Supporters of State Question 802, which would put expanded Medicaid in the state Constitution, hope to benefit from Gov. Kevin Stitt’s veto of the funding mechanism for his own expansion proposal.

“The Governor’s veto of his own plan to expand Medicaid is just further proof why it’s time for voters to decide this issue for themselves,” said Yes on 802 Executive Director Amber England.

“The politicians simply can’t be trusted,” England said. “They’ve been playing political games for almost a decade with this issue.”

Supporters plan a 1,400-mile, 21-stop tour of the state this week to support SQ 802, which is on the June 30 primary ballot. It begins Tuesday morning in Oklahoma City and ends Friday afternoon in Tulsa at a location to be determined.

Muskogee, Tahlequah and Bartlesville are among the other towns on the route.

A full schedule of the events can be found at yeson802.us.

Wait’ll next year: A key legislator said he has not given up efforts to phase out the merit protection system for state employees.

Reforming the system, which is intended to minimize favoritism and patronage in state agencies, has long been a goal of Republican lawmakers. The say the system is no longer flexible enough to meet the needs of the state, workers or taxpayers.

Rep. Mike Osburn, R-Edmond, has been the latest standard-bearer on the crusade, and said last week that this year’s COVID-compressed session made bringing final legislation forward impossible.

“After working on this legislation for three years and being aware of the issue for more than 20 years, I want to see it done right,” Osburn said in a written statement. “Forcing something through in the waning days of an unusual legislative session without time for adequate input and discourse is a mistake, so we are going to do it right next year.”

Bottom line: State Sen. Allison Ikley-Freeman, who was injured in a car accident Friday morning, was named Children’s Senator of the Year later in the day by the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy.


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Randy has been with the Tulsa World since 1979. He is a native of Hinton, Okla., and graduate of Oklahoma State University. Krehbiel primarily covers government and politics. Phone: 918-581-8365

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