In The Know: Business leaders join Stitt transition team; new Judicial Nominating Commission chair; Pauls Valley nursing homes…

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. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Note: In The Know will be on break Thursday and Friday for the holiday. The Weekly Wonk will also be on break this Sunday. We’ll be back Monday with a round-up of news from over the break!

In The News

Business leaders named to Stitt’s transition team: Jill Castilla, president and CEO of Citizens Bank of Edmond, will join Gov.-elect Kevin Stitt’s transition team, along with several other business leaders and government officials. Stitt’s office also announced chairs for seven policy advisory committees that will help shape his platform as governor. “We are excited for the talented Oklahomans who continue to join Oklahoma’s Turnaround,” Stitt said in a Tuesday release, which included a list of new team members. [NewsOK]

Ardmore attorney named chair of Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission: Mike Mordy, an attorney from Ardmore, has been elected chair of the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission. DB Green, a banker from Marlow, was chosen as the vice chair. Mordy succeeds Tulsan Steve Turnbo and Green succeeds Mordy at the vice chair position. [Tulsa World]

Despite uncertainty, Pauls Valley holds on to nursing homes: Pauls Valley saw its hospital close last month because of financial troubles. But that isn’t stopping the city from holding on to 28 nursing homes that only two months ago it said it acquired to save its only hospital. Instead of benefitting the hospital, city and nursing home officials say, Pauls Valley hopes to unlock millions of dollars in federal funds to improve the overall quality of health care in the community. [Oklahoma Watch]

Failure of SQs 800 and 801 attributed to sparse campaign dollars: Of the four state questions that failed in November, a couple of them had some things in common. State Questions 800 and 801, which would have amended the constitution to change some fiscal policies, didn’t fail by much. The latter garnered 49.6 percent of the vote. But the measures faced hurdles that others didn’t. [Journal RecordWe recently discussed how Oklahoma’s 2018 elections were different in many ways.

Rep. Eric Proctor observes last day in office at Owasso Library, honored with prestigious award: The Owasso Library held a special event Tuesday morning honoring one of Owasso’s own. Staff invited Representative Eric Proctor to visit the center, where he spoke to local patrons and was recognized for his efforts at the state Capitol. [Owasso Reporter]

Moving On: State Sen. John Sparks: Senate Minority Leader John Sparks’ term has expired, but he’s losing only one of his jobs. The Norman Democrat termed out this year after spending his full 12 years in the Legislature. But unlike many of his colleagues, his post-service life is pretty easy to nail down. [Journal Record]

Some law enforcement worry new, stricter law will discourage sex offenders from registering: Anew law that further tightens restrictions on where sex offenders can live has some law enforcement agencies concerned it will discourage people from registering as offenders. The law, which went into effect on Nov. 1, added home daycares to the list of locations sex offenders cannot live near. [The Frontier]

Suspensions are now counted as absences, and that change played role in chronic absenteeism rate rise at Tulsa Public Schools, district reports: Chronic absenteeism increased at Tulsa Public Schools in the first quarter of the school year, but district officials hope to reverse that trend soon. TPS released its 2018-19 first-quarter review this week, offering insight into the district’s ongoing efforts and struggles to keep students in class. [Tulsa World]

Why e-cigs are tempting to teenagers: The rapid, mostly unregulated evolution of electronic cigarettes has created a conundrum. They are smaller, cleaner and easier to use, helping smokers who haven’t otherwise been successful switch to a less-harmful product. But that’s also what makes liquid nicotine delivery devices more attractive to adolescents, said Ted Wagener, tobacco regulatory science director of the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center. [Journal Record]

City council chooses new city manager: The Oklahoma City Council on Tuesday named Finance Director Craig Freeman to succeed Jim Couch as city manager. The vote was unanimous. Asked what strengths the council saw in Freeman, Ward 3 Councilman Larry McAtee said, “His skill, his character, and his ability to build a team and work well with people.” [NewsOK]

Program connecting Tulsa-area veterans to services marks successful first year: A program seeking to make it easier to connect local veterans with services had a successful first year. Oklahoma Veteran Connections taps into the Community Service Council’s 211 system to help veterans easily find groups offering jobs, health care or even food. CSC launched the program in October 2017. [Public Radio Tulsa]

Point of View: Creating a contingency plan for OKC’s homeless: When the temperature drops below 32 degrees, the wind is sharp and the ground is frozen, do you consider a plan for your warmth, safety and comfort? Do you cover your plants, drip your faucets and find extra blankets and fuzzy socks for your kiddos? For many of us, a cold weather contingency plan is something we take for granted. [Adam Luck / NewsOK]

Quote of the Day

Too many resources in our city can only be accessed by those in a position to work a program, a barrier to receiving shelter. Simply put, they require too much of guests who cannot see beyond relief from the elements, let alone be in a position to make a commitment to sobriety or provide identification. We are shattering that barrier by ensuring there are low barriers to securing shelter on the coldest of nights.

-Adam Luck, CEO at City Care, on the importance of providing adequate shelter to those in need on cold weather nights. [Source: NewsOK]

Number of the Day


Hospital beds per 1,000 population in Oklahoma in 2016, 19th in the U.S.

[Source: Kaiser Family Foundation]

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

It ended in 1767, yet this experiment is still linked to higher incomes and education levels today: Investments in roads and cities can shape an economy for hundreds of years. Now economists are showing how one-time investments in education can endure every bit as long. Jesuits arrived late to the Guarani peoples homeland where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet. But their missions thrived until 1767, when King Charles III of Spain expelled all Jesuits from the Spanish Empire. Yet even 250 years later, people living near the ruins of Jesuit missions complete 10 to 15 percent more years of education and earn 10 percent more than residents of equivalent towns without missions, according to a study published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics. [Washington Post]

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Jessica joined OK Policy as a Communications Associate in January 2018. A Mexican immigrant, she was a Clara Luper Scholar at Oklahoma City University where she obtained a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy. Prior to joining OK Policy, Jessica worked at a digital marketing agency in Oklahoma City. She is an alumna of both the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute (2013) and OK Policy's Summer Policy Institute (2015). In addition to her role at OK Policy, Jessica serves as a board member for Dream Action Oklahoma in OKC and communications director for Dream Alliance Oklahoma in Tulsa.

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