In The Know: 25 execution dates set | Ruling ‘fractures’ decades of Native American law | Medicaid expansion is working

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

New from OK Policy

First look at Senate interim study requests (Capitol Update): The Senate has published the list of 41 interim studies that have been requested this year. Of the 48 Senators, only 22 requested interim studies this year. There are usually fewer study requests in an election year. [Steve Lewis / OK Policy

Oklahoma News

Editorial: Medicaid expansion working; move forward putting patients first: The expanded health care program has been life-changing for many Oklahomans. Many are receiving preventative care for the first time and getting treatment for ailments long ignored. When Oklahoma voters approved the measure, the state had the second-highest U.S. uninsured rate of about 16%. It went down to about 9.6% as of April 25, according to a report from the Oklahoma Policy Institute that examined the first 10 months of the program. [Editorial / Tulsa World

NEW FROM OK POLICY: Medicaid Expansion in Oklahoma: Year One looks at how Medicaid expansion has increased health care access, improved health outcomes, and strengthened our economy.

The Supreme Court gave states more power over tribal land. Tribes say that undermines their autonomy: In a decision that stunned legal experts, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that state governments have the authority to prosecute certain cases on tribal lands, effectively undermining centuries of legal precedent by expanding the power of states. [NBC

  • Experts: US Court fractures decades of Native American law [Public Radio Tulsa
  • Supreme Court ruling in Oklahoma case cuts to core of tribal sovereignty and state rights [The Oklahoman
  • Gorsuch dissent accuses Oklahoma of ‘unlawful power grab’ [The Journal Record

Court sets 25 execution dates for Oklahoma death-row inmates: The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday set execution dates for 25 death-row inmates. The inmates have exhausted their appeals and lengthy challenges to the state’s death-penalty protocols. [Tulsa World

  • Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Glossip challenges conviction again as execution looms [The Oklahoman
  • Oklahoma Plans to Execute 25 Prisoners in 29 Months [The New York Times
  • Oklahoma sets execution dates for 25 death row inmates through end of 2024 [The Oklahoman

State Government News

New laws take effect across Oklahoma: Over 60 new laws took effect Friday in Oklahoma dealing with everything from Holocaust education to vehicle title changes. Here’s a breakdown of eight new laws that could impact Oklahomans. [CNHI via McAlester News-Capital]

Oklahoma Voters’ Advice For State Leaders: ‘I Don’t Think They’re Working Fast Enough’: Oklahoma voters had plenty of advice for elected leaders Tuesday. On election day, Oklahoma Watch reporters asked voters how well they were being represented by elected leaders and what else they wanted state officials to know. [Oklahoma Watch

  • We Asked Voters ‘How is Oklahoma Working For You?’ Here’s What They Said [Oklahoma Watch

Two more Oklahoma abortion laws face challenges from reproductive rights groups, providers: Abortion providers and advocates filed a lawsuit Friday asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to strike down two laws that make it a felony to perform an abortion — one that’s been on the books since 1910, and one set to go into effect next month. [The Oklahoman

  • Teenage girls: Oklahoma abortion laws concern us, and they should you, too [Opinion / The Oklahoman
  • Oklahoma Democrats are hopeful Roe v. Wade reversal mobilizes voters this election cycle [The Oklahoman
  • Abortion limits in Oklahoma in conflict with other, lawsuit alleges [CNHI via Muskogee Phoenix]
  • Multiple abortion-rights protests taking place across Oklahoma City Sunday [KFOR
  • ‘A recipe for a lot of suffering’: How abortion bans may strain the red states [CNN

Stitt’s dismissal of two Oklahoma Veterans Commission members called ‘political retaliation’: A long-time member of the Oklahoma Veterans Commission says he is “going to sue the s—-” out of Gov. Kevin Stitt after the governor ordered the Purple Heart recipient, along with a retired general, dismissed from the commission. [Tulsa World

State’s Second Amendment support makes it hard to pass gun rules: Despite nationwide pressure to overhaul gun regulations, many Oklahomans remain passionate defenders of their right to own firearms and ardent supporters of the Second Amendment. [CNHI via Enid News & Eagle]

Voting and Election News

Days after being elected Pottawatomie County DA, David Hammer dies: Five days after he was elected Pottawatomie County district attorney, David Hammer died Sunday at age 47. Hammer’s death was announced on Facebook by members of his family. [NonDoc] Oklahoma law requires the governor to fill the vacancy through an appointment. [The Oklahoman

Evaluating key Oklahoma primary election results: Oklahoma voters went to the polls on June 28th to cast ballots in local, state and federal elections. While many Oklahoma elective offices have already been filled, voters also delivered some interesting results. [KGOU

Markwayne Mullin emerges from primary as favorite to claim retiring U.S. Sen. James Inhofe’s seat: Despite Mullin’s strong performance on Tuesday, some expect his runoff opponent, T.W. Shannon, to put up a fight in August. [The Frontier] U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin and T.W. Shannon have agreed to a televised debate and a forum with Oklahoma cattlemen, giving Republican voters at least two chances to hear the U.S. Senate candidates address issues together during the runoff campaign. [The Oklahoman

Largely anonymous independent expenditures total $17.2 million for Oklahoma primaries: Largely anonymous political action committees with names like the Oklahoma Conservative Patriots Alliance and Americans United for Values reported spending at least $17.2 million on Oklahoma’s primary elections this year, a Tulsa World analysis of Federal Election Commission and Oklahoma Ethics Commission reports show. [Tulsa World

Criminal Justice News

Oklahoma County jail detainee dies Saturday after suffering health issues on Monday: An Oklahoma County jail detainee died Saturday in the hospital after a medical emergency, jail officials said. Corey McMichael is the tenth Oklahoma County jail detainee to die this year in custody. [The Oklahoman

The right to be forgotten: Felony check box casts barriers for employment: For the last month, Oklahoma resident Katherine Kent has been raising funds for an expungement. It’s something she said she needs so she doesn’t have to work minimum wage jobs and can spend more time with her kids. She was denied a real estate license in May because of her criminal record, even though she’s turned her life around. [CHNI via Stillwater News Press]

Economy & Business News

OG&E customers’ bills to rise about $2 a month after utility settlement with regulators: Oklahoma Gas and Electric customers will see an increase in their bills following an uncontested $30 million settlement with regulators to adjust base rates. The average residential customer will see an increase on the monthly electric bill of about $2.07, or 1.9%, according to OG&E. [The Oklahoman

Education News

Editorial: Epic scandal shows need to overhaul Oklahoma’s ethics rules: Of the lessons from the Epic Charter Schools scandal is this: Lawmakers need to strengthen the state’s ethics rules and properly fund the Ethics Commission. Gary Jones, the former state auditor and inspector and former chairman of the state Republican Party, has said as much. So have some current and former lawmakers. [Editorial / Tulsa World

General News

Op-ed: 4th of July celebrates America and forgets its violent day in history: July 4th has been long celebrated for its patriotic nostalgia and while some can embrace America’s Independence Day unconditionally, others look beyond the façade and see the US for what it is, not what it aspires to become. [Opinion / The Black Wall Street Times

Oklahoma Local News

  • OKC Council to consider requesting civilian response to 911 calls involving the homeless [The Oklahoman
  • Community Court sets some of OKC’s homeless, after hitting ‘rock bottom,’ on a new path [The Oklahoman
  • Mayor says he expects external police liaison office to be established this year [Tulsa World

Quote of the Day

“It’s devastating that as a 36-year-old mother today, I made decisions as a 20-year-old girl that are keeping me from a career and a better life for my children today.” 

-Oklahoma resident Katherine Kent speaking about the need for criminal record expungement for justice-involved residents. This legislative session saw lawmakers overwhelmingly approve automatic expungement, also known as Clean Slate. The passage of HB 3316 is a historic step forward for economic justice and criminal legal reform in Oklahoma. [CNHI via Stillwater News Press]  |  [Read more about Clean Slate from OK Policy]

Number of the Day

$87 billion

Estimated annual loss of GDP due to underemployment of formerly incarcerated people the U.S. [Clean Slate Initiative]

Policy Note

The Right Way to Do Criminal Record Clearance: Automatically: The reality is that today millions of people across the United States live with the barriers and stigma of a criminal record, no matter how old or how minor that record may be. Decades of federal, state and local policies and practices — like the failed war on drugs — have resulted in one in three people having a criminal record. For many, that equals a life sentence to poverty. [Governing]

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Kristin Wells served as the Communications and Operations Fellow for OK Policy from October 2021 to July 2022. She previously worked as a digital content producer for News On 6. A native Kansas Citian, Kristin graduated with a B.A. in Media Studies and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Tulsa in 2020. While there, she was accepted into the Global Scholars program, spurring her interests in policy, social movements, global identities, and the importance of education and advocacy. She hopes to use her skills to continue to learn and create a more equitable future for Oklahomans. An avid sports fan, Kristin lives in Tulsa with her rescue dog and is passionate about college basketball, documentaries, and coffee.

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