In The Know: GOP lawmakers, others join call for stay in Glossip execution | State cuts ties with 13 financial institutions over oil & gas boycotts | 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.

State Government News

Oil, gas boycotts may cost financial institutions state contracts: Some of the nation’s biggest financial institutions have been notified that they’re no longer eligible to contract with Oklahoma for business because of their environmental, social and governance, or ESG, policies. [The Journal Record]

  • Oklahoma will soon no longer do state business with these 13 investment firms [KOSU]

Oklahoma legislature moves to exempt natural gas industry from price gouging law: The existing Emergency Price Stabilization Act prohibits anyone from increasing prices more than 10% within 30 days after a declared emergency in Oklahoma. Legislation to exempt the natural gas industry from that law is headed to the Governor’s desk. [KGOU]

Bill meant to help domestic violence survivors establish separate living becomes law: House Bill 2242 mandates utility companies waive credit and deposit requirements for documented victims of domestic violence. [Public Radio Tulsa]

Oklahoma health secretary’s ouster gives a look into frustration between the Senate and Gov. Stitt: The governor and the Legislature have been at odds over the state’s Medicaid agency, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. That fight came to a head last week, when lawmakers booted the agency director from his Secretary of Health position. [KGOU]

Podcast: Superintendent Ryan Walters, education funding, OETA operations vetoed and more: KOSU’s Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and Civil Rights Attorney Ryan Kiesel about State Superintendent Ryan Walters finally testifying before lawmakers during a House Appropriations & Budget Committee and the House passing a tax credit voucher bill for private and home school families while rejecting a teacher pay raise. [This Week in Oklahoma Politics / KOSU]

Federal Government News

Senate votes to overturn lesser prairie-chicken rule despite veto threat: The U.S. Senate has voted to overturn a rule aimed at protecting the lesser prairie-chicken in Oklahoma and other states, though the margin was well short of the number needed to overcome a veto by the president. [The Oklahoman]

Voting and Election News

Why Oklahoma Isn’t Joining An Interstate Effort to Counter Voter Fraud: Senate Bill 710 proposed authorizing Oklahoma to join a multistate cooperative whose members share voter and motor vehicle data to keep their voter rolls updated and root out fraud. But two years later, Oklahoma lawmakers and the state’s top election official have soured on partnering with the Electronic Registration Information Center, citing dissatisfaction with its leadership, uncertainty about membership costs and data privacy concerns. [Oklahoma Watch]

Health News

Free dental, vision, medical care in Tulsa on May 6-7: RAM holds free clinics around the globe, and they are offering free dental, vision and medical care to anyone who needs it Saturday, May 6, and Sunday, May 7, in Tulsa at the SageNet Center on the Tulsa State Fairgrounds, 4145 E. 21st St. [NonDoc]

‘Perfect first step’: Veteran suicide prevention task force coming to Oklahoma: A veteran suicide prevention task force is coming to Oklahoma. Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bipartisan bill into law that would create a group of nine members. [KOKH]

Criminal Justice News

Criminal records can lock people out of housing assistance. HUD’s creating new rules to help: Decades ago, a Clinton-era policy allowed people with criminal records to be denied public housing assistance, like Section 8 vouchers. But the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and housing advocates say it’s still common for public housing authorities to reject applicants with criminal histories who deserve housing assistance. [Streetlight]

GOP legislators implore Stitt to stay Glossip’s execution: Rep. Kevin McDugle, R-Broken Arrow, and Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, are both supporters of capital punishment, but believe a lack of a fair trial led to the death sentence of Richard Glossip and reaffirmed their stance in a press conference Thursday at the state Capitol. [The Journal Record]

Economy & Business News

AI is spurring small business to new growth: Small businesses list growth and profitability as top priorities for 2023 and said AI could help get them there. [The Journal Record]

Education News

Human Rights Watch: Book bans “Violates Basic Human Rights”: Efforts by US states to ban school curricula offering historically accurate accounts of racism in the United States are attacks on fundamental human rights, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday on the May 3, 2023 National Day of Action for the Freedom to Learn Campaign. [The Black Wall Street Times]

General News

What is Cinco de Mayo? The holiday’s origin and why it’s celebrated in Mexico, US: Cinco de Mayo marks Mexico’s against-all-odds victory against invading French troops in 1862. But to some Americans, it’s simply Cinco de Drinko, an excuse to party with little to no understanding of what the Mexican holiday celebrates. [USA Today]

Oklahoma Local News

  • Annual event honors Oklahoma City Public Schools educators [KOCO]
  • Booker T. Washington HS to break ground on wellness center [The Black Wall Street Times]
  • Proposed Improve Our Tulsa package grows by $42 million [Tulsa World]
  • Chickasaw Community Bank settles into new, larger space in OKC [The Journal Record]
  • OKC’s Devon Tower took a huge drop in value: How have other owner-used offices fared? [The Oklahoman]

Quote of the Day

“Given the prevalence of domestic violence in our state and the fact that more women are killed by men than in any other state, we must do all we can to get these victims away from their abusers as quickly as possible and into a safe space.”

– Sen. Adam Pugh, R-Edmond, and an author of HB 2242, a bill recently signed into law that mandates utility companies waive credit and deposit requirements for documented victims of domestic violence. [Public Radio Tulsa]

Number of the Day

Up to 40%

Amount of tuition increases at some Iowa private schools just months after the state signed into law a program to pay families $7,600 for private school tuition and education expenses. [Axios]

Policy Note

State and local experience proves school vouchers are a failed policy that must be opposed: Recently passed school voucher bills in four states are part of an extreme and unpopular campaign to defund and privatize public schools. As momentum builds around efforts to divert public funds to private schools, lawmakers and advocates should recommit to opposing harmful voucher bills and supporting greater investment in public education. Research and advocacy by educators and champions of public education in the states can serve as a guide. [Economic Policy Institute]

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Annie Taylor joined OK Policy as a Digital Communications Associate/Storybanker in April 2022. She studied journalism and mass communication at the University of Oklahoma, and was a member of the Native American Journalists Association. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications from the University of Central Oklahoma. While pursuing her degree, she worked in restaurant and retail management, as well as freelance copywriting and digital content production. Annie is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation, and holds a deep reverence for storytelling in the digital age. She was born and raised in southeast Oklahoma, and now lives in Oklahoma City with her dog, Melvin.

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