Oklahoma State Department of Health

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Interim health commissioner Preston Doerflinger resigned Wednesday after allegations of past spousal abuse surfaced.

The board of the Oklahoma State Department of Health accepted Doerflinger’s resignation, after spending over an hour in a private meeting to discuss his employment.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the Governor's threat to veto any budget bill in the second special session which doesn't include a pay raise for teachers, the Oklahoma Education Association releases a poll showing support in Oklahoma for a teacher pay raise and the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association challenges the constitutionality of an initiative petition to increase taxes on oil and gas wells to fund education.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

On June 26, voters will decide if Oklahoma will become the 30th state to legalize marijuana for medical use. But regulating the new industry could prove difficult.

If State Question 788 passes, licenses will be required for each stage of marijuana cultivation, including dispensaries, commercial growers, processors, and individual medical marijuana cards.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the budget situation as lawmakers still haven't balanced the budget in the current fiscal year which ends July 1st and the State Department of Health announcing cuts which could result in nearly 200 employees getting laid off as well as ending programs.

StateImpact Oklahoma

2017 is wrapping up, but the growing group of reporters at StateImpact are following many important government policy issues that will carry on into the new year.

Senior Reporter and Managing Editor Joe Wertz brought the StateImpact team into the studio for a preview of their coverage in the year to come. Here are some excerpts from the conversation edited for clarity:

HEALTH

Joe Wertz: Give me the big picture for the new year.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The new head of the Oklahoma State Department of Health says the agency has been spending more than its annual revenue since 2011. Interim Commissioner Preston Doerflinger said Monday accounting tricks were used to move money between different accounts.