Capitol Report for April 15: As the wind blows, hope for criminal justice reform, paying for success
On Saturday’s News9 segment, “Capitol Report,” analyst Patrick B. McGuigan said the Legislature has begun to deal with revenue and policy challenges the state faces. The Legislature passed the proposal to accelerate the “sunset” for the zero-emissions credits that “incentivized” the state wind energy industry in recent years.
The CapitolBeatOK editor pointed out the wind power now accounts and for one-fourth of the state’s energy “pool.” While the sunset will not impact this year’s budget, it might add $500 million to state coffers over the next decade. [Editor’s note, on Monday, April 17, Governor Mary Fallin signed the measure into law.] In other news, McGuigan applauded the death of a measure to kill reforms enacted by voters in State Question 780 last fall.
Some legislators had intended to restore felony convictions for a variety of non-violent offenses by spiking the ballot initiative. A cluster of criminal justice reforms laid out by Governor Fallin’s task force on criminal justice survived scrutiny in a House committee, but have a ways to go before gaining approval.
In dialogue with reporter Alex Cameron, McGuigan pointed to the ‘lift-off’ for a new “Pay for Success” program run by Tulsa’s acclaimed Women in Recovery (WIR) program. Under the proposal, taxpayers will help sustain the program on a case-by-case basis, so long as participants stay out of trouble with the law.