by Jessica Dietrich, Policy & Government Relations Manager
Pandemic EBT Update
Oklahomans are continuing to receive P-EBT benefits from the 2020-2021 school year. The Oklahoma State Department of Education Parent P-EBT review form is now open at this link. Parents should complete this form if they:
- Have not yet received their P-EBT card
- Need to update or change their address
- Have a problem with their P-EBT card (Activation, lost/stolen card, PIN issues)
- Believe there is something incorrect with their student’s P-EBT benefits
On October 7, the USDA approved Oklahoma to issue Summer 2021 P-EBT benefits. Eligible children will be issued a $375 benefit. Summer P-EBT benefits will likely be issued in November, but this is subject to change. Please keep an eye on www.hungerfreeok.org/pebt for the latest information.
Cliff Effects Interim Study
On October 18, the Oklahoma House Committee on Children, Youth, and Family Services held an interim study on the financial cliff of human services subsidies. The interim study, requested by Representatives Mark Lawson and Andy Fugate, took a deeper dive into the difficult choices families may face as their employment opportunities grow. Though the programs discussed are designed at the federal level, there are some opportunities for states to provide more of a slope rather than a cliff. This study clearly demonstrated that there is a willingness by state leaders – both at the state legislature and state agencies – who want to continue digging into this issue in order to help Oklahoma families.
Hunger Free Oklahoma appreciates Representatives Mark Lawson and Andy Fugate for requesting the study, committee chair Representative Carol Bush, committee vice chair Representative John Talley, and committee members Representatives Cyndi Munson and Randy Randleman for their interest in this important subject.
The Oklahoma Legislature will convene a special session beginning on November 15, 2021. The special session was called by Governor Stitt for the Oklahoma Legislature to finish the work of redistrict Oklahoma’s congressional and state legislative districts. Under normal circumstances the redistricting process would likely have been completed earlier this spring during regular session. However, due to U.S. Census deadline extensions due to the pandemic, the final information needed for the legislature to complete redistricting was not available before the end of regular session. The legislature may only take action on items pertaining to the purposes of the call, as outlined in Governor Stitt’s Executive Order.
Federal Budget Reconciliation Update
The United States Congress recently passed a government funding extension through December 3, 2021. Congressional leadership continues to negotiate the specifics of what should and should not be included in the must-pass federal budget reconciliation. With ongoing negotiations, it is too soon to say what will be included in reconciliation, and when it will be passed. We will keep you updated as this develops.
State ARPA Funds Update
Oklahoma has launched a website to stay up to date on the latest information on the state portion of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Included on the site is an opportunity for Oklahomans to formally or informally weigh in on how these funds should be used. Organizations may submit a detailed response to the project questionnaire, which is intended to be used for specific projects. There is also an idea questionnaire available for Oklahomans to provide input on how the funds should be used, without the need to propose a fully-planned project. Visit the state ARPA website here.
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