In The Know: Gov. Fallin leads State Chamber SQ 766 coalition

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 you should know that Governor Fallin will lead a State Chamber of Commerce-organized coalition in support of SQ 766, to eliminate thestate’s intangible property tax.  For a thorough analysis of the implications of SQ 766, click here for OK Policy’s 2012 State Questions page.  Despite years of delay implementing a new court electronic records system, Oklahoma City Manager Jim Couch said the city is still on budget for theprojects.

State Rep. Joe Dorman is looking into ways to provide student insurance options to career technology students.  Oklahoma Policy Institute released our annual guide to state-level poverty statistics, a concise two-page fact sheet highlighting poverty in Oklahoma by age, sex, race, education, work status and family status.

An ongoing leadership dispute among the Cheyenne and Arapaho has created two governments and frozen tribal bank accounts, preventing withdrawals that fund social service programs.  The state Ethics Commission will lose its executive director, general counsel and investigator on the same day.

In today’s Policy Note, The Pew Charitable Trusts reports on banking practices that put consumers at risk and expose them to high and unexpected fees for little benefit.  The Number of the Day is the number of immigrant refugees who settled in Oklahoma in 2011.

In The News

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin to lead SQ 766 coalition

Gov. Mary Fallin will lead a State Chamber of Commerce-organized coalition supporting passage of a referendum to eliminate the state’s intangible property tax.  More than 50 trade associations, grassroots organizations, local chambers of commerce and other civic groups from across the state have endorsed State Question 766.  The Yes of 766 coalition represents a broad-spectrum of interests — ranging from theOklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee to the American Federation of Labor.

Read more from NewsOK at

All systems go?

The situation surrounding city’s plans for new police, fire, dispatch and municipal courts information and computer systems — as well as allegations by a police captain against the city’s project manager overseeing the program — is the subject of a state auditor investigation.The investigation was forwarded by the city to the state auditor and Inspector Gary Jones’ office.

Read more from the Oklahoma Gazette at

Oklahoma Lawmaker Examining Insurance Options for Career Tech Students

Oklahoma State Rep. Joe Dorman wants to find out what insurance options could be made available for career technology students inOklahoma.  In announcement released by the Oklahoma House of Representatives, Dorman, D-Rush Springs, said his interest was spurred by a call from constituent whose son attends a career technical school that, unlike many colleges and universities, offered no group health insurance to students.

Read more from Insurance Journal at

NEW: Oklahoma’s Poverty Profile 2011

Poverty in Oklahoma reached a six-year high in 2011, according to data released last month by the U.S. Census Bureau.  The data revealed that more than one in six Oklahomans – and almost one in four children – now live in poverty.  Oklahoma Policy Institute released our annual guide to help make sense of the new poverty numbers, a concise two-page fact sheet highlighting state-level poverty statistics by age, sex, race, education, work status and family status.

Read more from OK Policy at

Application filed to access Cheyenne & Arapaho funds

An application has been filed in Custer County District Court to access frozen Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal dollars.  An ongoing leadership dispute between Janice Prairie Chief-Boswell and Leslie Wandrie-Harjo has created two governments and led to frozen tribal bank accounts withthe First Bank and Trust of Clinton, Okla. Since June 21, the bank accounts have been under the supervision of the Custer County District Court. Officials from either government attempting to withdraw funds must contact the court and the other government in writing before any removals are allowed.


Read more from the Native Times at

Oklahoma Ethics Commission will lose three key workers on same day

The state Ethics Commission will be losing 60 years of experience next month when its executive director, general counsel and investigator leave on the same day.  Their departure will leave two employees in the agency, which writes civil penalty rules governing state campaigns and theconduct of state officers and employees.  The five-member Ethics Commission accepted the retirement Tuesday of Executive Director Marilyn Hughes and the resignation of Rebecca Adams, the agency’s general counsel. Commissioners decided to immediately seek applicants for both posts. They said they don’t intend to seek an interim director.

Read more from NewsOK at

Quote of the Day

“Ultimately, we would like to have the option available for students to havethe most affordable policy available.  With the changes in insurance we have seen at the federal level and the allowance for parents to keep their kids on their policies up to age 26, we must now look at how to best offer coverage to those non-traditional students who want affordable insurance.”

Rep. Joe Dorman, on career technology students who aren’t offered thesame group insurance options as students at public colleges and universities

Number of the Day


Number of immigrant refugees who settled in Oklahoma in 2011, one half of one percent of all the immigrant refugees granted resettlement in theU.S. last year

Source: Department of Health and Human Services  

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Hidden Risks: The Case for Safe and Transparent Checking Accounts

Pew’s Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project continues its study of checking account terms and conditions to examine both the state of themarketplace and the effect of current regulations. This study revisits and expands on the original research of the 10 largest banks by collecting additional data found online from the 12 largest banks and the 12 largest credit unions (as determined by their domestic deposit volumes).  There continue to be key banking practices that put consumers at financial risk and potentially expose them to high and unexpected costs for little benefit.


Gene Perry worked for OK Policy from 2011 to 2019. He is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism.

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