In The Know: Dealing with inflation | Upcoming interim studies | Investing in our people after the Panasonic decision

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

If Oklahoma wants to draw businesses, we might need to invest in our people (Capitol Update): In the case of Panasonic’s choice of Kansas over Oklahoma for a $4 billion investment in a battery manufacturing facility, news reports indicated the company decided to go with Kansas for its favorable tax treatment and its proximity to Texas. Doubtful. Oklahoma lost out to a state with a significantly higher tax burden and with more resources to provide for its future. A state like that might be a more attractive location for a high-tech, forward-looking company [Steve Lewis / Capitol Update]

Oklahoma News

What if you can’t ‘out-budget’ inflation?: Inflation is a nightmare for the many Americans who already stretch their dollars to cover basic needs. What happens when these dollars lose value? Their choice is probably not about whether to cut streaming services or opt for store-brand groceries. Instead, they may have to pick between buying enough food and paying rent. [KFOR

Triple-digit heat continues as drought conditions worsen: On Sunday, Tulsa hit 105 degrees for a high, making it the hottest day in Tulsa since the summer of 2018. According to EMSA, Medical Heat Alerts are issued when five or more heat-related medical calls are made in a 24-hour period, and Tulsa has been under a Medical Heat Alert since July 1. [Tulsa World

  • ‘It’s going to get ugly’: National Guard helps battle large wildfire in northwest Oklahoma [The Oklahoman
  • Power use in Central U.S. likely to break record high, grid operator says [Reuters
  • Oklahoma sees a surge in heat-related health emergencies [The New York Times

State Government News

Democracy Watch: Previewing the Legislature’s Upcoming Interim Studies: With the 2022 legislative session and June special session in the books, lawmakers are preparing to return to Capitol for interim studies. Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat approved 41 of 60 interim study requests on July 1. In the lower chamber, House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, approved all 82 study proposals in a week later. [Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma City lawmakers file petition to freeze assessed home values for seniors: In an attempt to keep property taxes consistent for seniors, three Oklahoma City lawmakers filed an initiative petition to freeze assessed home values for residents age 65 and older. The petition that would appear on the ballot as State Question 822 would apply to all Oklahoma seniors, regardless of a homeowner’s income. [The Oklahoman

Federal Government News

Hern joins Lankford in opposing bill meant to help military veterans exposed to burn pits: Republican Rep. Kevin Hern was the only member of Oklahoma’s U.S. House delegation to vote last week against a bill meant to help expand health care access and benefits to military veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxins during their service. [Public Radio Tulsa

Tribal Nations News

Haaland races to recover ‘brutal’ history of U.S. Native American boarding schools: U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said on Friday she is racing to reveal as much history as possible about abuses within the old Native American boarding school system, which separated generations of children from their families in an attempt to destroy indigenous culture. [Reuters] Until now, former boarding school students were largely ignored, forced to survive brutality and separation from family, culture and language, and deal with childhood traumas as best they could. [Indian Country Today

Editorial: Jim Thorpe finally getting recognition we knew he earned, deserved: Oklahomans knew that Jim Thorpe was the rightful winner of the 1912 Olympic pentathlon and decathlon. Now, the world knows it with the announcement last week he is reinstated as the sole gold medalist for those events. It took a 110-year fight, but Thorpe finally received justice. [Editorial / Tulsa World

Voting and Election News

The Village mayor resigns, claiming harassment after encounter with Nichols Hills police: The recently elected mayor of The Village resigned Monday, claiming he has been the target of threats and harassment after an incident between himself and Nichols Hills police. [The Oklahoman

Column: Young people, this is your chance to ‘grab your future by the ballot’: How do we teach our children to be good citizens?  This year, the League of Women Voters is encouraging all eligible voters to get to the polls — but especially young voters, ages 18-34 — with a new campaign called “Grab Your Future by the Ballot.” [Opinion / The Oklahoman

Criminal Justice News

Clemency hearing postponed for death row inmate almost executed three times: A death row inmate who has more than once been within hours of receiving a lethal injection sees another change of schedule. Richard Glossip was set to appear before the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board for a clemency hearing Aug. 10. that has now been changed to Aug. 23. [Public Radio Tulsa

Economy & Business News

Gas price fall continues, now under $4 a gallon at most Tulsa stations: Gasoline prices have fallen for the fifth straight week and likely will continue to fall, barring any supply disruptions, a national analyst said. Prices at most Tulsa-area gas stations went under $4 per gallon over the weekend, the first time since May. [Tulsa World

Education News

Oklahoma City Community College has wiped out nearly $4 million in student debt: Oklahoma City Community College announced it cleared the debts of approximately 4,500 students. [KGOU]  OCCC President Mautra Staley Jones said the $4 million in additional debt forgiveness was made possible by leveraging COVID-19 relief funds. [The Journal Record

Study: Student gains last year narrowed COVID learning gap: Despite a year of disruptions, students largely made academic gains this past year that paralleled their growth pre-pandemic and outpaced the previous school year, according to new research released Tuesday from NWEA, a nonprofit research group that administers standardized tests. [Tulsa World]

Quote of the Day

“(G)iven the discussions we are having at the state Capitol, it might be important to remember the smartest response to every challenge is not just another tax cut.”

-Former Oklahoma House Speaker Steve Lewis writing about legislative discussions following Panasonic’s recent decision to build its $4 billion battery plant in Kansas [Capitol Update]                 

Number of the Day


Increase in pretrial detention rate in 59 rural Oklahoma counties from 2000 to 2015. [Vera Institute]

Policy Note

The Harmful Ripples of Pretrial Detention: A new data-rich study on the associations of pretrial detention found, in part, that jailing a person for any amount of time before trial is associated with an increased likelihood of a rearrest. This finding does not include examining the cases where a person remained detained throughout the pretrial stage. The study’s findings outline the ways in which detaining a person pretrial can do more harm than good and have cascading negative consequences on a community’s safety. [Arnold Ventures]

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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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