In The Know: Finding ways to avoid evictions | Targeted relief can help Oklahoma families weather inflation | More

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

Targeted relief can help Oklahoma families weather inflation: By gavelling in for a special legislative session to address inflation relief, lawmakers have the opportunity to enact real and positive tax reform. The slate of bills introduced by House leadership offer little actual timely relief to the low- and moderate-income Oklahomans most affected by inflation. A few bills introduced during the special session — and other measures that could be added — would offer targeted and timely relief to the families that need it. [Josie Phillips / OK Policy

Oklahoma News

Landlords, tenants finding ways to avoid evictions: ‘How to do things better’: Tulsa, like the rest of the country, saw a dramatic drop in the number of eviction cases last year, when a federal moratorium limited the circumstances in which a landlord could seek an eviction. But with the moratorium no longer in effect, local landlords filed more than 3,200 evictions in the first four months of 2022, nearly 20% more cases than during the same period last year, according to data from Open Justice Oklahoma. [Tulsa World

Inflation taking toll on state economy, Treasurer Randy McDaniel says: Gross Receipts to the Treasury in May reflect the dampening effect of inflation on the Oklahoma economy, State Treasurer Randy McDaniel announced Monday. [The City Sentinel

New from OK Policy: Targeted relief can help Oklahoma families weather inflation

State Government News

(Audio) Long Story Short: Federal judge clears way for Oklahoma lethal injection executions to proceed: Oklahoma may continue to use its three-drug lethal injection protocol to carry out executions, U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot ruled on Monday (6/13). In a 45-page ruling, Friot ruled plaintiffs fell “well short” of proving Oklahoma’s protocol causes an unconstitutional level of pain and suffering. [Oklahoma Watch via KGOU

  • Oklahoma Starts Planning Executions for 25 Death Row Inmates, Including Richard Glossip [Reason

Swadley’s fiasco under review by state panel: Creating a framework that could prevent another Swadley’s deal is not an easy undertaking, lawmakers learned during a House Investigative Committee meeting held Monday. Approving contracts through boards and committees rather than by allowing individual agency heads to spend millions with little oversight might help, but that method comes with another set of problems, lawmakers were told. [The Journal Record

Tri-State Medical pays $363K to settle Medicaid claims: Tri-State Medical Supplies will pay $363,116 in a pre-lawsuit settlement to resolve allegations that the company inflated prices and shipping charges for medical equipment, a violation of the Oklahoma Medicaid False Claims Act, state Attorney General John O’Connor announced Friday. [Southwest Ledger]

Ratliff ‘excited’ over new role as tourism commissioner: Lawton-Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Krista Ratliff was “super excited” and “surprised” when she was appointed as a state tourism department commissioner. [Southwest Ledger]

Federal Government News

How a recent Supreme Court ruling will impact Oklahoma prisoner innocence claims: Oklahoma prisoners who claim their attorney failed to introduce evidence in state court proceedings may no longer seek relief in federal courts.  People convicted of a felony in Oklahoma may raise legal issues in a first appeal, which is typically filed at least six months after a conviction. If the appeals court rejects the initial petition, the petitioner is left with few options. [Oklahoma Watch

Over 2/3 of Americans say attempting to overturn an election is a “crime”: In a Morning Consult/Politico poll taken after last week’s Jan. 6 hearing, over 2/3 of Americans state that is a “crime” to attempt to overturn election results, and similar numbers say the Justice Department should prosecute. As the hearings go forth, new polls indicate that for many citizens accountability is the only remedy. [The Black Wall Street Times

Tribal Nations News

Cherokee Nation restoring Oklahoma flag to sites: Citing feedback from tribal citizens, the Cherokee Nation announced on Flag Day that it is reversing course on a recent executive order regarding the use of the Oklahoma flag on tribal property. [Tulsa World

Column: It’s a proud moment seeing the image of former Cherokee Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller on U.S. tender: The first Oklahoman to have an image printed by the U.S. Mint on circulating American tender rightly belongs to a pioneering American Indian leader who championed causes for the underserved. Most people know Mankiller as the first modern woman to lead a tribal nation. But that alone is not what makes her worthy of this honor. [Column / Tulsa World

Voting and Election News

Oklahoma Ethics Commission sues out-of-state PAC behind 2018 Republican purge: The Oklahoma Ethics Commission is accusing an out-of-state PAC of violating campaign finance laws when it targeted Republican state legislators in the 2018 election. The state’s watchdog agency sued the Virginia-based Conservative Alliance PAC and PAC Treasurer Chris Marston on Monday in Oklahoma County District Court. [The Oklahoman]

Markwayne Mullin, T.W. Shannon lead GOP race for Inhofe seat, poll of Oklahoma voters shows: With less than two weeks before the primaries, new polling shows U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin and Oklahoma City banker T.W. Shannon way ahead in the Republican race to succeed U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, while Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor has closed the gap somewhat on GOP challenger Gentner Drummond. [The Oklahoman

Health News

Nursing home to close, citing staffing shortage: Ranch Terrace Nursing Home in Sapulpa announced it will close Aug. 15 due to an inability to maintain legally required staffing levels. By the closing date, all residents will be transferred to other facilities or living arrangements. [Southwest Ledger]

Oklahoma full abortion ban harkens back over 100 years: Oklahoma made history last month as the first state in 50 years to put a full ban on abortions. This stringency has not been seen in most states in more than 100 years. [Gaylord News / The Norman Transcript]

Oklahoma State University researchers develop cheap, accessible way to monitor water for harmful algae: Oklahoma’s Grand Lake is no stranger to harmful algal blooms , which happen when colonies of algae grow out of control and can cause illness or death in animals and people. Using Grand Lake as a testing area, the researchers wanted to find a way to predict when these blooms could become an issue for the surrounding communities. [StateImpact Oklahoma

Criminal Justice News

Constitutional carry, straw purchases and ‘ghost guns’ contributing to ‘wild, wild West’ environment in Tulsa, police chief says: In the wake of the mass shooting on the Saint Francis Hospital campus, Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin has made it clear that his job is not to make the laws regulating firearms — it’s to enforce them. But ask him about what gun-related policies or laws would make his officers’ jobs less dangerous, and he’s glad to opine. [Tulsa World

  • Gun policy was ‘off the table,’ but law enforcement officials discuss active, mass shooting prevention strategies at event [Tulsa World
  • (Audio) Tulsa World Opinion podcast: Gun law status quo is killing us [Opinion / Tulsa World

Economy & Business News

SportChassis discusses plans for state funding: Executives from the state Commerce Department visited SportChassis here to see the company’s facility and discuss how it will utilize funding through the Oklahoma Innovation Expansion Program [Southwest Ledger]

Starbucks workers at NW 36th and May vote big for union: The N.W. 36th and May Avenue Starbucks crew witnessed a decisive vote count Tuesday to be represented by Workers United, a service workers union. The next move will be to form a negotiating committee. [OKC Free Press]

Education News

Epic Charter Schools settles open records lawsuit brought by Oklahoma Watch: Epic Charter Schools has provided emails from co-founder Ben Harris requested by Oklahoma Watch in 2020 after settling a lawsuit. Oklahoma Watch, represented by attorney Kathryn Gardner and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, filed the lawsuit in May 2021 alleging the virtual charter school effectively denied an open records request for the emails by charging illegal fees. [Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma Local News

2021’s 10 fastest-growing Oklahoma towns. Plus, how OKC became America’s 20th largest city: For the first time, Oklahoma City jumped to the No. 20 spot on the list of America’s most populous cities, while the OKC metro area is dominating the state’s growth, according to recent Census Bureau estimates. [The Oklahoman]

Two cities drop from Regional Transportation Authority as routes and costs emerge: Moore and Del City are withdrawing from the Regional Transportation Authority after the departure of Midwest City, leaving just three cities left to decide whether to fund a commuter rail between Edmond and Norman and bus rapid transit to Tinker Air Force Base. [The Oklahoman]

(Audio) OKC Mayor David Holt talks guns, immigration and climate change: Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt was in Nevada last week for the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, where gun violence, immigration, and climate change were some of the main topics of discussion. After returning to Oklahoma, Holt talked with KGOU about each of those issues. [KGOU

Preservationists may get another reprieve to save old Oklahoma City jail: Preservationists may get yet another chance to save the old Oklahoma City jail despite a deadline given for next Tuesday to provide a plan on how to redevelop the Depression-era building [The Oklahoman]

Amid inflation, Edmond City Council to get ‘creative’ with next year’s budget: The Edmond City Council discussed and adopted the fiscal year 2022-23 budget during Monday’s meeting, setting the city’s operating budget for the year at $397,341,583. The city is projecting to bring in a total revenue of $309,873,622, and, including the city’s reserve funds, the total projected holdings for the year comes to $685,490,184. [NonDoc

Lawton Council votes to raise fees, including utility rates, 15 percent: All fees associated with City of Lawton services, from obtaining a building permit to paying your utility bill, will be going up 15 percent July 1. [The Lawton Constitution]

Quote of the Day

“Interestingly, eviction filings around the state are rising and sometimes exceeding pre-pandemic levels, except in Tulsa. Tulsa remains below our pre-pandemic average.”

– Legal Aid attorney Eric Hallett [Tulsa World]

Previously from OK Policy: Oklahoma should work towards true housing equity

Number of the Day

One-third

A personal income tax cut would send about one-third (35%) of the benefit to the bottom 80 percent of earners. Most of the benefits, nearly two-thirds (65%), will go to the top 20 percent of earners.

[Source: Oklahoma Policy Institute]

Recently from OK Policy: Cuts to the personal income tax rate are unfair to low- and middle-class families since they return the largest benefit to the wealthiest Oklahomans. Tax cuts now can devastate state revenue and funding for services like public education in future years.

Policy Note

5 key takeaways on inflation from the May CPI report: Just after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its May Consumer Price Index (CPI) report, Brookings convened an expert panel of economists to discuss the new data. Wendy Edelberg (The Hamilton Project), Jason Furman (Harvard Kennedy School), Justin Wolfers (University of Michigan), and David Wessel (Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy) offered their perspectives, summarized here in five key takeaways. [Brookings]

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristin Wells joined OK Policy in October 2021 as the Communications and Operations Fellow. 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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