In The Know: AG enters federal lawsuit over tribal gaming compacts | Ryan Walters grilled at Lawton event | State Sec. of Ed resigns

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.

Oklahoma News

‘An extraordinary act’: Drummond enters lawsuit over tribal gaming compacts: Against the wishes of Gov. Kevin Stitt, Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond said he is entering a federal lawsuit filed against the U.S. Department of Interior, four tribal nations and Stitt, who signed and submitted new casino gaming compacts with the four tribes three years ago. [NonDoc]

  • Oklahoma attorney general moves to oust governor from defending his tribal gaming compacts [The Oklahoman]
  • Oklahoma attorney general joins lawsuit over tribal gambling agreements, criticizes GOP governor [AP]
  • Oklahoma AG Drummond steps in to take ‘unlawful’ gaming compacts lawsuit from Governor [KGOU]
  • Drummond to Stitt: AG’s Office intervening in ‘costly legal battles’ on tribal gaming compacts [Tulsa World]

Critical crowd grills Ryan Walters at Lawton town hall: A critical crowd at a Lawton town hall grilled State Superintendent Ryan Walters on Tuesday on his perspectives on issues ranging from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre to inclusion and indoctrination. [Tulsa World]

  • Tulsa Public Schools faces a possible further downgrade in accreditation in upcoming State Board vote [Public Radio Tulsa]
  • Tulsa’s mayor, City Council lie low amid Tulsa Public Schools, Ryan Walters spat [Tulsa World]

State Government News

Oklahoma Secretary of Education resigns, citing ‘political environment’ of role: After just three months in office, Oklahoma Secretary of Education Katherine Curry is resigning from Gov. Kevin Stitt’s cabinet and returning to her professor position at Oklahoma State University. [KOSU]

  • Stitt’s secretary of education resigns after three months, citing ‘political environment’ [Tulsa World

Oklahoma shrinks its waiting list for developmental disability support: Over 900 Oklahomans who have been waiting years for developmental disability support now have been connected with services as Oklahoma continues its push to become a “no-wait state” by next June. Thousands of Oklahoma families are still waiting for services, including some who applied more than a decade ago. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma Human Services invites public comment, meeting attendance regarding Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program: Oklahoma Human Services is seeking public comments about the federally-funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) through a public comment meeting to be held on Aug. 9 in Oklahoma City. LIHEAP is dependent upon the availability of federal funds and helps income-eligible families with their home energy bills. [Oklahoma Human Services

Tribal Nations News

Report: Tribal gaming industry produced record revenue in 2022: The tribal gaming industry produced a record $40.9 billion in gross gaming revenue in fiscal year 2022, according to a report released last week by the National Indian Gaming Commission. [Journal Record]

Criminal Justice News

McClain County deputies shoot, kill man who they say had a knife: McClain County deputies shot and killed a man they said had a knife. It happened after they tried to serve an eviction notice near Purcell. Now, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is looking into it. [KOCO]

After Valley Brook strip club fight and APC charge, Edmond police officer agreed to plea deal: After disobeying a Valley Brook police officer’s orders and getting arrested following a strip club fight in September, Edmond police officer Dustin Hand’s driver’s license was suspended for 180 days. As part of a plea agreement, Hand paid Valley Brook Municipal Court $1,570 in administrative costs, and the charges were ultimately dropped. [NonDoc]

Education News

State charter school board votes to hire designated hate group as legal counsel to defend approval of taxpayer-funded Catholic school: Oklahoma’s statewide virtual charter school board voted Monday to hire legal representation from an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center labels as a hate group. The decision preempts potential lawsuits the board could face over its decision to approve the nation’s first publicly funded Catholic charter school, St. Isidore of Seville. [Public Radio Tulsa]

General News

New Yorker article puts McCurtain County back in spotlight, and it’s not pretty: This week, the New Yorker published an article outlining the impact a small, print-only newspaper in Oklahoma has had on uncovering and spotlighting misdeeds around the county. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma historian Dr. Bob Blackburn addresses Human Rights Commission: The former Executive Director of the Oklahoma Historical Society presented a timeline of injustice in Oklahoma to the Oklahoma City Human Rights Commission Tuesday. The commission is using its first year to learn from historians and residents about the history of civil rights in Oklahoma City. [KOSU]

Oklahoma Local News

  • Back to School in OKC: What to know about free school supplies and tax free weekend [The Oklahoman]

Quote of the Day

“The governor is free to make his own decisions regarding how he wants to interact with the tribes, but he is not free to violate Oklahoma law. I am taking this action in order to uphold the law and defend our constitution.”

-Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond speaking about why he is joining a federal lawsuit filed against the U.S. Department of Interior, four tribal nations and Gov. Stitt. [NonDoc]

Number of the Day

1 in 6

About 615,000 Oklahomans reported having one or more disabilities, which is about 1 in 6 residents. [Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services]

Policy Note

Eight facts about Americans with disabilities: July is Disability Pride Month in the United States, commemorating the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act more than 30 years ago. Overall, there are about 42.5 million Americans with disabilities, making up 13% of the civilian noninstitutionalized population, according to U.S. Census Bureau data from 2021. This group includes people with hearing, vision, cognitive, walking, self-care or independent living difficulties. Here are eight facts about Americans with disabilities, based on government data and recent Pew Research Center surveys. [Pew Research Center]

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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.

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