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Policy Matters: Fixing the broken criminal justice system

This should not be a news flash to anyone who follows Oklahoma’s state of affairs, but our state’s criminal justice system is broken. Oklahoma’s punishment-first approach to … more

Fiscal restraint will be tested in 2020

The Oklahoma State Board of Equalization has released the first revenue estimate for fiscal year (FY) 2021. The Board certified $8.3 billion for next year, only a 2.5 percent increase from the … more

You can’t make people care

A recent social media post raised the question of how to get people between the ages of 30 to 40 involved in politics. The answer is both simple and frustrating because it’s almost impossible. … more

A public vote on the minimum wage?

If Oklahomans want a higher minimum wage, they will have to place the issue before voters, not the Legislature. In Arkansas and Missouri, two neighboring red states where state lawmakers fought … more

Trying something new with those New Year’s Resolutions

It’s not too late to make those New Year’s resolutions! If I said that in certain places, I’d be laughed around the block — or called “stupid” all the way down … more

Where is the focus on sentencing reform?

The Criminal Justice Reclassification Council has approved its report that will make 10 recommendations to the governor and legislative leaders for the legislative session. The Council was created in … more

Legislature should require openess for everyone

A Shawnee state senator has filed bills to improve government transparency in Oklahoma. But, in typical “do-as-we-say-not-as-we-do” state legislature fashion, the proposed bills would put … more

Who truly governs Oklahoma’s public schools?

Recently, voices have called for the governor to be able to appoint the state superintendent of schools. When it comes to improving governance of public schools, Oklahoma should think bigger. The … more

Dear Editor

A chamber’s greatest asset are its people! We are so blessed to work with people who see the advantage of strong partnerships and works together as we secure a stronger future for our city, … more

Can medical and recreational cannabis coexist?

With 228,000 licensed patients, more than 5 percent of Oklahoma’s population is registered to use medical marijuana. That makes Oklahoma home to the largest medical marijuana program in the … more

Women have the right to choose for themselves

State Senator David Bullard was quoted in a recent “Durant Democrat” report about his speech to a local Conservative and Republican group as vowing “to keep pushing a pro-life … more

Leadership will determine next decade’s success

When the next issue of the Durant Democrat is published, we will be celebrating the first day of a new decade. If the past decade is any indication, Durant and Bryan County have some great days ahead … more

Medicaid ‘mortality’ study bears closer scrutiny

A study from the progressive Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, estimates that “over a four-year period, the lives of 476 older people were lost because Oklahoma did not expand Medicaid to … more

An Open Letter from the Bryan County Federation of Democratic Women of Oklahoma

Open letter to Oklahoma Senators Jim Inhofe and James Lankford: Now that the House of Representatives has impeached President Trump, you will soon be required to judge whether the President has … more

Good roads make good cities

“More substantial good could be done for the development of Durant and the surrounding country by a system of good roads than by any other means.” These wise words were published by … more

Task force can help balance the scale of Oklahoma’s prison crisis

Criminal justice reform is paying dividends in Oklahoma. The single largest commutation in American history happened in November with more than 400 Oklahomans reunited with families. The commutation … more

Shop for the gift that keeps on giving

In 11 days, we will celebrate a gift. For Christians it is the gift of a Savior. For others it is a broader, perhaps less specific, but regardless, Christmas is seen by most of us as a time of … more

Teacher numbers climb, but trend may not last

Over the last two years, state lawmakers have increased K-12 school appropriations by $638 million, an increase of 20 percent, and raised teacher pay by approximately $7,400 per teacher. Teacher pay … more

Light of Hope on mission from God

Well, as we watch another year end, I am still reminded of how much I must be thankful for. I have a roof over my head, a family who loves me and a church home which is my home away from home. I have … more

Who’s in charge here?

In a dictatorship, things can be very neat — cut and dried: The dictator is the boss, and you better shut up and get used to it. If the king wants your opinion, he’ll ask for it. Suppose … more
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