In The Know: Lawmakers adjourn regular legislative session | OSDE administrative rules head to governor for approval | 100th anniversary of American Indian citizenship

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.

State Government News

As McCall, Treat conclude final regular session, Stitt gets more veto options amid nomination frustration: Three weeks ahead of the 2024 primary election, the Oklahoma Legislature crammed its final budget puzzle together over the last two days and completed a quick game of policy chess on top of it, with two long-time players orchestrating their knights and bishops to an agreeable draw and a handful of final accomplishments. [NonDoc]

  • Legislature overrides six Stitt vetoes in final days of session [Tulsa World]
  • Lawmakers pass budget, adjourn session [Tulsa World]
  • Oklahoma lawmakers end regular session sine die [KGOU]
  • Oklahoma lawmakers end ‘successful’ session a day before deadline [Oklahoma Voice]
  • Oklahoma lawmakers adjourn with $12B budget including large savings and bipartisan tax cut [Fox 25]

State Education Department rules expected to pass as Oklahoma House hands them to the governor: There was one glaring exception to the dozens of bills and resolutions the state House considered on its final day of the 2024 legislative session — administrative rules from the Oklahoma State Department of Education. [Oklahoma Voice]

‘National embarrassment’: Corporal punishment bill stalls in OK House, frustrates advocates: Advocates of a bill that would prohibit corporal punishment in Oklahoma schools against students with disabilities expressed disappointment Thursday as the bill had stalled in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. [KFOR]

Bill requiring policies for religious classes during school hours heads to Gov. Stitt’s desk: A bill that would require local school boards to create guidelines for religious classes during school hours is headed to the governor’s desk. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma lawmakers seek to block Walters’ national PR spending: State lawmakers have voted to limit public relations spending at the Oklahoma State Department of Education, saying state Superintendent Ryan Walters shouldn’t use agency funds for self-promotion. [Oklahoma Voice]

  • On final day of session, House passes bill to limit Ryan Walters’ education spending [The Oklahoman]
  • House passes bill prohibiting state funding for Ryan Walters’ PR [Tulsa World]

House leaders have subpoenaed Ryan Walters for a second time. What did they ask for?: For a second time in six months, leaders in the Oklahoma House of Representatives have issued a legislative subpoena to state schools Superintendent Ryan Walters, saying Walters failed to provide information they’d requested numerous times. House Speaker Charles McCall confirmed Thursday afternoon Walters had answered the subpoena. [The Oklahoman]

Poultry litter bill breezes through Legislature on final days of session: A bill shielding the poultry industry from future lawsuits and increasing fines on farmers who are “bad actors” passed the House and Senate in the final days of the legislative session. [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma leads 26-state coalition to fight EPA methane rule: A new Environmental Protection Agency effort to sharply reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas production facilities could cripple Oklahoma’s economy and its energy industry, according to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. [Journal Record]

Partnership between state, Google to give some Oklahomans free AI training: Saying that artificial intelligence training will be key to the future of Oklahoma’s workforce, Gov. Kevin Stitt on Thursday announced the state has partnered with Google to offer residents a free 10-hour training. [Oklahoma Voice]

Editorial: Lawmakers finalize Oklahoma budget with clear winners, losers: Though the state’s annual budget process was open to the public this past session, it had a typical finale, with agreement reached only in the last few days. As usual, the end result includes winners and losers. [Editorial / Tulsa World]

Federal Government News

Opinion: Taking stock of the War on Poverty, 60 years later: Two decades after President Lyndon Johnson declared his administration’s War on Poverty, President Ronald Reagan took aim at Johnson’s legacy by caustically declaring, “We fought a war on poverty, and poverty won.” It was a memorable line — but it wasn’t true. Rather than claiming that the War on Poverty was a victory or a failure, a fairer assessment is that over the past six decades, poverty has been fought to a draw. [David Blatt / Tulsa World]

Tribal Nations News

Native Organizations Announce National Day of Action and Reflection on Citizenship Centennial: In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Snyder Act, three prominent Native American organizations— IllumiNative, the Native American Rights Fund (NARF), and the Native Organizers Alliance (NOA)—have declared a National Day of Action and Reflection on Sunday, June 2. This day will highlight the ongoing struggles and achievements of Native peoples in the United States. [Native News Online]

Clergy Abuse of Over 1,000 Native American Children in Boarding Schools Unveiled in Washington Post Exposé: A Washington Post investigation published today revealed at least 122 priests, sisters and brothers assigned to 22 Indian boarding schools in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest since the 1890s were accused of sexually abusing Native American children in their care. Most of the documented abuse occurred in the 1950s and 1960s, affecting more than 1,000 children. [Native News Online]

Health News

Opinion: Mental health crisis in disability community has been ignored: Picture finding yourself in a crisis and needing help, only to find out that a well-known mental health treatment program is not accessible because of your disability. Unfortunately, this is a frequent reality faced by many people in our state. [Crystal Hernandez / Tulsa World]

Economy & Business News

Speakers outline best practices for inclusivity at Tulsa chamber event: Company leaders and employees should create an atmosphere of not just physical safety for their peers of different races and sexual orientations but also psychological safety, speakers at a Tulsa Regional Chamber event said. [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma labeled the most expensive state for homeowners insurance in the nation: Oklahoma has the most expensive homeowners insurance coverage in the nation, according to It costs $5,858 per year for $300,000 worth of coverage with a $1,000 deductible, more than double the national average of $2,601. [The Oklahoman]

Growing pains: Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry struggles to keep up with regulations: When Oklahomans voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2018, hardly anyone in the state knew how to run a medical marijuana business. There were obviously those who grew, distributed and sold it underground for decades. But the necessities of modern agriculture and retail posed a challenge for them and other pioneers who saw opportunity in the newly legal industry. [The Oklahoman]

Education News

‘He’s the guy that pulls Ryan Walters’ strings’: Subpoena reveals highly-paid OSDE advisor has no formal employment contract: The Oklahoma State Department of Education’s (OSDE) Chief Policy Advisor—who is paid more than $100k yearly by OSDE—has no formal employment agreement with the state of Oklahoma, a response to a subpoena by lawmakers revealed. [KFOR]

‘Are we hiding something?’: Lawmakers subpoena information from state superintendent: On Thursday, Oklahoma House lawmakers revealed that they hit State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters (R) with a subpoena for information regarding the employment of Matt Langston, chief policy advisor at the Oklahoma State Department of Education. [Fox 25]

Langston University underfunded; state officials not happy: Representatives with the State of Oklahoma are beyond frustrated at the lack of funds distributed to Oklahoma’s only HBCU, Langston University. [KFOR]

Opinion: In OKCPS, behavior is communication. Simply suspending kids is not the answer: Oklahoma City Public Schools accepts, welcomes and nurtures all kids. It is the responsibility of educators to find the best course to serve the whole child and see that behavior is communication. It is their responsibility to teach, re-teach and model positive behavior while creating a safe environment for all students. [Mary Mélon-Tully / The Oklahoman]

Community News

It’s The 103 Anniversary Of The Tulsa Race Massacre: Here’s What You Should Know About The Continued Fight For Reparations: This month marks the 103rd anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the worst instance of racial violence in this country. The two remaining survivors, 109-year-old Lessie Benningfield Randle and 110-year-old Viola Ford Fletcher continue their pursuit of justice over a century later. [Essence]

  • Remembering the Tulsa Race Massacre: 103 years since one of the darkest chapters in Oklahoma history [KOCO]
  • Experts uncover more DNA profiles, surnames tied to potential 1921 Massacre victims [Public Radio Tulsa]

Remembrance work with difficult pasts brings Oklahomans, Germans together: At a time when educators are forbidden to teach certain parts of U.S. history and school curricula is being stripped of some historical content and context, three Oklahomans have connected with German high school students and their teacher over a shared commitment to preserving and sharing lessons from the past through remembrance efforts. [The Oklahoman]

Local Headlines

  • Chickasaw Nation Collaborates with Oklahoma City Zoo & First Americans Museum for Animal Clans Exhibit [Native News Online]
  • Oklahoma elected officials react to Trump’s felony conviction [KOSU]
  • Businessman Brent VanNorman enters Tulsa mayoral race [Public Radio Tulsa]
  • Brent VanNorman enters race for Tulsa mayor [Tulsa World]

Quote of the Day

“Our power and possibility of achieving self-determination and sovereignty comes from being dual citizens, both U.S. and Tribal citizens. We will provide a path towards sovereignty by exercising both citizenships – at the ballot box and through organizing Native grassroots political power to achieve self-determination and sovereignty.”

-Judith LeBlanc, Executive Director of Native Organizers Alliance, speaking about the importance of dual citizenship for American Indians/Alaska Natives. [Native News Online]

Number of the Day


The year that American Indians were granted U.S. citizenship through the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924. [Native News Online]

Policy Note

Celebrating the Centennial of American Indian Citizenship: For most of U.S. history, Native Americans weren’t second-class citizens. In fact, they weren’t even citizens. It wasn’t until June 2, 1924, when Calvin Coolidge signed the Snyder Act, that American Indians were granted U.S. citizenship. With the centennial of American Indian citizenship coming up, Governing spoke with John Echohawk, executive director of the Native American Rights Fund, about civil rights progress since then. [Governing]

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


David Hamby has more than 25 years of experience as an award-winning communicator, including overseeing communication programs for Oklahoma higher education institutions and other organizations. Before joining OK Policy, he was director of public relations for Rogers State University where he managed the school’s external communication programs and served as a member of the president’s leadership team. He served in a similar communications role for five years at the University of Tulsa. He also has worked in communications roles at Oklahoma State University and the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce in Arkansas. He joined OK Policy in October 2019.