In Stitt’s government, officials keep one foot in the business world

In a review of hires and appointments by Stitt, The Frontier found at least half of his cabinet secretaries continue to manage a private business, while some agency directors have also pursued additional private sector opportunities.
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Facing delays, many unemployed Oklahomans opt to pay debit card company for ‘expedited’ delivery

The company's CEO predicted that revenue from its government services division, which issues unemployment, food stamp and other government benefit cards, will partially offset the losses in other sectors caused by COVID-19.
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As unemployment climbs to record highs, many who have been waiting weeks for assistance grow frustrated with system

“I'm very frustrated because I'm beginning to feel that I am being tricked,” said one Owasso woman who has filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance funds. “It has been almost 2 months with no payment.”
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State encourages businesses to report workers who refuse to return to jobs

“Obviously, if somebody turns down employment, then what will happen is, if the company chooses to call OESC (the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission) and let them know, then that individual’s unemployment benefits will stop,” Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development Sean Kouplen said.
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As state reopens, Oklahoma workforce leaders discuss asking for end to federal unemployment payments

Oklahoma could ask the federal government to stop giving unemployed workers here the $600 a month unemployment stimulus, or halt benefits altogether for workers who don't go back to work when the economy opens up.
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Federal lawsuit asks judge to strike down Guthrie’s COVID-19 ‘shelter-in-place’ ordinance

The ordinance infringes on the residents’ First Amendment right to assembly, the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection and due process clauses, the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, as well as state laws and constitutional protections, the lawsuit alleges.
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State Water Board approves controversial long-term groundwater permits for two Delaware County poultry operations

Though a video of Tuesday's meeting was initially posted on the Oklahoma Water Resources Board's Facebook page, the video was later removed from the agency's page.
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Unemployment claims continue record climb, as state weighs rollbacks of COVID-19 measures

Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development Sean Kouplen said there is currently a "healthy tug-of-war" in Gov. Kevin Stitt's administration between businesspeople, who want the state to reopen immediately, and the health experts who say to wait.
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As unemployment continues record rise, state works to fix claim system unprepared for surge

"The numbers are so stunning, there’s nothing to compare it with historically. I just wouldn’t feel safe to characterize it as this is high as it’s going to go," said Lynn Gray, economic research and analysis director for OESC.
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Tulsa QuikTrip store employee dies of coronavirus, company says in email

There have been at least 51 deaths in Oklahoma so far connected to the novel coronavirus, but Sauz’s death is an outlier — he was 22 years old, not in an age group considered most susceptible to the fatal effects of the virus.
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