In The Know: Oklahoma’s abortion law | State foster care system ranks 11th most unstable | Do your lawmakers represent your values?

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

Policy Matters: Do your lawmakers represent your values?:Now that this year’s legislative session has finished except for some last-minute budget business during a special session, it’s a good time to pause and reflect on how lawmakers represented you this spring. [Shiloh Kantz / Journal Record]

Oklahoma News

After Okla. court struck down two abortion bans, one law remains. Here’s what it says.: The Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision Wednesday to strike down two abortion bans leaves the state with a single law outlawing a person from ending a pregnancy, which abortion rights proponents hope will give doctors and patients more clarity. [The Oklahoman]

  • Oklahoma Supreme Court rules two abortion laws unconstitutional [KOSU]
  • AG says abortion still illegal after Oklahoma Supreme Court strikes two abortion bans [CNHI News]
  • 2 Oklahoma abortion bans struck down by court [Journal Record]
  • Oklahoma Supreme Court rules two abortion ban laws unconstitutional [Tulsa World]

State Government News

Oklahoma ranks 11th in the US’s most unstable foster care systems: State and private foster care agencies have seen a 34% decrease in individuals and families open to fostering in Oklahoma. Meanwhile, the need for placements continues to rise. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma State Department of Education could face third lawsuit over employee firing: A former Oklahoma State Department of Education employee said she was wrongfully fired for speaking at a school board meeting about the importance of mental health resources, indicating a potential third lawsuit over firings at the agency. [The Oklahoman]

State Supreme Court overturns ruling that turnpike authority violated open meetings act: The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Wednesday the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority did not violate the state’s open meetings law, overturning a lower court ruling that declared officials willfully violated requirements when it unveiled the ACCESS Oklahoma toll road expansion plan. [The Oklahoman]

  • Oklahoma Turnpike Authority wins Supreme Court overturn, must respond to land purpose denial [KOSU]

(Audio) StateImpact breaks down Oklahoma’s 2023 education budget: StateImpact’s Logan Layden sat down with education reporter Beth Wallis for a breakdown of what education measures Oklahomans are going to get after a contentious 2023 legislative session. [KGOU

Oklahoma officials are in talks with Canoo as it faces a deadline to buy a factory or lose millions in state incentives: The electric vehicle startup Canoo Inc. is running out of cash and has until Aug. 20 to buy a factory site in Oklahoma City or lose up to $7.5 million in state incentives. A spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce said the agency was in ongoing talks with the company but declined to release additional information. [The Frontier]

Federal Government News

Oklahoma officials praise U.S. Supreme Court decision to limit scope of Clean Water Act: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot enforce the Clean Water Act on wetlands that aren’t physically connected to lakes and rivers, even if they feed into those water bodies. The decision in Sackett v. EPA invalidates the EPA’s recently expanded definition of the Clean Water Act’s scope. [KOSU]

Tribal Nations News

2023 Tribal Election Guide: Any person who has obtained Tribal Membership as defined by Article II of the Constitution and who has attained the age of eighteen (18) by the date of any election shall be eligible to register to vote in Choctaw Nation tribal elections. Every eligible tribal member must be registered with the Voter Registration Department to vote in tribal elections. [Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma]

  • Here are tribal nation elections to watch in Oklahoma this weekend [KOSU]
  • Four running to be Cherokee Nation deputy chief [NonDoc]

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoes bills to extend tribal compacts: Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has rejected two bills that would extend some state-tribal compacts. [The Oklahoman]

Criminal Justice News

Designer for new county jail/health center selected by Oklahoma County: Oklahoma County’s decision to hire St. Louis architecture firm HOK to design its new jail/health facility sets the stage for officials to begin to narrow down where it should be built. [The Oklahoman]

Economic Opportunity

For those too sick for the homeless shelter, few options in Oklahoma City: In Oklahoma City, there are few good options for people experiencing homelessness who are discharged after a hospital stay but still too sick for the city’s already strained shelters. Providers agree a medical-level respite facility would expand care options to more people, but no medical respite program exists in Oklahoma. [The Frontier]

  • OKC’s ‘snapshot’ of homeless shows efforts are working, agencies say, but more to come [The Oklahoman]

Education News

Over $215K seized as investigation into former Tulsa Public Schools exec continues, feds say: Federal filings indicate that more than $215,000 has been seized from bank accounts tied to the former head of Tulsa Public Schools’ human resources department. [Tulsa World]

General News

Soil pour ceremony remembers unknown victims of Tulsa Race Massacre: On the 102nd anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, a crowd collected soil in remembrance of the unknown victims killed in what many consider to be the worst act of racial violence in U.S. history. [Public Radio Tulsa]

  • City updates search for relatives of unmarked Oaklawn remains [Tulsa World]
  • Tulsa Race Massacre remembered at Standpipe Hill ceremony [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma Local News

  • Pride Month kicked off in OKC Wednesday night. Here’s what Mayor Holt had to say [The Oklahoman]

Quote of the Day

“We remember that some gave all; here in Tulsa, we remember that some took all.”
– Kenneth Brant quoting a poem he wrote two years ago during Wednesday’s commemoration of the 102nd anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre [Tulsa World]

Number of the Day


Estimated percentage of Oklahoma residents who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. [Williams Institute]

Policy Note

LGBT Poverty in the U.S.: This brief details levels of poverty among LGBT people before and since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. When our last LGBT poverty report was released in 2019, data indicated an economic disparity between LGBT and non-LGBT people. Since that report, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and a cascade of negative economic effects were felt by large proportions of the U.S. population. Our new analyses, across multiple datasets, indicate that these disparities persist—a higher percentage of LGBT than non-LGBT people have incomes below the federal poverty level (FPL). [Williams Institute]

NOTE: June is Pride Month celebrating the many contributions made by the LGBTQ+ community to history, society and cultures worldwide.

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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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