In The Know: COVID cases rising more than data show | Inmate seeks execution stay | Proposed tax cut, pushback

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

COVID cases are increasing more than data show, Tulsa-based expert says: For several weeks, the charts showing Oklahoma’s growing number of COVID cases has also shown that those infections are being found almost entirely in ER settings. For Dr. David Kendrick, CEO of the Tulsa-based My Health Data Network, that means “we’re probably missing a lot who are COVID-positive, as well as only getting the more severe symptomatic infections into the data.” [Tulsa World

Death-row inmate seeks stay over lack of access to attorney during execution: A death row inmate scheduled for execution next month is complaining about restrictions placed on his access to his attorneys in his final hours.  In the stay request, his attorneys argued the state’s execution protocol violates his constitutional right to access to legal representation. [The Oklahoman

State Government News

State Chamber researcher calls for ‘Supply Side Revival’: The research arm of the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce sang another chorus of a familiar hymn on Monday in calling for a “Supply Side Revival” in the Oklahoma Legislature. The message: cut taxes. Emma Morris, a policy analyst at the Oklahoma Policy Institute, said Oklahoma tax cuts similar to the ones proposed have not worked in the past. [Tulsa World

Recently from OK Policy: Budget includes a few long-awaited investments, but misses crucial opportunities: Ultimately, no broad-based tax cuts were passed and signed into law, which will protect state revenues when revenues return to normal levels in coming years. [Emma Morris

Tribal Nations News

Cherokee Nation seeks businesses contractors, builders for tribal building projects: The Cherokee Nation is hosting a series of seven construction recruitment events between Wednesday and Sept. 14 to help connect Native and non-Native businesses and contractors to tribal building projects across the 14-county reservation. [Tulsa World

Byrd reelected, but two ousted from Quapaw Nation Business Committee: Two of the three incumbents seeking reelection to Quapaw Nation Business Committee positions were ousted by voters Saturday, but Chairman Joseph Tali Byrd secured a second term. [NonDoc

Voting and Election News

Editorial: More Republicans must stand up to hate proliferating in campaigns, public life: The bigoted rantings of a leading Republican state Senate candidate ought prompt more condemnation from members of his party. Politics of the past few years and social media have emboldened people with intolerant, hateful and racist beliefs to spew their venom without consequences. [Editorial / Tulsa World

Criminal Justice News

Trooper in fatal OHP pursuit for stolen tag had rifle cocked before spinning out SUV at over 100 mph: Oklahoma Highway Patrol records show Trooper Tanner Eads had chased the Lincoln Navigator, reaching speeds of 115 mph, because of a stolen license plate and suspicious behavior. About 4 a.m. on Jan. 13, 2021, Eads ended the chase by sending the SUV into a violent tumble at over 100 mph. [Tulsa World

Economic Opportunity

A poor wheat harvest as Oklahoma faces a hotter, dryer future: Without steps to reduce global emissions, the number of 100-degree days the state sees each year is on track to triple by the middle of the century. Although Oklahoma is no stranger to the occasional dry spell, climatologists predict droughts will grow more frequent and severe in the future due to climate change. [The Frontier

Economy & Business News

Despite recession fears, companies continue hiring: More than half of American companies (57%) are moving ahead with hiring despite predictions of a looming recession, and 27% expect to continue hiring as planned if a recession hits, according to a recent survey. [The Journal Record

Gas prices drop for sixth straight week; state average below $4 per gallon: Gasoline prices dropped for the sixth straight week, with several states now averaging below $4 per gallon. Oklahoma’s average went below that mark on Monday — the first time since May. [Tulsa World

General News

Long-overlooked Tulsan, other Black aviators spotlighted in new ‘Tuskegee Legacy’ exhibit: For Yancey Williams and many other would-be fighter pilots, there seemed to be no getting around it. Qualifications notwithstanding, their color barred them from flying for their country. But rather than just let it go, Williams, a former Tulsan, decided to push back. [Tulsa World

Oklahoma Local News

  • Claremore Church Sponsoring Two Refugee Families From Ukraine [News On 6
  • New arena? OKC’s relationship with the Thunder faces an expensive test [NonDoc

Quote of the Day

“When adjusted for population and inflation, Oklahoma is spending 12% less than it did in 2000. We’ve been here before. We can’t cut our way to prosperity.”

-Emma Morris, Health Care and Revenue Policy Analyst, OK Policy, addressing the proposed “supply side revival” policies that seek to cut taxes. [Tulsa World

Number of the Day

1 in 4

Rate of Oklahoma jobs in occupations with median annual pay below 100% poverty threshold for a family of four ($25,100) [Prosperity Now]

Policy Note

The State of Work: Valuing Work: Simply having a job is often not enough to keep a worker financially secure. For that, you need a good job — one that pays enough to live on with wages that increase enough to cover the gradual rises in the cost of living. And Oklahoma doesn’t have enough good jobs. About one-quarter of Oklahoma jobs are low-wage, and the state has not raised its minimum wage above the federal minimum to keep pace with rising costs of living. [OK Policy Archive]

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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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