In The Know: Gov. signs order moving control of state’s terrorism information sharing center | Meetings scheduled re: disability services waitlist | 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

Governor Stitt gives control of Oklahoma Information Fusion Center to DPS, removes OSBI: Governor Stitt has issued an executive order, stripping the Oklahoma Information Fusion Center from the OSBI. The OIFC serves as the focal point for the collection, assessment, analysis, and dissemination of terrorism intelligence and other criminal activity information relating to Oklahoma. [KOKH Fox 25]

  • Stitt files executive order to move state’s terrorism analysis center out of OSBI control [KOCO]

Meetings held for families coming off of 13-year waitlist for disability services: State leaders say they will begin holding regional family meetings to help families who have been waiting for disability services for years. In May, the Oklahoma Legislature passed a bill that eliminates the 13-year waiting list for Developmental Disability Services. By July, Oklahoma Human Services said over 5,100 Oklahomans were still waiting for assistance. [KFOR]

Oklahoma lawmaker seeks to lower legal age to carry firearm from 21 to 18-years-old: Oklahoma State Rep. Jim Olsen (R-Roland) authored a bill to lower the legal age to carry a firearm from 21 to 18 years of age. [KOKH Fox 25]

Panel approves millions in bonds for state buildings, historical sites: A state panel on Tuesday gave the green light for selling $70 million in bonds to repair the Jim Thorpe Office Building and $19 million to fix the tunnels under the state Capitol Complex. [Tulsa World]

Local, state Youth Services Agencies receives ARPA funds: Youth and Family Services of North Central Oklahoma will have a safer, more secure building, thanks to funds received from the American Rescue Plan Act. [Enid News & Eagle]

Former legislative assistant sues state, claims wrongful termination: A former legislative assistant is suing the state of Oklahoma, claiming leaders in the House of Representatives wrongly fired her after she attempted to calm a confrontation between Black Lives Matter protestors and Republican lawmakers. [The Oklahoman]

Federal Government News

Senate approves same-sex marriage bill after rejecting Lankford amendment: The vote was 61-36, with 12 Republicans joining 49 Democrats. Oklahoma Sens. Jim Inhofe and James Lankford, both Republicans, voted against the measure. The bill now goes to the House, which approved similar legislation in July protecting same-sex and interracial marriage. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma nonprofit gets record-breaking grant to expand healthy food access in Tulsa and beyond: This month the United States Department of Agriculture announced that nonprofit Hunger Free Oklahoma will receive a record-breaking $14.2 million over four years to expand a program that gets produce to low-income communities. [Public Radio Tulsa]

Tribal Nations News

Cherokee chief to contribute to summit in Washington: The principal chief of the Cherokee Nation has been tapped to contribute to a Tribal Nations Summit slated for Wednesday in Washington, D.C. Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. agreed to serve as a panelist in a morning discussion at the U.S. Department of Interior. [Journal Record]

Voting and Election News

Judge denies Councilor Arthrell’s challenge of District 5 election results: Tulsa County District Judge Doug Drummond denied City Councilor Mykey Arthrell’s petition alleging voting irregularities and ordered the Tulsa County Election Board to certify Miller as the winner of the election. [Tulsa World]

Economy & Business News

Oklahoma Natural Gas $19.6 million rate hike approved by Corporation Commissioners: Oklahoma Natural Gas customers will see a credit to their account soon after Oklahoma Corporation Commissioners approved and offset a rate hike on Tuesday morning. [KOKH Fox 25]

U.S. rig count up 215 from November 2021; 70 counted in state: As November reaches toward its end, there are 784 rotary rigs drilling for oil or gas across the United States, according to industry watcher Baker Hughes. [Journal Record]

Company hopes to drill to limitless geothermal power: A Utah company, in partnership with the University of Oklahoma, aims to drill deeper into the Earth than has ever been drilled before to tap into an unquantifiable geothermal energy resource. The company, DeepPower Inc., has stated goals to develop breakthrough drilling technology to access an unlimited source of green geothermal energy deep within the Earth. Harnessing just 0.1% of heat generated near the Earth’s core would be enough to power mankind for scores of generations to come, it says. [Journal Record]

Editorial: Corporation Commission must scrutinize every dollar requested: The proposed hike comes as part of a rate review. If approved, the raise of about $14 a month on average would be the third increase for PSO in the past year. The utility has about 560,000 customers. Its other two increases were for temporary cost recoveries. Pending is an earlier plan to buy three new wind farms and three new solar facilities to diversify power sources and save money long-term; it would raise bills an average of $3.48 a month by the end of 2025. [Tulsa World]

General News

OHP Says Not Enough Drivers Are Following Oklahoma’s Move Over Law: State law requires drivers to move over if they see flashing lights on the side of the road, but Oklahoma Highway Patrol said they still respond to accidents where people have been hit and killed. [News On 6]

Taylor Hanson announces plan to build ‘urban farm’ in Tulsa for Food on the Move: Food on the Move’s $7.5 million farm will use hydroponics and aquaponics technology to grow produce without soil, allowing the farm to operate inside a warehouse-style building the group plans to build near Tulsa Community College’s Northeast Campus. [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma Local News

  • Edmond council approves protested PUD rezoning, revised CJAC agreement [NonDoc]

Quote of the Day

“As difficult as it is, I think it’s important to have a conversation during the panel about the federal government’s role in Native language loss during the boarding school era and other anti-Indian policies put in place decades ago. I do appreciate the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration and Department of the Interior wanting to collaborate with tribal leaders and make decisions on ways they can help save our languages today.”

– Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., who is serving as a panelist for a Native Languages and Education panel in Washington this Wednesday. [Journal Record]

Number of the Day

1 in 3

More than 1 in 3 children living in rural Oklahoma (34%) didn’t qualify for the full federal Child Tax Credit because their family earnings were too low or the adults were out of work that year. [CBPP]

Policy Note

Child Tax Credit Expansion Is Especially Important to Rural Families: Under current law, an estimated 3 million children living in rural areas are left out of the full $2,000 Child Tax Credit because their families’ incomes are too low. Rural communities would benefit disproportionately from an expansion that makes the credit fully available to children in families with low incomes who currently receive less than the full amount or no credit at all. This crucial investment in children living in rural areas, which includes children of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, should be a bipartisan priority during year-end tax negotiations. [CBPP]

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Hana Saad joined OK Policy in August 2022 as the Communications and Operations Fellow. She graduated from the University of Tulsa with degrees in Media Studies and English and is part of Phi Beta Kappa, an academic honor society. At TU, Hana regularly wrote for The Collegian and was the Co-Editor of the Stylus Journal of Art and Writing. She also serves on the team at Puppy Haven Rescue to help in their mission of saving rescue dogs across Oklahoma. Hana is eager to learn more about public policy in Oklahoma and use her skills to support the OKP work to build a more equitable state. In her free time, she loves to read fiction and poetry, walk her dog, and make copious cups of tea.

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