with on the subject of tort reform. (Recorded 30-August-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 128  Details are coming out about the upcoming special legislative session. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy discuss why it could take a couple dozen bills and two weeks or so to pass lawsuit reform measures that were struck down by the State Supreme Court when they were all in the same bill. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is appealing a federal court ruling on regional haze in an effort to curb rules set by the EPA. And former State Representative Odilia Dank is remembered for her perseverance and dedication to the cause of education reform and other conservative issues. (Recorded 23-August-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 127  The date has been set for the start of the special session of the Legislature and host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy go over the sole topic of the session and how it can be handled in the shortest time possible. Oklahoma has a higher-than-average error rate in its SNAP benefits system (what used to be known as food stamps) that is leading to millions in federal funds being spent where it shouldn't be. The Department of Human Services has been operating without any citizen oversight for nearly a year, but that ended last week with the first meeting of the Citizen Advisory panels. And finally, Governor Fallin has appointed a new cabinet secretary to oversee energy and environmental issues. (Recorded 16-August-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 126  The way politics is covered in Oklahoma is changing. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy talk about how the journalism landscape has evolved and who is filling in the holes. A Republican state representative with a history of challenging leadership has created a website critical of House Speaker T.W. Shannon. That discussion then leads to some speculation about the future political careers of Shannon and others. (Recorded 09-August-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 125  Another court challenge of the Federal government by Oklahoma is in the news, this time against an Environmental Protection Agency ruling on regional haze. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy explain how the latest ruling by a federal court did not turn out like other recent high profile cases and where the state goes from here. A state agency changed its website - slightly - after it was pointed out that it appears to endorse pseudoscience. Did the change go far enough? Finally, other states seem to be using cost-benefit analysis better than Oklahoma is. (Recorded 31-July-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 124  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy go over some recent events in the push to overturn parts of the federal health care plan in the courts. Hobby Lobby won an injunction against penalties while its case proceeds and Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been getting national attention for his efforts to challenge it in court. Governor Fallin's budget negotiator is sending up a trial balloon about some energy tax credits which could signal a shift in policy. (Recorded 19-July-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 123  It hasn't even been two months since Sine Die, but the talk at the Capitol these days is about a special session. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy explain who is behind the move and what issues could be tackled. Governor Fallin has made some changes to the look of her Cabinet of advisers following some resignations. They include combining some of the positions which is concerning to those who deal with those issues. (Recorded 19-July-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 122  Oklahoma has become the reddest state in the nation over the last couple decades, but has the Republican "brand" peaked? Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy go over some of the history and the future of the Republican Party in a state that had been controlled by Democrats for much of its first 100-years. Eight of the state's colleges and universities are on a list they'd rather not be: they have higher student loan default rates than graduation rates. Plus one lawmaker has some questions you can ask to see if your elected officials have been "co-opted." (Recorded 05-July-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 121  Happy Independence Day! Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy talk a little bit about the Founding Fathers and their principles that led to the country we have today. Plus, is it a good idea for Tulsa - or any city, really - to bid on the Olympic games? At least one person thinks so, but Tulsa leaders seem to be distancing themselves from him. (Recorded 05-July-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 120  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy go through some of the news from a busy week. With the release of a study on how Oklahoma should modify its Medicaid system comes a poll showing that Oklahomans are not in favor of expansion, especially without first addressing waste, fraud and abuse in the system. Challenges to the Master Lease program which allows higher education institutions to bond for projects were heard last week. There was a focus on the Medical Examiner's office project for the UCO campus, but one attorney wants the whole system scrapped. And the resignation of a college president is yet another example of the importance of boards providing proper oversight for taxpayer dollars. (Recorded 28-June-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 119  The director of the Department of Corrections is stepping down. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy go over some of the reasons he gave and what it means to the future of the criminal justice reinvestment plan. Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent is challenging another law before the State Supreme Court, this time over the Master Lease program that allows state colleges and universities to issue bonds. Speaking of higher education, the University of Oklahoma is not raising tuition this year, but its plan to move to a flat rate could end up being an increase for some students. (Recorded 21-June-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 118  Oklahoma beat Texas 9-0 last week, but it was in the U.S. Supreme Court, not on the playing field. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy talk about the unanimous verdict in the court which allows Oklahoma to keep its water rather than diverting some to be used in north Texas. Oklahoma is looked at as solidly Republican these days, but it wasn't always that way. How it changed and the speed of that change is getting notice nationally. (Recorded 14-June-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 117  Pension reform is already being talked about as a top issue for next session. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy explain how they came to that conclusion. The State Supreme Court made a ruling last week that invalidated the tort reform law passed in 2011 and could indicate how they might rule on a lawsuit filed over the tax cut and capitol repairs bill signed into law this year. (Recorded 07-June-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 116  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy Look at the grades lawmakers gave themselves for this session. President Obama made a stop in Oklahoma last week to tour the tornado destruction, Pat got some national recognition and the gang talks about what they will be looking at during the interim. (Recorded 31-May-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 115  The Legislature has adjourned Sine Die! Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy go over some of the highlights of the session and give preliminary grades. Suffice to say they are harder graders than Governor Fallin who gave lawmakers an A. And while there was a big success this session, it will forever be remembered for the devastating F-5 tornado that hit Moore and how lawmakers quickly acted in a spirit of bipartisanship to help those dealing with the aftermath. (Recorded 28-May-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 114  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy explain how nothing is dead in the Legislature until Sine Die, including plans to fund the American Indian Cultural Center and the POPS Museum. Bills that would give $40-million to each facility have passed a Senate committee but face an uncertain future in the last week of session. Governor Fallin issued two vetoes recently which have some Republicans scratching their heads and others calling for an override attempt. (Recorded 17-May-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 113  Oklahoma got bad news Thursday when the federal government refused its waiver request which would have kept the Insure Oklahoma program going past the end of the year. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy talk about what that means for the state and the businesses and people that depend on it. The House passed the state budget late last week, but not without a little controversy; both in what the budget left out and how the vote went down. (Recorded 09-May-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 112  Governor Fallin and legislative leaders have reached a budget agreement. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy go over some of the figures. By delaying the tax cut until 2015, the FY2014 budget will have more than $250-million more to spend than in the current year. But despite that, two public safety areas received little or no extra funds: the Department of Corrections and the Department of Public Safety. Medicaid expansion is still an issue at the State Capitol so some of the members are on the record about where they stand on the use of federal funds for that. (Recorded 03-May-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 111  Governor Fallin and legislative leaders have agreed on three major policy points: Worker's Compensation reform, improvements to the State Capitol building and an income tax cut.  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy discuss all three parts and whether they are all what they are cracked up to be. The income tax cut is modest and doesn't take effect until 2015, but the Worker's Comp reform is a big deal. And paying for Capitol improvements without bonds could be a solution everyone can get on board with. (Recorded 26-April-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 110  During a week where national news took center stage, host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy still kept an eye on what was going on in the state. A new study shows higher education gives a lot of bang for the buck, but are the numbers as they appear? The words of one lawmaker on the House Floor caused controversy that led to an apology and also overshadowed the bill being discussed which will have a big impact on Oklahoma consumers. And, as usual, we're playing the waiting game when it comes to tax cuts and a state budget. (Recorded 19-April-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 109  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy discuss the tax cut situation. Will there be one this year? Or will differences between Senate and House leadership result in a stalemate like last year? The House finally passed its version of Worker's Compensation reform out of committee. And there seems to be an agreement to fund the start of renovations to the State Capitol. A bond won't be needed, but will lawmakers spend $2-million on a comprehensive study of what needs to be fixed? (Recorded 11-April-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 108  Medicaid expansion is a hot topic at the Capitol. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy talk about how before you go forward, it helps to look at where you've been; and how looking at other states helps as well. House members have been having a difficult time starting sessions on time the past two weeks because not enough of them are there for Roll Call. (Recorded 05-April-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 107  A bill to reform the state's Worker's Compensation system was supposed to be heard in committee this coming week, but has been put off until April 9th. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy explain why the delay is happening and why it's a good move by House Judiciary committee Chair Leslie Osborn. Oklahoma has made a big leap forward in a study of the freest states in the country to a lofty Top 5 position. The move comes at the same time that Republicans took control of the legislature, but a Democratic governor gets some credit as well. (Recorded 28-March-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 106  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy aren't on Spring Break, they are still talking about what's going on at the Capitol! A plan to cut taxes has gained the endorsement of the State Chamber which gives the idea a boost. But the House and Senate have different ideas for cutting taxes and those kinds of differences prevented a tax cut from being passed last year. Pension reform remains on the agenda for lawmakers with bills making their way through the process to help reduce the liabilities, especially for the firefighter pension system. Finally, issues like horse slaughtering plants and raises for state workers are discussed. (Recorded 22-March-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 105  The first Deadline Week at the State Capitol has passed and host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy talk about some of the big bills that passed, some of the ones that didn't and an incident that led to an apology on the House Floor. Then talk turns to two separate stories where Oklahoma County DA David Prater was involved. In the first, he charged every member of the state's Pardon and Parole Board with violating the Open Meeting Act, leading to a press release by Governor Fallin. In the second, Prater and former House Speaker Kris Steele both resigned from the board overseeing implementation of the Justice Reinvestment Act. What does the future now hold for its implementation?  (Recorded 15-March-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 104  It was a busy week at the State Capitol, especially in the House which voted on over 100 measures. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy explain why this coming week will be even longer even with slightly fewer bills left to be heard before Thursday's deadline. Sequestration has begun, but life in Oklahoma doesn't seem all that different and some are speculating that cuts are being made in more visible areas to try to get public support for a quick resolution to the federal budget. Plus, there is a video going around that has some Second Amendment supporters very happy. (Recorded 08-March-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 103  Medicaid expansion is a big topic of discussion around the country and host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy go over some of the Medicaid cost figures since 1995. It's probably not a surprise that the state has spent more on Medicaid for 16-straight years. Then it's an update on one of the big legislative accomplishments from last year: the criminal justice reinvestment law that aims to slow the increase in the state's prison population. (Recorded 01-March-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 102  Governor Fallin wants to turn a setback in the legislature into a victory at the polls. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy explain what that might mean for smokers in Oklahoma and the bars and restaurants that spent money creating special rooms for them. The House and Senate both passed bills this week that would allow horse slaughtering facilities to be built and the gang explains how an animal rights group found out the hard way about the law of unintended consequences. Plus, work on the budget can begin in earnest now that revenue estimates have been finalized. (Recorded 21-February-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 101  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy talk about a few more pension reform bills making their way through the legislative process and then discuss a notable increase in the amount of antiquated legislation lawmakers are trying to take off the books. And then the discussion turns to some interesting phrasing being used by lawmakers in discussions about unemployment benefits. (Recorded 15-February-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 100!  Hard to believe, but we've reached the 100 podcast milestone! Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy take a moment to reflect on the occasion and then dive into the topics. The first week of session has not had the split in the Republican caucus that marked the start of the last two sessions. Is it a sign of good leadership or just a prolonged honeymoon? The State of the State address had some surprises, mainly for what was not in it, much like her budget proposal. Finally, the budget talk leads to plans for tax cuts. It's on everyone's agenda again, but will it happen this year? (Recorded 08-February-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 99  It's that time of year again! The legislative session is about to start and host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy first discuss some of the budget requests agencies are making to lawmakers. Most want more, but a few are happy with the same amount as last year and one state official is even requesting less money. The leaders of the House and Senate have each outlined their priorities for the session and there are a few similarities. and finally, could the state be facing another legal challenge over some bonds? (Recorded 01-February-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 98  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy go over some of the issues of the week including the work of State Auditor Gary Jones who has been uncovering quite a bit of apparent waste, fraud and abuse in state and local governments in Oklahoma. Lawmakers have begun the process of reviewing state agencies and getting their budget requests ahead of the legislative session. Most agencies are requesting more tax dollars, although there are a few exceptions. And it appears that even some conservative Republicans are talking about pay raises for state workers this session. (Recorded 25-January-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 97  The bills are in! Over two-thousand bills have been filed for the upcoming legislative session and host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy talk about a couple that stand out so far. A state office holder is taking over the law practice of someone coming in to lead a state agency. And voter registration numbers continue to show the gap between Democrats and Republicans shrinking in the state after decades of Democrat dominance. (Recorded 18-January-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 96  The House and Senate have "organized," electing leadership in preparation for the upcoming session. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy discuss that and the Senate's rules for the next two years which, unfortunately, don't change the conference committee process to a more transparent system like the House operates. Also, Governor Mary Fallin went to Washington to speak on behalf of her fellow governors and a former Senate Leader learned his fate in court. (Recorded 09-January-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 95  The new year brings with it worries about the fiscal cliff. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy talk about what happened in Washington and how one Oklahoma congressman voted against leadership. Oklahoma lawmakers will make official the vote for House Speaker and Senate President Pro Tem during Organization Day and the state's economy seems to be doing well, but what happens in Washington could have a big impact on that. (Recorded 04-January-2013)

Capitol Watch Episode 94  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy take a look back at 2012 for some of the top stories in state politics. It was certainly a busy year, but the biggest story may have been something that didn't happen, even though many people thought it would. Listen and see if you agree with their list of top stories! (Recorded 21-December-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 93  Tis the season for giving and host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy explain how lawmakers can give more to state agencies, thanks to projected increases in revenue. But there is a Grinch waiting in the wings in the form of the "fiscal cliff" that Congress and the President have not diverted the country from. The discussion then moves to the passing of Robert Bork, the last U.S. Supreme Court nominee to fail a vote in the U.S. Senate. And while the 2014 election is still nearly two years away, one statewide elected official already has an opponent throwing her hat into the ring. (Recorded 21-December-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 92  You're more likely to connect with your state senator through social media than your state representative and host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy talk about the numbers and how social media use seems to be growing among elected officials. Then, Michigan is joining the ranks of the right-to-work states and some perspective on a decade of experience in Oklahoma is in order. (Recorded 14-December-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 91  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy first discuss Governor Fallin's trip to Washington, D.C., as part of the delegation of governors who talked with President Obama about the fiscal cliff and other economic issues. The talk then moves to the State Supreme Court, which ruled against two recent abortion bills that passed the legislature, and the question of who is the scariest person of 2012. (Recorded 07-December-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 90  Governor Mary Fallin isn't in a giving mood when it comes to emails that may shed light on her decision to not expand Medicaid or set up a state-run health insurance exchange. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy talk about her decision to not release the information, even though it appears to be subject to the Open Records Act. Then the discussion moves to our schools and how it's determined if they are safe. And if they aren't, should parents have the ability to send them elsewhere? (Recorded 30-November-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 89  Thanksgiving is over, the shopping season is in full force and CapitolWatch is not giving you leftovers! Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy look first at what Governor Mary Fallin's priorities should be for the upcoming legislative session. It's a record Republican majority in both houses, so there's no better time to actually get big ideas passed. Your mind might be out of campaign mode, but its likely there will be an important election for you in February. The thought of moving school board elections is opposed by the Oklahoma State School Boards Association, but might it both make sense and save money? (Recorded 16-November-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 88  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy talk about transparency in the legislature in light of an interim study before the Senate Rules committee last week. While improvements are being made, there are still some important exemptions and rule changes that need to be dealt with to make state government more open to the people it serves. And then the gang talks about another revenue report giving good news to the state. But it comes with some caveats because of what is going on with the nation's economy and the federal budget situation. (Recorded 16-November-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 87  The election is over and host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy discuss how the aftermath will affect Oklahoma politics. Plus, the State Supreme Court heard arguments on bonds to improve the Zink Dam in Tulsa and a State Senator was one of those appearing before the court opposing the issue. (Recorded 09-November-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 86  When you vote on Tuesday, you will see six state questions on the ballot along with the presidential and other contests. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy go over each one and give some of the pros and cons to help you make up your mind. The questions run the gamut from property tax policy to the parole process and changing the way the Department of Human Services is run. Speaking of DHS, in what may have been the last meeting of the Human Services Commission, a couple big decisions were made about homes for those with severe disabilities and a report on 131 child deaths. (Recorded 02-November-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 85  The State Board of Education approved the release of report cards on every public school in the state and also a budget proposal for next year. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy talk about the impact of the report cards and how much more the State Department of Education is asking for. An Oklahoma company is the latest to challenge provisions of the federal health care law and the Hobby Lobby case is set to go before a federal judge this week. And finally, another look at the presidential race. Could it be another case of a difference between the Electoral College and the popular vote? (Recorded 25-October-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 84  The Governor's role in the pardon and parole process is the subject of a state question on the ballot next month and host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy have the details on what it would do, where the governor stands on the issue and how that stance has changed. The Native American Cultural center is the subject of a state audit and the report confirms many of the worst fears: a vision that exceeded the funding with inexperienced people at the helm. It also lays out some options on how to move forward. And finally, the last presidential debate is set for Monday with foreign policy to take center stage. (Recorded 19-October-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 83  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy discuss an email sent from a state employee's computer that seems to be campaign-related, asking for the retention of his wife, a State Supreme Court justice, in the November election. The group in charge of the justice reinvestment reforms had another meeting and it appears they are much closer to getting things in place in time for the November 1st deadline. And a big issue at the Capitol during interim studies has been raises for various state workers. Teachers, correction officers and Highway Patrol troopers have already made their case. (Recorded 11-October-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 82  The first presidential debate is over and host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy talk about how the result went against most people's expectations. The State Chamber came out with its evaluation of State Supreme Court justices and other groups are using those results as well. Will it have any effect on this November's election where four of the justices are up for retention? Finally, education funding was a major topic at the Capitol this week with both House and Senate interim studies taking place. (Recorded 05-October-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 81  It's the 25th anniversary of the Media Research Center in Washington, D.C. and the need for such an organization is discussed by host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy. Patrick will be going to the event and talks about his involvement with the group. Then the talk moves to tax credits again as there was another meeting of the House special committee looking into the issue, this time with some concrete numbers on the magnitude of the tax credits purchased and used by insurance companies. (Recorded 26-September-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 80  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy welcome two special guests to the podcast this week! Tarren Bragdon is CEO of the Foundation for Government Accountability based in Florida and Christie Herrera is the FGA's Vice President of Policy. They talk about a pilot program that has reduced Florida's Medicaid spending by more than $100-million and resulted in better health outcomes compared to those in the traditional program. They explain what Florida is doing differently and the consequences of not reforming government-funded health care in the states. (Recorded 21-September-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 79  Some of the criminal justice reforms passed this year by the Oklahoma legislature are supposed to go into effect November 1st. But as host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Capitol Source Publisher Peter J. Rudy have learned, a lot needs to happen in the next six weeks and meeting that deadline may not happen. This year's interim study period is bringing another look at state tax credits and economic incentives, but will this effort be any more successful than the last one which had modest success and numerous bills defeated? (Recorded 14-September-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 78  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Peter J. Rudy go over some of the highlights of the Democratic National Convention including the speeches and concerns raised by an African-American state lawmaker about how the Oklahoma Democratic Party is taking African-Americans for granted. Then, a recent study claims Oklahoma cut education spending by 20%, but like all statistics, it depends on how you calculate the numbers. (Recorded 07-September-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 77 In this week's "Capitol Watch" podcast, Jonathan Small of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs joins moderator Billie Rodely and CapitolBeatOK's Patrick B. McGuigan. Citing an editorial in the state's largest newspaper, Rodely observed that there is unusual agreement between OCPA and the Oklahoma Policy Institute over the need to have a better and more transparent process for state budgeting. Small has long advocated a clearer process that avoids secrecy and promotes clearer accoutability. Turning to national poltics, McGuigan gives a positive assessment to to the Republican National Convention, saying several speaks stood out, and GOP nominee Mitt Romney conveyed a more nuanced picture than his critics have tried to paint. (Recorded 31-August-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 76 An energy summit in Oklahoma City last week brought out some big names who made headlines with some of their comments. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Peter J. Rudy talk about the event and the issues discussed. Then, the lack of transparency in the Sperry School District causes one school board member to resign and he had some strong words about the Superintendent and the district's law firm. Finally, a milestone in the Fallin era is noted. (Recorded 24-August-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 75 Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Peter J. Rudy discuss Medicaid this week and what impact the federal health care law will have on the state's program. Will it cost more or pay for itself over time? Depends on whom you ask. Then it's more on the Pardon and Parole Board's problem with the Open Meeting Act. The Governor's office has suggested some changes but will it be enough to stave off any charges being filed and should charges be filed anyway? (Recorded 17-August-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 74 Another state agency is in hot water with Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater over possible violations of the Open Meeting Act. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Peter J. Rudy talk about what the Pardon and Parole Board is doing and why Prater is so upset. Then the talk turns to the presidential election: will Oklahoma's ballot have more than two choices on it and does the state or national party control the names that go on the ballot? (Recorded 10-August-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 73 Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Peter J. Rudy delve a little deeper into the Pinnacle Plan and other reforms for the Department of Human Services. What is the next step? And what did one lawmaker at the center of the reform effort say is needed even more than money at DHS? Then the gang discusses the implementation of MAPS 3 in Oklahoma City and the first grants to help clean up some of the areas around the former route of the I-40 Crosstown. (Recorded 02-August-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 72 The road map to reforming Oklahoma's child welfare system has been approved. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about the Pinnacle Plan and what it means for the Department of Human Services and the state's budget. At a different meeting this week, the State Board of Education ruled on nearly 90 students requesting waivers from the graduation requirements and two-thirds of them were from the same district. (Recorded 26-July-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 71 Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy devote the whole podcast to the issue of the $2-million the state is giving to the Youth Ag Expo. Several lawmakers are on record saying they think it's an illegal gift to a private organization, but state officials including Ag Commissioner Jim Reese say the state has a contract with the Expo and the appropriation will go forward as proposed. Who has the final say? It might not be who you think! (Recorded 20-July-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 70 Five years ago Texas took a new look at its criminal justice system and the result today is a crime rate falling faster than the national average and a lower incarceration rate. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about what that might mean for Oklahoma which has just started down the path of some similar reforms. Plus looking into the numbers of higher education budgets finds some universities spending less but still seeking a tuition increase. (Recorded 12-July-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 69 In a preview of an Oklahoma Watchdog story to be posted Tuesday, host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about voting patterns in the Regents for Higher Education meetings. It seems like unanimous votes are more than just the norm. And the gang goes back into the U.S. Supreme Court decision on health care including what Chief Justice Roberts may have been thinking in the weeks leading up to the decision. (Recorded 06-July-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 68 The U.S. Supreme Court decision on Obamacare is the subject of a lot of talk around the country and here in Oklahoma. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy go over the highlights of the decision and the reaction from elected officials and others in the state about what happens next. Last week was also primary week in Oklahoma with some high profile races but only two real upsets of incumbents - one in Congress and the other in the state House. And finally the question of whether Oklahoma has too many school districts and college campuses got a lot more coverage from the state's largest newspaper. (Recorded 29-June-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 67 Tuition increases have been approved by the Regents for Higher Education, but the bigger news from the meeting may have been that OU President David Boren believes there are "potentially" too many school districts and college campuses that the state is paying for. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about the implications of that admission and what it might mean for education reform in the state.  Tuesday is a big day for a lot of campaigns and the gang talks about two races that are getting a lot of attention, although not necessarily for the right reasons. (Recorded 22-June-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 66 The Oklahoma Human Services Commission which oversees DHS is making news again for the wrong reasons. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about the contentious meeting, surprise announcement and what they mean for the future of the agency. The talk then turns to better news regarding the state's revenues which, despite low oil and gas prices, are running above expectations. (Recorded 14-June-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 65 Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy begin with a discussion of a recent State Board of Education meeting and the fallout of a decision to put some documents online that had student information on them. There has been an increase in transparency at the State Department of Education, which is a good thing, but did this go too far? Then talk turns to the recall vote in Wisconsin and what it means for the bigger picture of the 2012 elections nationally. (Recorded 08-June-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 64 Sure the legislative session is over, but that doesn't mean there are no longer important topics to talk about! Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy first discuss some changes on the commission that oversees DHS as two members resigned to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. But was a reprimand from the Ethics Commission that led to the resignations politically motivated? Speaking of the Ethics Commission, an Edmond man has filed a complaint against State Senator Clark Jolley over his re-election campaign and whether proper procedures regarding filing of forms and fundraisers were followed. (Recorded 01-June-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 63 It's the Sine Die Edition of Capitol Watch! Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy got together a short time after the legislative session ended for the year to talk about what happened over the last four months. While it seemed like a tax cut was inevitable this year, the agreement from last week was broken when House members balked at the plan. That's not the only part of the Governor's State of the State speech that didn't get implemented which results in grades that wouldn't get you on the Dean's List. (Recorded 25-May-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 62 The Governor and legislative Republicans have finally agreed on an income tax cut proposal. While CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan is out of town, host Billie Rodely and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy go over the details of the plan which will be, in terms of rate reduction, the largest single year rate cut in state history. Then they are joined by OCPA Fiscal Policy Director Jonathan Small to talk about the budget which has not yet been unveiled. All indications are there won't be much in the way of cuts, so what does that mean for Oklahoma? (Recorded 18-May-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 61 As the legislative session winds down to its final weeks, almost all talk at the Capitol is on the budget. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about how there's a chance that an income tax cut will be more "bold" than the .3% that has been talked about so far. Part of the reason for that is what is happening in other states like Kansas. Then there is the question of whether any bond projects will be a part of the budget. There's a long list of wants, but how many have the support of a majority of lawmakers? (Recorded 11-May-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 60 It wasn't the busiest week at the State Capitol, but there is still plenty to talk about. First up, host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy discuss the criminal justice reinvestment bill that is on its way to the Governor's desk now. It was a major initiative of House Speaker Kris Steele which could result in slowing the increase in spending on prisons. With three weeks left in the legislative session, the budget - and any possible income tax cut - still have to be worked out and the gang discusses an upcoming debate between national economist Arthur Laffer and UCO College of Business Dean Mickey Hepner on the merits of phasing out the income tax. (Recorded 04-May-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 59 Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy have a lot to talk about as the legislative session heads towards its last month. But some of the biggest news deals with a former head of the Oklahoma Democratic Party who has just resigned from the same post in North Carolina and an Oklahoma City woman who has come forward to talk about some of his actions. Inside the Capitol, the talk all week has been about the Personhood bill and the tactics of some of those who support it. It's rubbed some people the wrong way, to the point where they'd rather adjourn than bring it up for discussion. (Recorded 27-April-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 58 It's been a busy week for the Capitol Watch crew. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy first discuss the state's Quality Jobs program. It's been hailed by lawmakers as a great economic development tool, but have the results matched the costs? Talk then turns to one of the most-watched bills this session, the Personhood bill. House Republicans decided not to hear the bill on the floor in a decision that surprised many. (Recorded 20-April-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 57 After a little bit of a weather delay, host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy are back at it. In addition to storms, the end of last week brought candidates for office to the State Capitol to file for office. It's the first time that has happened during session, thanks to changes to federal election laws. Now that it's out of the way, lawmakers have two weeks to get legislation passed in order to keep it alive. The Personhood bill and the various tax cut proposals are some of the big items still left to be heard. Last week also saw members say goodbye to one of their colleagues, Rep. Sue Tibbs. (Recorded 16-April-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 56 The discussion at the State Capitol continues to be income taxes. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about the chances that a cut will happen and how what is happening in other states could have an influence on that. There has been some general agreement on bond issues, although not necessarily that they will happen. And finally a short discussion of some tensions at the Capitol between the House and Senate. (Recorded 06-April-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 55 Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy take on a number of issues including a new plan of action at DHS. There are also some high profile court cases going on both within the state and on the national level and the gang has been keeping their eyes on both. And they take a moment to remember a colleague who lost his job after more than 30-years behind the microphone. (Recorded 30-Mar-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 54 President Obama visited Oklahoma last week and host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy discuss the event and what it means for the state. The legislature was in Spring Break mode with very little action taken, but the coming week promises to be more exciting with House committees to take up Senate versions of the income tax cut proposals. One thing is almost a guarantee: what the bills look like going into committee will not be what they look like when it's time for a final vote. (Recorded 23-Mar-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 53 National Sunshine Week which honors openness in government coincided this year with the first Deadline Week for bills to pass out of the house of origin. Unfortunately, lawmakers failed to bring up a bill in the House that would end the exemption lawmakers have to the Open Records and Open Meeting Acts. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about why the bill died and what the chances are of it being revived this year. Then the discussion turns to other measures that did pass including a couple measures to phase out the state's income tax. (Recorded 16-Mar-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 52 It's the one year anniversary of Capitol Watch! Rather than look back on the last year, though, host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy focus instead on the last week in the House which voted on over 120 bills and resolutions. After going over some of the bigger ones, the discussion turns to the upcoming week as the various tax cut proposals are expected to be discussed and debated. (Recorded 09-Mar-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 51 Bills in the legislature have reached the first deadline of having to pass through a committee. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy discuss one of the successful bills which will open up the legislature to more transparency than ever. On the presidential front, Oklahoma voters are preparing for Super Tuesday and the gang makes some predictions. Sort of. (Recorded 02-Mar-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 50 Interesting developments on the issue of tax credit reform last week in the House. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy explain how the death of a bill to ban transferability of tax credits does not mean it's the end of the line for the idea. But even those championing the cause admit that modifications are more likely than a prohibition of the practice. And it seems like water rights will be a topic nearly every week in Oklahoma and the gang gives you the latest on the subject. (Recorded 24-Feb-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 49 It may only be two weeks old, but already the legislative session has resulted in some significant reforms being passed. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy first talk about another round of pension reform which has already passed the House. If you voted last Tuesday, you are in a very small minority as voter turnout was very low. But the House and Senate already look different as a result. (Recorded 17-Feb-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 48 The legislative session is about to start and the topic getting the most attention so far seems to be the various plans to cut or even phase out the state personal income tax. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy go over some of the plans by Republicans and try to find the devil in the details. Then talk turns to the salaries of statewide elected officials and the rejection of proposed raises first reported by Oklahoma Watchdog. (Recorded 3-Feb-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 47 The legislative session is about to start and the topic getting the most attention so far seems to be the various plans to cut or even phase out the state personal income tax. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy go over some of the plans by Republicans and try to find the devil in the details. Then talk turns to the salaries of statewide elected officials and the rejection of proposed raises first reported by Oklahoma Watchdog. (Recorded 3-Feb-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 46 Big news at the Department of Human Services as Director Howard Hendrick announced he was stepping down after 13-years at the helm of one of the state's largest agencies. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about the decision and where DHS goes from here, including some names as possible replacements. Plus, more details on House Speaker Kris Steele's proposal for criminal justice reform that would help restrain the growth in costs in Oklahoma's prison system. (Recorded 24-Jan-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 45 The legislative bill filing deadline has passed and host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy go over some of the numbers comparing this year to last year. The House Ethics Committee had another meeting which included a proposed Code of Conduct for members which could have some interesting results. And House Republicans outlined their plans for government modernization and pension reform this year. (Recorded 20-Jan-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 44 Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy discuss a plan unveiled last week to help Oklahoma's Department of Corrections keep costs from spiraling out of control by looking at ways other than incarceration to deal with the problem. Then the talk moves to education spending, specifically a plan by the Regents for Higher Education to use bonds to pay for a backlog in endowed chair matching funds. (Recorded 13-Jan-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 43 There's no shortage of news so far in 2012! Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy first talk about the approval of a settlement in the lawsuit against the state Department of Human Services. While it means that it won't go to trial in federal court, there are questions about what the state will have to do and whether lawmakers have any real say in the matter. State Auditor Gary Jones' office is starting the new year off with a Special Audit of the Department of Education which found lax time records for workers and a promise of another audit to come soon. (Recorded 05-Jan-2012)

Capitol Watch Episode 42 Happy New Year! While 2012 has only just begun, host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy take a few moments to look back on the biggest stories of 2011 from the state politics point of view. It's the Year in Review episode! (Recorded 21-Dec-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 41 Merry Christmas! In this episode, host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy discuss the state's budget and whether the state will have presents under the tree or coal in the stocking when it comes time to develop a spending plan for next year. And is the tax credit task force a Grinch that will be taking away important incentives or will it set up a plan to determine which are naughty and which are nice? (Recorded 21-Dec-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 40 This week's episode is devoted almost entirely to the topic of education. First up, host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy discuss the budget request just passed by the State Board of Education. It's the smallest increase request in a number of years, but it's still $158-million during a time when lawmakers are talking about stand-still budgets. Then the talk moves to the announcement that Oklahoma will not be getting a federal grant for early childhood education. Plus more! (Recorded 16-Dec-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 39 The State Auditor released a report on the Grand River Dam Authority that includes five referrals to the Attorney General's office for investigation. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy go over the "highlights" of the report and what it means for GRDA and former CEO Kevin Easley. Plus, the list of candidates is set for Oklahoma's presidential primaries and an agency head has an idea for giving state workers a raise at the expense of the state's pension system. (Recorded 09-Dec-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 38 Oklahoma's income tax is the hot topic in state politics over the last week. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about one plan to phase out the income tax and the support it has received from a man considered the father of supply side economics. They also talk about how the work of two task forces might make tax reform possible and how the state's pension shortfalls might hinder the process. (Recorded 02-Dec-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 37 With Thanksgiving over with, the start of the next legislative session is only about two months away and the state budget - as usual - is expected to be the biggest topic of discussion for lawmakers. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy explain how increased revenue for the state will still mean stand-still budgets for state agencies and how the process could be opened up. The gang also talks about Oklahoma's state pension systems and how their health will either help or hurt the budget process. (Recorded 21-Nov-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 36 Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about comprehensive tax reform and whether lawmakers will actually start on the "glide path" to eliminating the income tax. Three university professors told a task force this week that it's not a good idea and could cause big problems, but others say it's the best way to make Okahoma more competitive to attracting businesses. When the legislature convenes next February, there will be several key changes in key leadership positions and the gang talks about how redistricting will affect the elections to replace those members. (Recorded 18-Nov-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 35 Two important meetings this past week caught the attention of host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy. The pension reform task force met and provided some good news for the future of Oklahoma's debt obligations. And the meeting of the tax credit task force adds an element of optimism that changes will be coming in the nest legislative session. The episode starts with some sad news regarding the unexpected passing of State Senator David Myers who is greatly missed by his colleagues and friends. (Recorded 11-Nov-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 34 Trial has been ordered for State Representative Randy Terrill and former State Senator Debbe Leftwich on charges of bribery. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy discuss what has happened so far and why defense attorneys are optimistic. Staying within the judicial system, the talk turns to efforts to restrict information available through Open Records requests when it comes to state employees and why that's not good for the public. (Recorded 04-Nov-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 33 The Task Force on Tax Credits and Incentives met earlier in the week and host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about how some of the most contentious talk was among lawmakers. The presentations dealt with a couple tax credits for the energy industry, but reactions to the coal tax credit were vastly different from those of small wind turbine production. The other big meeting of the week was the House Committee on Pension Reform. McGuigan and Rudy were there and explain how the outlook is vastly improved, but there is more work to be done to get the six main pension funds fully funded. (Recorded 28-Oct-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 32 The gang is back together again!  The Department of Human Services is the main topic for host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy.  House Speaker Kris Steele announced a new oversight committee to look into all aspects of DHS while two members invited DHS Commissioners to the Capitol to talk about what has been going on recently (only three showed up).  Then the discussion moved to the prospect of wine and strong beer sales in grocery stores and an historic vote for the next Speaker of the Oklahoma House. (Recorded 21-Oct-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 31 In this week's episode of Capitol Watch, Patrick B. McGuigan talks with Joel Kintsel, executive vice president at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, about prospects for passage of a balanced budget amendment. The key question, Kintsel says, is whether or not the potential federal constitutional measure has real “teeth,” and how quickly it might head to the states for ratification. McGuigan reports on the Oklahoma City version of the “Occupy” movement. Born from frustration with successes of the Tea Party on the conservative end, the Left flank of President Barack Obama and the Democratic party is pressing strong criticisms of bank bailouts and other financial policies at the federal level. McGuigan cautions that the rhetoric of some Occupy speakers, including one in Los Angeles last week, may impede the movement's progress. McGuigan also summarizes largely positive news about Oklahoma's economy presented at a recent Oklahoma City briefing by officials with the Federal Reserve Bank. Casting a dark shadow over the state news, however, is bad news at the national and international level. McGuigan summarized the mixed views from Fed economists this way: “Things will be fine, unless they're not.”  (Recorded 14-Oct-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 30 In this week's Capitol Watch podcast, host Billie Rodely guides CapitolBeatOK editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Jonathan Small of the Oklahoma Council of Public Public Affairs through discussion of a controversy over a state Education Department staffer's criticism of Jenks and Union public school officials as "dirtbags" for opposing aid to special needs children, and for suing parents seeking government scholarship aid for their children. McGuigan notes that state Rep. Jason Nelson and other advocates say such criticism will continue so long as the local officials impede implementation of the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for special needs students. In other discussion, Nichols lays out the details, presented in an OCPA-sponsored special hearing last week, of recent spending patterns in Higher Education, where expenditures are increasing even as state funding is pinched by the aftermath of the national economic downturn. Regular participant Peter Rudy, of Oklahoma Watchdog, is away from Oklahoma City for a couple of weeks. (Recorded 30-Sep-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 29 State government spending is the main topic of this week's episode. Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy first talk about the Department of Human Services which is preparing a budget request for next year that calls for a 37% increase, even though DHS officials admit it's not going to happen in the current budget climate. Oklahomans are okay with less government spending according to a recent Sooner Poll and the future of some tax credits are in doubt. (Recorded 23-Sep-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 28 In this week's episode host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy start off with discussion of the House Special Investigative Committee which wrapped up its work on the situation surrounding Rep. Randy Terrill.  The talk then turns to a decision that will lead to many state workers getting a raise thanks to the Employee Benefits Council and finally, some thoughts on the sale of OPUBCO to a Colorado billionaire.  (Recorded 16-September-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 27  Host Billie Rodely says tax credits continue to be a hot topic at the State Capitol and CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan talks about plans one lawmaker has to address the issue of transferring tax credits for cash. Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy has the latest on Open Meeting Act violations at the Human Services Commission and updates his series on Higher Education spending.  (Recorded 09-September-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 26 The federal government's decision to file suit against the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile is "highly unusual" and CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan explains why.  Then Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talks about a legislative hearing on state-owned golf courses before the episode finishes up with a discussion of water issues. Host Billie Rodely is out of town, but on the phone keeping the show organized.  (Recorded 02-September-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 25 Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about education and tax credits in this week's episode.  State senators will talk about Higher Education in an upcoming interim study and Billie has all the details on what areas will get a lot of attention.  Pat talks about the benefits given to administrators of the Oklahoma Education Association.  And then talk turns to the most recent meeting of the tax credit task force which looked at programs aimed at boosting investment capital in the state.  (Recorded 26-Aug-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 24 Education is the main topic of this week's podcast.  First up, host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about Higher Ed and two institutions that are actually spending less this year than last year. But maybe not in the way you might think.  Then the discussion switches to the recently released ACT scores and how Oklahoma fares in the region and nationally.  (Recorded 19-Aug-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 23  This week, host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about a couple breaking news items that came out just before recording started.  First it's a federal appeals court ruling striking down the individual mandate provision of Obamacare.  Then it's a letter Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater sent to the Oklahoma Human Services Commission asking them to 'show cause' for violating the Open Meeting Act in June, a story first reported by Oklahoma Watchdog. And then it's a brief discussion of the latest meeting of the tax credit task force. (Recorded 12-August-2011) [Ed. note: during the discussion of the individual mandate, Pat misspoke when he mentions Justice Sotomayor as having a potential conflict of interest. It is Justice Elena Kagan who served as Solicitor General under President Obama.]

Capitol Watch Episode 22  The gang is back together again!  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy discuss the debt ceiling deal, the votes of Oklahoma's Congressional delegation and how President Reagan handled budget negotiations back in the day.  Then the discussion moves to Higher Education spending and how state colleges and universities keep spending more when the state has less money.  (Recorded 03-August-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 21  This week's episode was recorded right after the 'Education in the Digital Age' conference hosted by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs on Friday.  CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy are joined by special guests State Representative Jason Nelson and school choice advocate Bill Price to talk about issues raised by the speakers and what it means for the future of education in Oklahoma.  (Recorded 29-July-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 20  While the national news focuses on the debt ceiling and a possible default by the federal government, host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about what the default would mean for Oklahoma and it's not a pretty picture.  Also, Higher Education spending remains a topic of conversation.  (Recorded 21-July-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 19  This week's episode comes to you from the State Capitol where host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Pat McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy attended the first meeting of the Joint Legislative Task Force on Tax Credits and Exemptions.  Other topics include the budget gimmicks being used by the Health Care Authority and payroll cuts by the State Department of Education. (Recorded 15-July-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 18 Oklahoma's economy is doing very well according to State Treasurer Ken Miller.  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Pat McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about how what happens on the federal level could change that.  Also, will lawmakers simply spend any revenue increases or use the opportunity to continue "right-sizing" government?  (Recorded 07-July-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 17  It's the Independence Day edition of Capitol Watch!  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Pat McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about Higher Education spending again.  You can add two more state universities to the list of those who are spending more this year than they did last year, despite appropriations cuts.  And where does Oklahoma rank compared to other states when it comes to the economy? It depends on who you ask, but one group thinks it's pretty favorable lately.  (Recorded 01-July-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 16  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Pat McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy get together once again for a lively discussion on the topics of the national debt and Higher Education spending.  Pat gives the lowdown on the scary numbers facing Congress and the President when it comes to trying to tackle the country's spending problem.  Meanwhile, Peter was at some Higher Education meetings and explains how one person's "cuts" are another person's "increased spending."  (Recorded 24-Jun-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 15 Another week, another state agency board "behaving badly" as host Billie Rodely puts it.  Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talks about how he attended a Human Services Commission meeting and then reported what he witnessed to the Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office as a possible Open Meetings Act violation.  Then CapitolBeatOK Editor Pat McGuigan explains a new study of Higher Education in Oklahoma which includes some extremely low graduation rates at state universities. (Recorded 16-Jun-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 14 Is this what lawmakers had in mind when they passed the hospital tax? Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy explains his story on Health care Authority CEO Mike Fogarty getting a raise and bonus while proposing accounting gimmicks to balance the books.  CapitolBeatOK Editor Pat McGuigan talks with host Billie Rodely about the now wide open race for Oklahoma's Second Congressional District and how it's attracting national attention.  (Recorded 10-Jun-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 13  In the Lucky Number 13 Episode, host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy discuss Governor Fallin and the 120 or so appointments she has made so far this year.  Is she changing things up or just leaving the status quo?  Plus the gang talks about whether the hospital provider fee is a tax and why Americans for Tax Reform seems to be hesitant to come out against 18 lawmakers and the Governor for violating their pledges not to raise taxes. (Recorded 03-Jun-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 12  The end of the session doesn't mean the end of Capitol Watch!  Host Billie Rodely, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy still have plenty to talk about, including government modernization, the Attorney General issuing an opinion against the State Superintendent and water issues coming to the forefront in Oklahoma politics. (Recorded 27-May-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 11  The legislative session is over!  This week's edition of Capitol Watch was recorded about an hour after the House completed its work.  Host Billie Rodely asks CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy to talk about the major accomplishments of this session.  Pension reforms and improved transparency both make that list.  And with the session over, what can we expect from lawmakers between now and the start of next session? (Recorded 20-May-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 10  The long awaited budget agreement has finally arrived!  Host Billie Rodely is back with CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy to talk about the budget deal and how lawmakers are making it balance.  Plus, Governor Fallin signed major pension reform bills into law and redistricting maps have been approved by both bodies.  And will next week's episode be recorded on Sine Die? (Recorded 13-May-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 9  Regular host Billie Rodely is out of town this week, so it's the first guest appearance on Capitol Watch!  OCPA fiscal policy director Jonathan Small joins CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy to talk about the as-yet-unseen state budget, the tax credit scholarship bill heading to the Governor's desk and a bill that could reduce transparency in local governments. (Recorded 06-May-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 8  It was an eventful Deadline Week in the legislature.CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan, contributing writer Billie Rodely and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy discuss the tax credit scholarship bill that passed, the fallout from remarks on the House Floor made by State Rep. Sally Kern and a major change in how the House will run bills through conference committees. (Recorded 29-Apr-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 7 This week's episode of Capitol Watch was recorded while watching the House Session in progress as lawmakers prepare for another Deadline Week next week. Water issues are sure to get a lot of attention this year as a Comprehensive Water Plan is unveiled. And  about his research on pensions that has revealed how some former lawmakers are raking in the dough through their retirement pay. (Recorded 21-Apr-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 6 Oklahoma made national news when Governor Fallin, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman and House Speaker Kris Steele announced the state was not accepting a $54-million federal grant to implement a health insurance exchange.  CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan, contributing writer Billie Rodely and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about that issue plus an education reform bill that passed the House this week. (Recorded 15-Apr-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 5 A U.S. Supreme Court decision is good news for a scholarship tax credit law that is making its way through the legislature.  CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan explains why.  Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talks about a new system in the State House that shines light on a previously opaque lawmaking procedure.  And CapitolBeatOK contributing writer Billie Rodely keeps it all on track.  (Recorded 08-Apr-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 4 In this week's episode, CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan, contributing writer Billie Rodely and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy comment on former Senate President Pro Tem Mike Morgan's indictment on federal bribery and conspiracy charges and the unexpected announcement that the State Senate will not hear Governor Fallin's health insurance exchange bill.  (Recorded 01-Apr-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 3 CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan, contributing writer Billie Rodely and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy discuss Governor Fallin's embrace of health insurance exchanges, the use of private lobbying firms by state agencies and the continuing problem posed by pensions.  (Recorded 25-Mar-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 2 CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan, contributing writer Billie Rodely and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy talk about two reprimands of Oklahoma House members during Deadline Week, the continuing pension and Corrections reform and a Senate bill that would not allow illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities.  (Recorded 18-Mar-2011)

Capitol Watch Episode 1 CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan, contributing writer Billie Rodely and Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy discuss Oklahoma's pension problems, the problems House leadership has with some conservative Republican members and the state's higher education system.  (Recorded 11-Mar-2011)

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