In The Know: ACLU files open records lawsuit against Gov. Fallin

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

OK Policy staff will be at a conference for the remainder of the week. In The Know will resume on Monday. 

Today In The News

ACLU announces open records lawsuit against Gov. Fallin: Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin is the center of yet another lawsuit over open records. The new lawsuit was filed in Oklahoma County District Court on behalf of a reporter who has been waiting for execution records and a private advocate for nursing home reform who has been waiting 18 months for records [KTUL].

Newly updated CountySTATS fact sheets for all 77 Oklahoma counties: What are the top employment sectors in your county? What has been your county’s population trend since statehood? How does your county compare for health and educational attainment? You can answer these questions and more with Oklahoma Policy Institute’s newly redesigned and updated CountySTATS fact sheets for 2015 [OK Policy].

Equal health opportunities in all counties statewide could result in 2,600 fewer premature deaths: Thousands of premature deaths could be prevented each year if counties across Oklahoma had equal access to healthy living opportunities, according to a new report. The Oklahoma Health Gaps Report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute is one of 50 similar reports released Tuesday highlighting the disparities in 30 health factors between counties in each state [Tulsa World]. The report is available here.

Area agencies on track to meet goal of housing 290 homeless veterans by end of year: Spending the past four months homeless has given Joseph Lockard a new appreciation for things many of us take for granted: privacy, solace and security. “I’ve learned that if anything can go wrong, it will,” he said. Lockard, a Tulsa native who spent 12 years in the U.S. Air Force, said he was working as a roofer last year when an on-the-job fall resulted in an injured back and a cut on his elbow that led to a staph infection [Tulsa World].

Oklahoma Tax Amnesty Program Coming to an End: If you owe the state past due taxes, the deadline for paying up without a fine or interest is this coming Friday. Paula Ross with the Oklahoma Tax Commission says the program, which started in September, has been wildly successful. The state has collected over $90 million. They had been expecting only about $30 million [KWGS].

Communities Prepare to Go to the Polls for Vision, Other Tax Renewals: There’s a water in the river vote tomorrow — in Bixby. Bixby is one of two communities holding sales tax renewal votes tomorrow, including its portion of the expiring Vision sales tax. Broken Arrow is the other [KWGS].

School projects top election ballots in Oklahoma: Voters in the Washington school district this week will consider an $11.06 million bond issue that would pay for a new buildings and other construction projects. The measure is one of several matters on the ballot in Tuesday’s election [NewsOK].

Tribe plans to match sales tax for Pottawatomi County schools if voters approve: If Pottawatomie County residents pass a 0.495-cent sales tax for the area’s 14 school districts, they could also receive additional funds from a nearby group. The Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s tribal governing body is considering legislation to match the county’s sales tax increase and gift 0.495 percent in sales tax collections to the county every month [Journal Record]. 

Quote of the Day

“It is a moral imperative to get the men and women who have served in the military into housing. The chronically homeless use the most resources in our community. If we get them housed, you will see less hospitalization, less incarcerations and a healthier community overall.”

– Mack Haltom, associate director at Tulsa’s Day Center for the Homeless, on Tulsa’s participation in  Zero: 2016, an initiative aimed making homelessness rare, brief and non-reoccurring with a focus on veterans and the chronically homeless. Officials say Tulsa is on track to meet its goal of housing 290 veterans by the end of this year and 89 chronically homeless by the end of the next year (Source)

Number of the Day


Estimated annual cost of food for a household consisting of one adult and one child in Oklahoma

Source: Living Wage Calculator.

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Police are searching black drivers more often, but finding more illegal stuff with white drivers: For years, police records have shown that black drivers tend to be less likely than white drivers to turn up with guns or drugs when searched at traffic stops. At the same time, black drivers are three times more likely than white drivers to be subjected to these searches, according to a 2013 federal survey. You might object (or not) to the idea of racial profiling — officers taking race into account when determining whether to stop and scrutinize someone. But few would endorse racial profiling that clearly doesn’t work [Washington Post].

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Carly Putnam joined OK Policy in 2013. As Policy Director, she supervises policy research and strategy. She previously worked as an OK Policy intern, and she was OK Policy's health care policy analyst through July 2020. She graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2013. As a student, she was a participant in the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute and interned with Planned Parenthood. Carly is a graduate of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Nonprofit Management Certification; the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council’s Partners in Policymaking; The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship in Tulsa; and Leadership Tulsa Class 62. She currently serves on the boards of Restore Hope Ministries and The Arc of Oklahoma. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and doing battle with her hundred year-old house.

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