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Lunchtime Links | March 13

March 13, 2018 - 12:00pm CDT

Here's what our policy experts are reading today (Links do not constitute endorsements).

The Oklahoman: Police pension fund chief in Oklahoma fired amid criminal investigation

The head of the state agency that manages the $2.5 billion pension fund for municipal police officers in Oklahoma was fired Monday.

Steven K. Snyder, 61, has been executive director of the Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System for the last nine years. He also was the system's chief investment officer.

He was fired after coming under criminal investigation because of an anonymous tip about his travel.

The existence of the embezzlement investigation became public Wednesday when agents from the attorney general's office seized his state-owned Apple iPad Air.

Snyder made more than $130,000 a year in salary, records show.

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The Oklahoman: Constitutional issues raised by proposal to tap trust funds for Oklahoma teacher bonuses

Scrounging for a way to give teachers pay raises or bonuses without raising taxes, some state lawmakers have set their sights on a $2.4 billion pot of money managed by the Commissioners of the Land Office.

About $1.7 billion of that $2.4 billion is held in trust for common schools.

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OCPA: Help Hollywood or help kids

The Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program and the Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act each share similar financial parameters, which makes it easy to compare these tax incentive programs.

In fiscal year 2016, both programs had a cap of $5 million. The film rebate is paid out to filmmakers; its stated goals are to attract film production and jobs as well as to enhance the state's image. The Equal Opportunity Scholarship gives donors a tax credit when they donate to scholarship funds that support low- and middle-income Oklahoma families if they choose to send their children to a participating private school.

Using data from third-party evaluations allow us to compare and contrast the programs.

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The Oklahoman: OKC teachers union cancels plans for one-day walkout

Oklahoma City School District teachers will not participate in a one-day walkout planned for March 28, The Oklahoman has learned.

Oklahoma City American Federation of Teachers President Ed Allen said the one-day walkout — approved by the union board to generate momentum in advance of a statewide walkout scheduled for April 2 — did not have the support of Rebecca Kaye, the district's acting superintendent.

"We will not conduct a walkout on March 28 because our Superintendent would not commit to a suspension of classes, in contradiction of the board resolution," Allen said in an email Monday to union membership.

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