In The Know: General Revenue collections send mixed messages, Regents issue joint statement of support for Chancellor Johnson, Oklahoma receives two grants for graduate medical education

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.

New from OK Policy

Meet Brittany Hayes, one of OK Policy’s Mental Health Policy Fellows: So many of Oklahoma’s problems are interconnected. As a teacher, I saw issues in education. As a legal intern, I saw issues in criminal justice. As a Mental Health Policy Fellow, I’m seeing how interconnected all of these issues are. States are often burdened with choosing to be proactive or reactive, but in education, criminal justice, and mental health/substance use, we need a pro-style offense where we utilize all of our strengths with discretion, foresight, and data. [OK Policy]

In The News

General Revenue collections send mixed messages: General Revenue Fund collections in July totaled $499.6 million, $31.1 million, or 6.6%, more than the monthly estimate. Collections for the month were $50.5 million, or 11.2%, more than collections of $449.1 million in July 2018. [Journal Record ????]

Dwindling Oklahoma County jail staff leads to suspension of tours, “non-essential” programming: The Oklahoma County sheriff’s office will suspend facility tours and “nonessential” programming due to a recent surge of jail staff leaving their jobs, according to a department Facebook post. That includes a new therapy dog program and the Reality check program, which educates at-risk youth on how bad life choices can lead them to jail. [The Oklahoman]

Regents issue joint statement of support for Chancellor Johnson: The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education have responded with statements of support for Chancellor Glen Johnson after Gov. Kevin Stitt expressed his desire for new leadership within Oklahoma’s higher education system. [Journal Record ????]

Board of Juvenile Affairs to update state plan for juvenile detention: The Office of Juvenile Affairs and members of the agency’s governing board are working to update the state plan for juvenile detention services. The current plan, which outlines the number of detention beds in the state and where they’re located, hasn’t been updated since 2008. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma receives two grants for graduate medical education: Two multimillion dollar grants will be awarded to OU and OSU to help curtail the shortage of medicaid physicians. The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Friday that Oklahoma has earned two grants from the Medical Student Education Program, totaling $9.25 million over four years. [The Oklahoman]

Medical providers to see Medicaid pay boost: Oklahoma medical professionals are set to get more money for treating Medicaid patients starting Oct. 1. The Oklahoma Health Care Authority this week approved a 5% provider rate increase for providers treating patients on SoonerCare, Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, as a result of legislation passed this year. [The Oklahoman]

Renewed focus on child abuse in Oklahoma: Attorney General Mike Hunter and newly appointed Department of Human Services Director Justin Brown today called for a renewed focus to combat child abuse after Senate Bill 576 went into effect last month and schools around the state have resumed classes. [AP News] Does Oklahoma rely too much on foster care to prevent child abuse and neglect?

Three initiative petitions circulating in OKC: Signature gatherers are out in full force in Oklahoma City trying to qualify three initiative petitions for a vote of the people. Two statewide initiative petitions are calling for a vote on whether the state should expand Medicaid and a referendum on the permitless carry legislation slated to become law on Nov. 1. [The Oklahoman] ‘We’re not going away’: Supporters of referendum to nullify permitless carry in Oklahoma rally to gather last-minute signatures. [Tulsa WorldWhat’s That? Initiative Petition and Veto Referendum

Stitt: ‘The people spoke’ on permitless carry: Gov. Kevin Stitt said Oklahomans weighed in on whether the state should allow people to carry firearms without a permit when they elected him as governor and elected their state lawmakers. [The Oklahoman] Legal risk with gun resolution, councilman says. [The Oklahoman]

Report: wind and solar account for 44% of state’s power production: Oklahoma produces 44% of its electricity through wind and solar generation, placing it among only four states surpassing 40%, according to a recently released report. [Journal Record ????]

Amazon declined request to support bus service to 1,500-employee fulfillment center: Amazon, a company valued last month at $1 trillion and led by the richest man in modern history, recently declined a request by EMBARK to help fund a new bus route to serve more than 1,500 people being hired at its new Oklahoma City fulfillment center. [The Oklahoman]

Editorial: Savings emphasis neglects Oklahoma’s current and future needs: Despite recent increases in teacher pay, classroom funding and mild boosts to agency appropriations across the board, Oklahoma is not investing enough in the present and is failing to adequately prepare for the future. [Collin Douglas / NonDocWhat’s That? Rainy Day Fund

Wayne Greene: If the Cherokees send Kim Teehee to Congress as a nonvoting member, and if Congress lets her stay, how much power can she yield? More than you might think: New Cherokee Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. plans to send a tribal delegate to Congress. [Wayne Greene / Tulsa World]

2016 Change in Academic Standards Has Oklahoma More in Line With National Benchmarks: Fourth-grade reading and math and eighth-grade reading standards have gone from what’s barely considered basic to near proficient by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Eighth-grade math standards are even above the NAEP standard for proficiency and are now fifth-most rigorous in the U.S. [Public Radio Tulsa]

Seeworth under audit, Sovereign gets new home, Epic faces second search: Over the past week, three charter school organizations have seen important developments, with one having its first day of classes today, another facing a new state audit and a third being searched for a second time by law enforcement during an ongoing investigation of embezzlement allegations. [NonDocThe Legislature took some steps to better regulate virtual charter schools last session.

Career planning the new norm for Oklahoma schools: At the end of the 2019-20 school year, high school graduates will leave Oklahoma public schools with a diploma and a plan. [The Oklahoman]

For better or worse, TU begins transformational makeover: ‘This is evolving,’ Clancy says: The University of Tulsa administration and faculty agree the semester that begins Monday will be the start of something transformational. They disagree bitterly, though, about whether that transformation will be good or bad for the university. [Tulsa World]

The Guardian: The family of Terence Crutcher is one of many left behind after police shootings: In recent years, high-profile killings of black men and boys have brought “the talk” to national attention. It has become part of discussion of the inequalities of race, of the problem of police brutality itself. [Tulsa World

Carter County jail-death lawsuit settled mid-trial after missing documents surface at funeral home: The estate of a man who died at the Carter County jail after not receiving insulin has reached a $3.2 million settlement with local officials after previously missing documents turned up at a funeral home during the trial. [Tulsa World]

‘Jailhouse snitch’ helped send four men to prison, but her false testimony might help get two of them out: When Pontotoc County prosecutors wanted to ensure convictions for suspects in the 1982 murder of Debra Sue Carter and 1984 murder of Donna “Denice” Haraway, they found an ally in a jailhouse snitch named Terri Holland. [The Frontier]

With the hopes of deconcentrating poverty, a planned west Tulsa revitalization project is becoming a reality: As part of phase one of the federal Choice Neighborhoods program, 77 families have been relocated from their homes in the Riverview Park apartments, 2212 S. Jackson Ave., to better accommodations. [Tulsa World]

MAPS 4 marks a shift away from large downtown construction projects to neighborhood, ‘human’ needs: MAPS 4 would raise an estimated $978 million over eight years for 16 projects, with spending concentrated on improving the quality of life in neighborhoods throughout Oklahoma City and for individuals caught on the edges of society. [The Oklahoman] Okla City Council to consider $978 million MAPS 4 package Tuesday. [Free Press OKC]

Cannabisville, Oklahoma: The ZIP code with most business licenses: Bounded by Meridian and Pennsylvania avenues from west to east, and NW 30 to Reno Avenue from north to south, ZIP code 73107 is home to 94 approved business licenses for cannabis growers, processors and dispensaries — the most in any ZIP code across the state. [The Oklahoman]

Stitt hopes to get Inhofe backing for Washington office: Gov. Kevin Stitt is hoping to persuade U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe to drop his opposition to creating an Oklahoma office in Washington, D.C. [The Oklahoman]

Quote of the Day

“The Oklahoma budget illustrates the truth in the saying ‘it’s expensive to be poor’ and why it is so difficult for poor families to build up savings. Poor families can’t build up their savings because they get hit with unavoidable expenses like childcare, medical bills and car maintenance that is necessary to keep their job. Likewise, Oklahoma can’t afford to stop paying the bills in order to save all our money.”

– Collin Douglas, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Center for Progress [NonDoc]

Number of the Day


Percentage of potentially eligible children Oklahoma serves with childcare subsidies for parents working or in school

[Source: Center for Law and Social Policy]

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Are state and local pension funds really in crisis?: The way we look at it, an unfunded pension liability is similar to a government having debt, and a government’s debt is sustainable so long as its size relative to the economy isn’t continuously increasing. [Brookings]

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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.

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