In The Know: Forfeiture foes debate from opposite ends of the turnpike

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today In The News

Forfeiture foes debate from opposite ends of the turnpike: At the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, witnesses assembled by Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, testified to a forfeiture process rife with real and potential problems that encourage the seizure of private assets by law enforcement. At the Tulsa Police Academy in north Tulsa, a roomful of law officers and prosecutors voiced outrage at that notion and said forfeiture is one of the most important weapons in the war against drugs [Tulsa World].

New data again shows what Oklahoma is giving up by refusing to expand coverage: Another day, another reminder that Oklahoma’s politically-motivated refusal to expand health coverage for low-income residents is having a real impact in limiting access to health care for tens of thousands of Oklahomans. According to Gallup, Oklahoma now has the third-highest uninsured rate in the US [OK Policy].

Oklahoma school districts look for ways to make lunches healthy, enjoyable: Beginning in the summer of 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began phasing in stricter nutrition standards for school meals. It was the first update to the school nutrition standards in 15 years. The law is set to expire Sept. 30, and reauthorization has been held up in Congress by opponents, some of whom say the cost of healthier foods burdens schools [NewsOK].

Cops, communities work together to address use of force issue: De-escalation training within the Oklahoma City Police Department makes up a small portion of total instruction time. Officers spend at least 40 hours learning how to use tasers and 96 hours at a firearm academy. The department’s de-escalation program is eight hours [KGOU]. The Oklahoma City Council on Tuesday adopted a policy for police use of body-worn cameras, clearing the way for a pilot project testing 100 cameras to begin [NewsOK].

Community leaders chosen to lead effort to reduce number of mentally ill in jail:  If mental-health treatment gaps in the Tulsa community were filled, how much space would be freed at the Tulsa Jail? That’s the question community leaders hope to answer by moving forward with efforts to analyze mental-health treatment needs in order to reduce the rates of mentally ill people among the jail population [Tulsa World].

Key witness in 2009 Robert Bates probe testifies to grand jury after murder charge dismissal: A former deputy and murder defendant turned material witness testified Tuesday for grand jurors investigating the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office. He then offered a tearful glimpse into his first moments post incarceration after the dismissal of a murder charge against him [Tulsa World].

Iron Gate officials meet with Pearl District neighbors about proposed move: Tulsans in opposition to Iron Gate’s proposed move to the Pearl District and those in favor of the agency’s relocation packed the downtown soup kitchen Tuesday night for an open discussion. The agency, which serves hot meals seven days a week and runs a grocery pantry three days a week, has proposed moving from its home in Trinity Episcopal Church to 302 S. Peoria Ave [Tulsa World].

State has few guidelines, records of who lies in repose: Just how many people have lain in repose inside the state Capitol over the years is unknown. No one is apparently keeping track of whose coffins have been displayed inside the Rotunda over the years to give the public one last chance to pay respect to high-profile Oklahomans. The list of those who have lain in repose, rather, is cobbled together mostly by tapping the memories of long-time Capitol employees, who recall previous somber days [Stillwater News Press].

Quote of the Day

“They didn’t want Indians in that neighborhood. They didn’t want a health authority. ‘Indians leave dirty diapers and trash in the parking lot, and there’s no way we want them in our neighborhood.’ You look at our facility today, and you won’t find anything in Tulsa any prettier or any cleaner or more well-kept.”

– Carmelita Skeeter, CEO of the Indian Health Care Resource Center, describing the opposition her agency faced 16 years ago when it announced its plan to open in the Pearl District. Iron Gate, a soup kitchen and food pantry, is encountering similar opposition to its plans to relocate to the neighborhood. (Source)

Number of the Day


Price received per bushel of soybeans in Oklahoma in 2014, down from $14.40 in 2012.

Source: USDA.

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

We’re Making Life Too Hard for Millennials: To some, millennials — those urban-dwelling, ride-sharing indefatigable social networkers — are engaged, upbeat and open to change. To others, they are narcissistic, lazy and self-centered. I’m in the first camp, but regardless of your opinion, be fretful over their economic well-being and fearful — oh so fearful — for their prospects. The most educated generation in history is on track to becoming less prosperous, at least financially, than its predecessors [The New York Times].

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Carly Putnam joined OK Policy in 2013. As Policy Director, she supervises policy research and strategy. She previously worked as an OK Policy intern, and she was OK Policy's health care policy analyst through July 2020. She graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2013. As a student, she was a participant in the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute and interned with Planned Parenthood. Carly is a graduate of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Nonprofit Management Certification; the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council’s Partners in Policymaking; The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship in Tulsa; and Leadership Tulsa Class 62. She currently serves on the boards of Restore Hope Ministries and The Arc of Oklahoma. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and doing battle with her hundred year-old house.

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