In The Know: Future of Oklahoma County jail | Record-breaking state tax revenue from oil & gas | Continuing need for pandemic policy solutions

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: Pandemic remains, as does need for policy solutions: As the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic started slowing down back in 2020, someone posted signs along Tulsa streets that read: “You may be over COVID … but COVID ain’t over you.” Those signs have been on my mind a lot recently as Oklahomans continue to be reminded that we’re still very vulnerable to the whims of the coronavirus despite some folks acting as if the pandemic is over. [Shiloh Kantz / The Journal Record

Oklahoma News

After decades of deaths and security issues, Oklahoma County voters said ‘yes’ to a new jail. Now what?: Oklahoma County officials hope a new jail will be safer and more cost-effective after voters approved a $260-million bond to help finance construction, ending years of debate over whether there was enough public support to replace the county’s aging facility. The project still faces funding gaps and opposition from some community organizers who want the county to lock up fewer people. [The Frontier

State Government News

Oklahoma reports record-breaking tax revenue from oil and gas prices: Oklahoma’s coffers are reaping the benefits of soaring oil and gas prices, bringing in a record-breaking $171.2 million in gross production tax revenues in just a month. That June 2022 total was the most ever in a single month, State Treasurer Randy McDaniel announced Wednesday. [CHNI via The McAlester News-Capital

  • Oklahoma revenue collections up 15% during last fiscal year [Public Radio Tulsa
  • State’s oil, gas tax collections reach all-time high [Tulsa World

Education Watch: How New State Laws Will Impact Education: With a new school year on the horizon, it’s worth looking at some of the new laws that will impact education across the state. The start of the 2022-23 school year marks the implementation of a change to the school funding formula passed by the Legislature in 2021. [Oklahoma Watch

Federal Government News

Majority of Oklahomans not taking advantage of internet discount offered by federal government: Thousands of Oklahomans have failed to sign up for a federal government program that helps pay for residential internet service. The Affordable Connectivity Program debuted in December, but of 1.5 million households in Oklahoma, only 175,000 are participating in it. [Tulsa World

Tribal Nations News

How Native American boarding school survivors can share their stories with US officials: U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland will travel to Oklahoma on Saturday to make the first stop on her listening tour to hear how Native American boarding schools impacted students and their families. [The Oklahoman

Voting and Election News

Recount begins in Oklahoma County DA race; candidate Kevin Calvey hopes to avoid runoff: Ballot by ballot, a manual recount got underway Wednesday of the Republican primary votes for Oklahoma County district attorney. The top vote-getter, Oklahoma County Commissioner Kevin Calvey, needs only a few more to avoid a runoff Aug. 23 with Gayland Gieger, a longtime Oklahoma County assistant district attorney. [The Oklahoman

Guest Column: We must vote for a better America: Aaahh, the Fourth of July. The American holiday that finds us trading turkey for hotdogs, sweaters for shorts. Most of us take a moment of awed delight to remember the courage and bravery it took to build this nation. It’s nothing short of a miracle. This year felt different though. Many of us are left wondering where this country is heading and are asking ourselves if this is the freedom that we have heralded as the greatest in the world.  [Column / The Oklahoman

Health News

After Dobbs decision, some ponder abortion access in eastern Oklahoma: With the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and triggering Oklahoma laws that equate to a near total ban on abortion, some people are hoping the sovereign nature of recently affirmed Indian Country reservations could allow for access to abortion services in eastern Oklahoma. How that could happen is a matter of speculation at this point. [NonDoc

Criminal Justice News

Violent Crime is Declining in OKC: Violent crime is surging across the nation, yet Oklahoma City’s violent crime rates have dropped over the past several years. This decrease of violence in our community is hopeful, but what do the numbers really indicateWhat should our community understand about violent crime? [Arnall Family Foundation

Was your catalytic converter stolen? Oklahoma is a new hot spot for thefts: From thefts in residential driveways and apartment complex parking lots, to car dealerships and outside restaurants and big box stores, Oklahoma has become a hot spot for catalytic converter heists. [The Oklahoman

Oklahoma Local News

  • Community leader and her husband found dead inside Bixby home [Tulsa World

Quote of the Day

“The impact of these schools and other federal assimilation policies on First American nations and families is immense.”

-Chickasaw Gov. Bill Anoatubby speaking about the Federal Indian Boarder School Initiative [The Oklahoman]

Number of the Day

1 in 6

1 out of 6 Oklahomans (16%) have ever experienced long COVID-19 symptoms, as a percentage of all Oklahoma adults [U.S. Census, June 1-13, 2022]

Policy Note

2022 Scorecard on State Health System Performance: How well has each state responded to and managed the COVID-19 pandemic? With data that generally reflect the nation’s experience since 2020, we were able to provide a window on how state health systems have performed as the pandemic was unfolding. [Commonwealth Fund] | [Oklahoma’s Report Card]

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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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