In The Know: Early voting starts today; new laws take effect; a profile of Oklahoma poverty…

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.

Early voting starts today: Early voting begins kicks off today with voters able to cast their votes at their local county election board from 8 am to 6 pm. Early voting will continue Friday, November 2nd and Saturday November 3rd. Visit the Oklahoma State Election Board page for a full list of dates and times. Visit our #OKvotes page to find more election information, important dates, and other resources.

In The News

20 new laws that take effect in Oklahoma today: Thursday, Nov. 1, means a slew of new laws taking effect across the state.An important change comes in Senate Bill 1446, which places limits on the number of opioid pills that physicians can prescribe and puts in place safeguards to help curb the potential for opioid abuse.One new law was signed in amid controversy, as SB 1140 will allow private adoption agencies to refuse some child placements based on the agencies’ religious beliefs. [Tulsa World]

2017 Oklahoma Poverty Profile: For more than a decade, Oklahoma’s poverty rate has been higher than the national average, and that didn’t change in 2017.  In fact, the gap between Oklahoma and the nation widened a bit in the most recent years. Unless Oklahoma does the work of tackling the causes of poverty, Oklahoma children and families will continue to face serious barriers to prosperity. [OK Policy]

Tulsa officials hope dinners encouraging dialogue about social inequities lead to understanding, stronger city: The city wants to start a conversation about equity, and you are invited to participate.In fact, more than 200 people have signed up to take part in Equity Dinners so far. The program, part of the city’s Resilient Tulsa strategy, is intended to foster constructive dialogue among diverse groups with the ultimate goal of creating more unity and understanding. [Tulsa World] We previously discussed the Resilient Tulsa strategy with DeVon Douglass on the OK PolicyCast.

New program to catch uninsured drivers, but some doubt it will increase compliance: Ten percent of Oklahoma drivers are uninsured according to the Insurance Information Institute. That’s down from roughly 26 percent in 2012, but the state hopes to lower that figure using cameras that capture license plate numbers and run them through an insurance database starting November 1. [KGOUWe examined why roadside cameras will not solve Oklahoma’s uninsured rate here.

A ‘desperate’ need in the opioids fight: OSU to provide training for medication-assisted treatment: A new law restricting opioid prescriptions becomes effective Thursday, establishing another watermark in Oklahoma’s fight against those potentially addictive drugs. But mental health providers said even though it’s the right move, they’re concerned reduced access to those prescriptions is already pushing people to street drugs like heroin. The federal government is helping Dr. Jason Beaman and his colleague Dr. Samuel Martin fight back. [Journal Record]

Expensive problems prompt $1 billion budget request from prisons agency: The Oklahoma Department of Corrections is asking lawmakers for $1.57 billion in funding for next year, a budget request anchored by money for new prison beds and medicine for hepatitis C. The agency’s supervisory board on Oct. 30 unanimously approved the budget request for lawmakers to consider during the 2019 legislative session. [StateImpact Oklahoma]

20-year auditor, 20-year professor square off for state auditor: The auditor’s office is responsible for providing unbiased financial reports of Oklahoma institutions from state agencies to municipal governments. To run for state auditor and inspector, one must have at least three years’ experience in expert accounting. The two candidates for state auditor and inspector spoke to NonDoc about their qualifications and reasons for running. [NonDoc]

In One Minute: The race for Corporation Commissioner: Three people are running for an Oklahoma Corporation Commission seat on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. In this short video, learn their names and what the purpose of the Corporation Commission is. [Oklahoma Watch]

Southeastern Oklahoma voters consider crime and experience as they select first DA in 30 years: Integrity, experience and a plan for change are the keys to some voters’ support in Hughes, Pontotoc and Seminole counties, which are all represented by the same district attorney’s office. Voters in the three rural counties are set to elect a new district attorney for the first time in 28 years. [KGOU]

Candidates seek solutions for problems plaguing Oklahoma: Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce members got a better understanding of House District candidates representing Edmond at a Candidate Forum Tuesday morning. HD82 candidate Nicole Miller was asked about the top three issues she hears on the doorstep. Getting the House in order for matters of fiscal responsibility was what she heard early in her campaign, said Miller, R-Edmond. In February the main topic of conversation was education. [Edmond Sun]

Prosperity Policy: Thank you, candidates: As we near the end of another long campaign season, I want to offer heartfelt thanks to the hundreds of public-spirited Oklahomans who have run for office this year. There’s no other job with an application process anywhere near as lengthy or grueling as that of elected official. [David Blatt / Journal Record]

OKDHS to implement foster children’s bill of rights: “I entered foster care at the age of six, and I was in foster care until the age of 18,” said Brondalyn Coleman. Coleman aged out after 12 years, and now spends her days advocating for children at a nonprofit called Pivot. She’s excited about new foster children’s’ bill of rights, which will be implemented starting November 1. [KFOR]

Report: Former Mayes County anti-drug unit head facing criminal indictment was disciplined previously for alleged meth use: The former head of Mayes County’s drug interdiction unit who is now facing a possible federal indictment for allegedly using meth stolen from evidence had been disciplined years earlier for allegedly testing positive for meth, an investigation by The Frontier has found. [The Frontier] Pryor woman hopes for return of vehicles seized in former deputy’s drug investigation [The Frontier]

With clerical error corrected, defense will be able to argue troopers had fault in fatal pursuit: A clerical error masked a judge’s true intention: Defense attorneys will be allowed to argue state troopers are at fault to at least some degree in the vehicular pursuit death of one of the agency’s lieutenants. Cleveland County District Judge Jeff Virgin on Tuesday filed an amended ruling that denies a motion from prosecutors to exclude the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s pursuit policy from D’angelo Burgess’ first-degree felony murder trial. [Tulsa World]

Point of View: Placing a med school in rural Oklahoma: Oklahoma State University and the Cherokee Nation are changing the way America trains doctors. Close to patients, close to family, close to community and close to home — that’s the difference a new medical school called Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation will make in rural Oklahoma. [Bill John Baker And Kayse Shrum, D.O. / NewsOK]

Fight brews over proposed wastewater disposal well near Okarche: Some Canadian County residents are fighting a proposed wastewater disposal well near their homes.  They’re asking the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to deny the request by H2OK, LLC of Marble Falls, Texas. Residents told the Yukon Progress they fear the well will contaminate their water wells, create earthquakes in the area and add to heavy truck traffic. [OK Energy Today]

Quote of the Day

“For most people who don’t have car insurance, it’s an issue of being able to pay for car insurance. That’s the hold-up.”

-Courtney Cullison, an analyst at Oklahoma Policy Institute, speaking about why the state’s new cameras that will scan license plates to fine uninsured drivers is not likely to reduce the rate of uninsured driving [KGOU]

Number of the Day


Net job loss among all Oklahoma firms in 2016, with 172,047 jobs created and 172,384 jobs destroyed.

[U.S. Census Business Dynamics Statistics]

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Understanding Health Insurance: Open enrollment begins today – Thursday, November 1 – for Oklahomans to sign up for health insurance on the individual marketplace at We have until Saturday, December 15 to make our choices for health coverage in 2019. These resources from the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation explain important insurance concepts, how to estimate your premiums and tax credits, and more. [Kaiser Family Foundation]

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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.

One thought on “In The Know: Early voting starts today; new laws take effect; a profile of Oklahoma poverty…

  1. Any discussion of future costs and increases in spending for any state programs MUST begin with the following: (“Disasters: UN report shows climate change causing ‘dramatic rise’ in economic losses”) (“Cost Of Doing Nothing To Hit $400 Trillion”) (“Climate Disasters: Billions and Billions of Dollars”)

    Unless that happens, any articles and analyses or appeals to action based on them are essentially mental self-pleasuring. DOC’s request to triple its budget when all other state functions are spiraling has to be seen in that context as well. The “good old days” when this might have even been feasible are being blown away even before the fiscal tsunami of climate change hits OK full force as it has FL, GA, NC, SC, VA (and those are just the hurricane states, not the wildfire or drought ones). Until this gets addressed seriously, you might as well be talking about unicorns and the everafters of Hallmark Christmas movies. Which admittedly can make us feel good, but that’s the definition of self-pleasuring, isn’t it?

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