In The Know: Cherokee Nation chief voices support for Indian Child Welfare | Governor’s debate scheduled for Wednesday | Capitol Update

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

Mansion fundraising controversy, and looking back at how past governors used the facility (Capitol Update): Something of a controversy has developed over Gov. Kevin Stitt’s plan to raise about $6.5 million in private funding and build a new governor’s mansion. According to reports, “Friends of the Mansion” has been accepting donations of up to $250,000 from foundations and up to $150,000 from individuals. The controversy has arisen partly because the fundraising was happening outside of public view. [Steve Lewis / Capitol Update]

Oklahoma News

Cherokee chief voices support for Indian Child Welfare ahead of Supreme Court hearing: An unfavorable ruling in a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court would deal a “devastating blow” to the welfare of tribal children and the “basic foundations of federal Indian law,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said Monday. [Tulsa World]

State Government News

Governor Stitt Signs Bills To Help Fund Education For Oklahoma National Guard: Governor Kevin Stitt visited Rogers State University Monday for a ceremonial signing of two bills supporting higher education through the National Guard. [News9]

  • Gov. Stitt holds ceremonial bill signing at Oklahoma Military Academy Museum [Fox 23]

Stitt appointee accused in criminal case of facilitating illegal marijuana operations: A politically connected attorney who served as Gov. Kevin Stitt’s hospital surge plan adviser during the pandemic was accused Monday in a drug trafficking charge of illegal involvement in marijuana businesses. [The Oklahoman]

Tribal Nations News

Native Americans recall torture, hatred at boarding schools: Saturday’s event was the third in U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s yearlong “Road to Healing” initiative for victims of abuse at government-backed boarding schools, after previous stops in Oklahoma and Michigan. [Public Radio Tulsa and Associated Press]

Voting and Election News

Poll: Oklahoma governor’s race a dead heat between Kevin Stitt, Joy Hofmeister: Gov. Kevin Stitt is virtually tied with Democrat Joy Hofmeister in the governor’s race, according to a new poll from Oklahoma City’s Amber Integrated. [The Oklahoman]



League Of Women Voters Prepare For Election Day In Oklahoma: The League of Women Voters said approximately 70% of Oklahomans who are eligible to vote are registered, but they also said a small fraction of that number cast ballots on Election Day. [News On 6]

Gloria Banister, Ellyn Hefner vie for northwest OKC’s House District 87: One candidate running to represent Oklahoma City’s House District 87 was encouraged to seek office by outgoing Collin Walke (D-OKC), while the other believes Walke “did not do anything” for the residents of the district. [NonDoc]

Brad Banks, Suzanne Schreiber face off in midtown Tulsa legislative race: The only two candidates in the general election are Democrat Suzanne Schreiber, a longtime Tulsa Public Schools board member, and Republican Brad Banks, an engineer and construction company owner. [Tulsa World]

Who is running for Oklahoma County treasurer? Your guide to the candidates: Incumbent Oklahoma County Treasurer Forrest “Butch” Freeman will face challenger Brandon Kirkpatrick on Nov. 8. Kirkpatrick is an activist and currently works in the private sector. Freeman has been treasurer of Oklahoma County for nearly 30 years. [The Oklahoman]

Column: Voting more critical than ever for Cherokees, Oklahomans: As we draw near to election day, I urge you to begin making your plans to participate. I encourage all Cherokees to vote, either by going to the polls on November 8 or by voting early or absentee. This election is one of the most important elections that we have faced as Native Americans in the state of Oklahoma. This year every congressional and statewide office is on the ballot, as well as hundreds of important state legislative and local races. [Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. / Indianz]

Health News

Respiratory infections in children are beginning to tick up in Oklahoma: Oklahoma doctors are beginning to see cases of a common respiratory virus that can be dangerous for children. The rise is in line with annual trends. [KOSU]

Criminal Justice News

Man shot after Anadarko traffic stop dies at hospital, OSBI investigating: A traffic stop ended with a police officer fatally shooting a man Sunday in Anadarko after the vehicle’s passenger ran away, authorities said. [The Oklahoman]

Economic Opportunity

Column: Progress on addressing poverty requires the voices of those being served: Solutions to complex community problems require the recognition that policymakers have relatively little personal exposure to the problems themselves, and the voices of those who live in the issues must be elevated. [Justin Brown Guest Column / The Oklahoman]

Economy & Business News

Will a privatized Continental Resources change Oklahoma’s energy industry? Speculation abounds: The largest Continental Resources shareholder not named Harold Hamm holds about 2% of the company’s stock, and the investor said Monday he understands why Hamm is taking the oil and gas company he created nearly 50 years ago private. [The Oklahoman]

Tulsa gas prices drop 10 cents in last week, but diesel up 20-30 cents: Gasoline prices in Tulsa have dropped about 10 cents per gallon in the last week, but the average price of diesel has spiked 30 cents. The figures follow national trends. [Tulsa World]

Education News

President Biden’s student loan debt relief application is now open. Here’s where to apply: The application went live Monday, after weeks of anticipation, skepticism, opposition and a weekend of software testing. Borrowers were notified Friday that an early, “beta launch” version of the new online form was made available so that the U.S. Department of Education could address any issues in advance. [The Oklahoman]

General News

Amid exceptional Oklahoma drought, OKC draws from Canton Lake for drinking water: Drought conditions that started in June have overtaken the state of Oklahoma, making it the state with the highest percentage of area experiencing extreme to exceptional drought, according to data from the U.S. Drought Monitor map. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma County asks for funds for sidewalk, street and drainage projects: Oklahoma County commissioners voted Monday to apply for more than $280,000 in grant funding for sidewalk, street and drainage projects. [The Oklahoman]

OKC expected to spend $3.6B on capital projects: City officials plan to spend $3.6 billion over the next five years on capital improvements throughout the city. A public hearing and adoption vote by the City Council are scheduled for Nov. 8. [Journal Record]

Quote of the Day

“Simply, for the court to overturn ICWA in this case would be a devastating blow not just to the welfare of our children but to Congressional authority, legal precedent, and to the basic foundations of federal Indian law.”

-Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., commenting on the impact an unfavorable ruling in a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court would have on the welfare of children and the “basic foundations of federal Indian law.” [Tulsa World]

Number of the Day


Number of children removed from their guardians’ care by the state’s Child Welfare Services between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. [Oklahoma Department of Human Services Annual Report]

Policy Note

States Should Use New Guidance to Stop Charging Parents for Foster Care, Prioritize Family Reunification: Recent guidance from the Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children & Families allows states to end the harmful practice of charging parents for costs associated with their child being in foster care. Implementing this guidance will be crucial in helping create more equitable child support and child welfare programs that put the needs of children first. Most children placed in foster care are there due at least in part to their parents’ economic hardships, and charging for such care as most states do imposes extra hardship and delays family reunification. This approach also costs more to administer than it collects. States and localities should act expeditiously to change the policies needed to fully implement the new guidance and prioritize reunification, the central goal of the foster care system. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities]

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Hana Saad joined OK Policy in August 2022 as the Communications and Operations Fellow. She graduated from the University of Tulsa with degrees in Media Studies and English and is part of Phi Beta Kappa, an academic honor society. At TU, Hana regularly wrote for The Collegian and was the Co-Editor of the Stylus Journal of Art and Writing. She also serves on the team at Puppy Haven Rescue to help in their mission of saving rescue dogs across Oklahoma. Hana is eager to learn more about public policy in Oklahoma and use her skills to support the OKP work to build a more equitable state. In her free time, she loves to read fiction and poetry, walk her dog, and make copious cups of tea.

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