In The Know: Election day results | Oklahoma Supreme Court rules against gov in tribal compact case, hearings begin for Catholic charter school case, Tulsa Race Massacre Survivors’ appeal | Gov. Stitt wants to eliminate campaign donation limits

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. OK Policy encourages the support of Oklahoma’s state and local media, which are vital to an informed citizenry. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Some stories included here are behind paywall or require subscription. Subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Oklahoma News

Oklahoma Supreme Court hears Catholic charter school case: Three months before the nation’s first religious charter school is scheduled to open in Oklahoma, the state’s attorney general urged the state Supreme Court to void the school’s founding documents, contending its existence “eviscerates the separation of church and state.” [Oklahoma Voice]

  • ‘Used as a test’: OK Supreme Court questions attorneys in Catholic charter school case [NonDoc]
  • Oklahoma Supreme Court Considers Arguments Over Catholic Charter School [Oklahoma Watch]
  • First Religious Charter School Presents Case to OK Supreme Court [The Black Wall Street Times]
  • Oklahoma AG Drummond to speak against religious charter school [KOCO]
  • Oklahoma Supreme Court justices weigh a religious charter school. It would be first in US. [USA Today]

Race Massacre Survivors to Present Before OK Supreme Court: The verdict of the nine justices will determine whether these Survivors can be impeded from pursuing justice for one of the most egregious racial atrocities in US history. This pivotal ruling carries significant weight, potentially impacting all Oklahomans who have endured rights infringements, as it stands to either safeguard or significantly restrict access to the civil court system for ordinary citizens. [The Black Wall Street Times]

  • Oklahoma Supreme Court hears arguments in Tulsa Race Massacre case [Oklahoma Voice]
  • Final Tulsa Race Massacre survivors ask OK Supreme Court to proceed with suit [NonDoc]
  • Attorneys for survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre plead to keep their lawsuit alive [The Oklahoman]
  • Race massacre survivors make case to Okla. Supreme Court as Tulsans look on [Public Tulsa Radio]
  • Tulsa Race Massacre lawsuit faces crucial decision in Oklahoma Supreme Court [Tulsa World]

Oklahoman minimum wage petition moves forward after high court won’t reconsider case: The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday said it will not revisit its decision that an initiative petition seeking to raise the minimum wage was constitutional. The action clears the way for supporters to begin gathering the 92,263 signatures needed to get the issue on the ballot. [Oklahoma Voice]

  • State Supreme Court tosses minimum wage petition challenge [Tulsa World]

State Government News

Supreme Court rules that Oklahoma lawmakers acted constitutionally in extending tribal compacts: The 9-0 ruling marked a defeat for Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt who had contended lawmakers exceeded their authority in passing the two extensions during a special session last year. He’d also argued that he’s the only state official with the authority to renegotiate compacts. [Oklahoma Voice]

  • Treat, McCall top Stitt in compacting case at Oklahoma Supreme Court [KOSU]
  • Pro Tem Treat Comments on State Supreme Court Ruling in Favor of Legislature in Compacting Lawsuit [Press Release / Pro Tem Treat]

Oklahoma bill banning cash benefits for immigrants in country illegally advances to Senate floor: Oklahoma lawmakers are one step closer to sending a controversial immigration bill to the governor’s desk. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure that targets state-funded resources supporting Oklahomans in the country illegally. [KOSU]

Uncertainty over active litigation grows following OSDE legal staff resignations: A lawyer involved in a lawsuit against the Oklahoma State Department of Education says she’s not sure what’s next for the case after all of the department’s lawyers appear to have resigned. [KFOR]

Senate education committee passes bills on school transfers, teacher stipends: Members of the Senate Education Committee endorsed several bills that changed common education policy Tuesday during a two-hour meeting at the State Capitol. The bills included measures to fast-track intra-district transfers and to institute stipends for those teachers with larger-than-normal classes. [The Oklahoman]

Despite incentives from Oklahoma, Canoo says it expects ‘continuing losses for the foreseeable future’: Electric vehicle company Canoo set up shop in Oklahoma last year, when it opened a manufacturing plant in Oklahoma City and a battery facility in Pryor. A new regulatory filing shows the company is on a bumpy financial road, even with millions of dollars in state incentives. [KOSU]

Opinion: Agricultural laws, rules should be established by those elected by the people, not the courts: America is facing a frightening trend. Unelected federal judges are being asked to step outside the scope of judicial power granted by the Constitution and rule on sue-and-settle efforts that seek to create de facto regulations without the input of elected officials. [Brent Howard / The Oklahoman]

Voting and Election News

Oklahoma Votes: Local election results: Voters across the metro participated in local elections on Tuesday. Here are the results. [News 9]

  • City councilman accused of white nationalist ties is voted out in Enid [The Oklahoman]
  • Judd-gment day: Cheryl Patterson ousts Judd Blevins from Enid City Commission [NonDoc]
  • Enid city commissioner ousted, $113 million Piedmont school bond approved and more [OPMX via KGOU]
  • Voters support bond proposals in five area school districts [The Oklahoman]
  • In OKCPS race, Jessica Cifuentes ousts incumbent Cary Pirrong; other education results [NonDoc]
  • Norman results: Matt Peacock narrowly wins Ward 2, Dawn Brockman prevails for NPS seat [NonDoc]
  • TPS reports: Calvin Moniz, Sarah Smith and John Croisant prevail [NonDoc]
  • TPS school board races determined by wide margins; Union, Catoosa incumbents win [Tulsa World]
  • April 2 election results for the Tulsa area [Public Radio Tulsa]

Gov. Stitt task force calls for changing campaign donation limits: A task force created by Gov. Kevin Stitt is calling for no limits on how much money state politicians can accept from individuals in campaign donations. [The Oklahoman]

Opinion: Time for Oklahoma to open primary elections to include all voters in deciding leaders: As the presidential election ramps up and Oklahoma’s closed primaries come up this summer, as an independent voter, I believe that it’s fair to include all voters in the election process regardless of party affiliation. [Rev. Mareo Johnson / Tulsa World]

Health News

How Oklahoma’s medical community has been helping Ukrainian surgeons during the war: When Ukrainian surgeons needed specialized training to aid soldiers wounded during the war with Russia, an Oklahoma medical community volunteered to help. [The Oklahoman]

Criminal Justice News

Figures reveal some Oklahoma prisons have fewer officers to guard inmates: After years of struggling to hire and retain correctional officers, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections says state prisons have an average of one correctional officer for every 15 prisoners. But records reveal some facilities had significantly lower staffing levels last year. [The Frontier]

Economy & Business News

Eclipse expected to generate $7.4 million per day for southeast Oklahoma: State officials expect an influx of up to 70,000 people coming to southeast Oklahoma to view a once-in-a-lifetime eclipse in the path of totality will have a multi-million-dollar impact for the area. [Journal Record]

  • Officials brace for onslaught of visitors ahead of total solar eclipse in southeast Oklahoma [Oklahoma Voice]

Education News

ORU aims to make its mark in development of space-based technologies, other products: Former First District Congressman Jim Bridenstine reminded Tulsans on Tuesday that man’s exploration of space continues to have a profound impact on life here on Earth. [Tulsa World]

Podcast: Long Story Short: Preliminary Hearing Continues for Epic Charter Schools Founders (Audio): Jennifer Palmer on the preliminary hearing that ran all of last week for the founders of Epic Charter Schools. Keaton Ross discusses several developments regarding capital punishment in Oklahoma. Heather Warlick on her story that looks into the Right to Counsel for tenants in eviction lawsuits. [Oklahoma Watch]

From closures to unique learning, see how schools are handling the total solar eclipse: While some schools are planning special activities for the 2024 total solar eclipse next week, several Oklahoma school districts have opted to cancel classes. [The Oklahoman]

Local Headlines

Quote of the Day

“We are grateful that our now-weary bodies have held on long enough to witness an America, and an Oklahoma, that provides Race Massacre survivors with the opportunity to access the legal system. Many have come before us who have knocked and banged on the courthouse doors only to be turned around or never let through the door.”

– Lessie Benningfield Randle and Viola Ford Fletcher, the last two known survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, in a joint statement to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which will soon determine whether these Survivors can be impeded from pursuing justice for one of the most egregious racial atrocities in US history. [The Black Wall Street Times]

Number of the Day

1 in 4
In Oklahoma’s 2022 general elections, incumbents did not face an opponent in a primary election in nearly 1 in 4 races (24.8%) that year. [Ballotpedia]
  • Today is the start of the 2024 candidate filing period that runs from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., April 3-5. State and federal offices file at the Secretary of the State Election Board at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. County offices file with county election board secretaries. Go to for packets and further details.   

Policy Note

Political Intimidation Threatens Diversity in State and Local Office: Officeholders across gender and race are experiencing abuse, but among local officeholders, the amount of abuse is disproportionately high for women and people of color. They were also more likely than white men to have their families targeted for abuse. In interviews, officeholders belonging to multiple marginalized communities reported that the abuse was compounded. Nearly 40 percent of local officeholders say that it lessens their desire to run for re-election, with women and people of color more likely than white men to say so. [Brennan Center for Justice]

You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.


Annie Taylor joined OK Policy as a Digital Communications Associate/Storybanker in April 2022. She studied journalism and mass communication at the University of Oklahoma, and was a member of the Native American Journalists Association. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications from the University of Central Oklahoma. While pursuing her degree, she worked in restaurant and retail management, as well as freelance copywriting and digital content production. Annie is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation, and holds a deep reverence for storytelling in the digital age. She was born and raised in southeast Oklahoma, and now lives in Oklahoma City with her dog, Melvin.