In The Know: Gov. Stitt sends Oklahoma National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border | Calls for reform in the Oklahoma Supreme Court appointment process | 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.

Oklahoma News

Will abortion decision increase attention on Oklahoma Supreme Court appointment process?: Gov. Kevin Stitt vowed to appoint anti-abortion justices to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, and he appears to have delivered on that promise. While the state’s highest court has struck down several anti-abortion laws in recent years, Stitt’s three appointees to the nine-member body have consistently dissented on three major abortion decisions since 2021. [The Oklahoman]

State Government News

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt sends National Guard troops to southern border: Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Thursday he is committing to send Oklahoma National Guard Troops to the Southern Border in response to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s call for reinforcements. [KGOU]

  • Why is Gov. Stitt sending the Oklahoma National Guard to the Mexican border? [The Oklahoman]
  • Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt to send National Guard troops to US-Mexico border [Tulsa World]

Fossil fuels ‘boycott’ law could cost Oklahoma retirement fund $9.7M: One of the state’s largest retirement systems could be out $9.7 million if it has to drop some of its money managers and investment funds as a result of a new law barring state contracts and investments with companies deemed hostile to the oil and natural gas industries. [Tulsa World]

Podcast: Anti-abortion bills tossed, Superintendent Ryan Walters, Stitt vetoes overridden and more: KOSU’s Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and Civil Rights Attorney Ryan Kiesel about the state Supreme Court tossing out two Oklahoma laws banning abortion in the state and at least three former Department of Education employees suing Superintendent Ryan Walters. [This Week in Oklahoma Politics / KOSU]

Column: What did Gov. Stitt do this legislative season to improve Oklahomans’ lives?: Mandates and mandibles. The hubris of having enough power that one also believes they can chew whatever they want without their words ever catching up. Take Gov. Kevin “Freedom” Stitt for example. Here is a man who loves saying he wants to fight for freedom, unless, of course, you disagree with him. A hypocrite? [Jon Womastek Guest Column / The Oklahoman]

Federal Government News

Debt ceiling deal backed by slim majority of Oklahoma lawmakers: A day after Oklahoma’s members in the U.S. House split three to two for the debt ceiling deal, U.S. Sen. James Lankford said Thursday that the bill would not cut spending and that he would vote against it. [The Oklahoman]

Tribal Nations News

Here are tribal nation elections to watch in Oklahoma this weekend: This spring and summer, several tribal nations in Oklahoma, including some of the larger tribes in the state, will hold elections for key positions including tribal leaders and district council seats. This includes the Cherokee Nation, the Choctaw Nation and the Muscogee Nation among others. [KOSU]

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoes tribal compact extensions: Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoed the Legislature’s effort to renew some state-tribal compacts through 2024 and disputed whether lawmakers have the right to override him. In his veto message Wednesday, Stitt said a bill to extend tobacco tax compacts would cause the state “irreparable harm.” Top lawmakers, as well as tribal leaders, have said they are trying to maintain the status quo. [The Oklahoman]

Education News

Catholic charter school revised application to get Monday vote by state governing board in Oklahoma: The state governing board is set to reconsider the Catholic Church’s application for state sanctioning and taxpayer funding of what would be the nation’s first religious charter school. In April, the five-member Statewide Virtual Charter School Board unanimously denied the sponsorship application for St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School. [Tulsa World]

General News

Oklahoma cattle ranchers see improving conditions, but drought’s effects linger: Recent rainfall across Oklahoma has chipped away at drought-stricken areas, bringing some relief to cattle ranchers. But full recovery is still a ways away, said Derrell Peel, an extension livestock marketing specialist for Oklahoma State University. With dried-up ponds and little to no forage, the drought has forced some ranchers to sell their livestock early for the past two years. Last year had the most beef cows slaughtered since recordkeeping began in 1986, according to a USDA livestock report. [KOSU]

Hall of Fame selectees showcase Oklahoma’s wealth of diversity: An internationally recognized physician and scientist, a tribal leader who represents the eighth generation of his family to serve in elected office, an accomplished automobile designer for the likes of BMW and Jaguar, an Olympic Gold Medal winner, and an FBI agent who has been a national trailblazer in the use of DNA to solve crimes are among Oklahomans selected for induction this year into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. [Journal Record]

Oklahoma Local News

  • Count shows increase of people experiencing homelessness in Oklahoma City [KOSU]
  • Initiative offers early career opportunities for Tulsa high schoolers [Journal Record]

Quote of the Day

“By vetoing these bills, Gov. Stitt has once again put his personal hostility to tribal sovereignty ahead of what is good for the state and what is good for the tribes.”

– Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Chief Gary Batton, in response to Governor Stitt’s vetoes of two bills that would extend tobacco and vehicle tag compacts between the state and tribes for one year. [Journal Record]

Number of the Day


Number of people who were experiencing homelessness and were served by Oklahoma City area programs last year. [Homeless Management Information System via The Oklahoman]

Policy Note

Understanding State and Local Government Spending over the Business CycleState and local government expenditures are often thought to be procyclical, declining during recessions and recovering slowly. However, this pattern did not emerge until the mid-1980s, likely due to changes in the cyclicality of income tax revenues. [Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City]

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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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