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Capital City: Tulsa official headed to Houston

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Good Friday morning. 

DeVon Douglass, the chief resilience officer for the city of Tulsa, is leaving the Mayor’s Office to take a job in Houston, reports the Tulsa World

Douglass, 30, will serve as director of community outreach for Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. Her last day in the Mayor’s Office will be Feb. 28.

“I would say that I am a builder, and I really like to build things from the ground up,” Douglass said. “Thankfully, Mayor (G.T.) Bynum gave me the chance to build the Resilience Office from the ground up.”

Nurse independence bills have chance in Legislature this year ... After several years of hitting a wall, legislation allowing nurses with advanced degrees to practice without a doctor’s supervision could have a chance under a new committee leader.

Sen. Jason Smalley, chair of the Senate health and human services committee, introduced a bill that would end physician supervision of nurse anesthetists and said he plans to hear bills related to scope of practice issues if leadership assigns them to his committee. Former Sen. Ervin Yen, a physician, wouldn't hear the bills when he was chairman of the panel. 

“If it’s going to advance health care in any way or form, we’re going to hear it,” Smalley, R-Stroud, said. “I think our health committee is going to entertain a really robust discussion.”

The new legislative session begins Monday. Meg Wingerter has the rest of the story in today's The Oklahoman

Another teacher walkout? ... Oklahoma Education Association President Alicia Priest said members are demanding lawmakers increase public school funding by another $400 million by April 1, reports CNHI.

If lawmakers don’t deliver, every option — including another walkout — is on the table, Priest said.

“Our goal isn’t a walkout,” she said. “It’s to work with our legislators.”

End Daylight savings time? INBOX: State Rep. Kevin West and State Sen. Marty Quinn commented on their filing of House Bill 1117, which would end Oklahoma’s observance of Daylight Savings Time. The practice requires setting clocks forward an hour each spring and backward an hour each fall in an attempt to increase daylight during evening hours.

“For a number of years, I have heard many Oklahomans complain about having to set their clocks forward or backward twice each year,” said West, R-Moore. “I began researching problems surrounding the time changes and found several studies suggesting relationships with various health issues, increased automobile accidents and work-related injuries. There is also a concern in winter months with having Oklahoma’s children at bus stops in the dark and freezing temperatures in the early morning hours. In addition, I have seen reports that say consumer spending also drops when the time changes.”

Native American Caucus names leadership ...  Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) and Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-NM) will serve as Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Native American Caucus.

“As a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, I have always considered it a great privilege to represent the interests and constitutionally-given rights of tribes in Congress,” said Co-Chair Tom Cole. “Long before the United States came to be, tribes greatly influenced the land in which we live. While the federal government has at times had a strained relationship with Indian Country, I am encouraged that efforts have been made to repair and improve it over the years. To ensure that work continues, the Congressional Native American Caucus remains a vital body in the House for educating members on tribal sovereignty and improving the lives of Native Americans. I very much look forward to leading alongside new Co-Chair Deb Haaland, continuing to serve with Co-Chair Emeritus Betty McCollum and working with a great roster of Vice Chairs and members.”

Tourism agency purchases area of Grand Lake State Park ... An agreement has been reached for the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department to purchase land adjacent to an area of Grand Lake State Park, reports KFOR.

The newly acquired land, reached by an agreement between the tourism department and Albro Estate, is approximately 77 acres in Grove on the east side of the current Honey Creek Area. Officials with the tourism department say the land is expected to be used for future expansion and development.

Thanks for reading. Got questions, suggestions or complaints? Email me at bfelder@oklahoman.com. 

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Ben Felder

Ben Felder is an investigative reporter for The Oklahoman. A native of Kansas City, Ben has lived in Oklahoma City since 2010 and covered politics, education and local government for the Oklahoma Gazette before joining The Oklahoman in 2016.... Read more ›

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