In The Know: Gov. sues in State Supreme Court to nullify tribal compacts | Lawsuit challenges publicly funded religious charter school | House interim studies | 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.

New from OK Policy

Rejected House Interim Studies show breadth of issues facing state (Capitol Update): Last week, Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, approved 85 of the 110 interim studies requested. Today’s studies are usually one to two hours or a half day at the most and consist of a presentation orchestrated by the requestors to introduce information to their colleagues. That said, it might be interesting to look at the 25 studies that were NOT approved by Speaker McCall. [Steve Lewis / Capitol Update

Oklahoma legislators need to do more to expand access to housing: Oklahoma is in the midst of a housing crisis. With 46,688 eviction filings in 2022, evictions in Oklahoma surpassed pre-pandemic levels, which were among the highest per capita in the country. Legislators made a significant investment in affordable housing during the 2023 legislative session, but missed other opportunities to expand the state’s stock of affordable housing and ensure a level playing field between landlord and tenant in eviction proceedings. [Sabine Brown / OK Policy]

Oklahoma News

House overrides tobacco compact veto, Stitt asks Supreme Court to nullify bills: The Oklahoma Legislature’s self-called special session concluded Monday with the House taking a final vote to culminate the override of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s veto on a bill extending state-tribal tobacco compacts by one year through Dec. 31, 2024. [NonDoc

  • Stitt sues as another override tallied in Oklahoma Legislature’s battle over tribal compacts [Tulsa World
  • Oklahoma governor challenges tribal compacts in court after override vote [The Oklahoman
  • Native American tribes in Oklahoma will keep tobacco deals, as lawmakers override governor’s veto [The Black Wall Street Times
  • Oklahoma Legislature wraps up session – but not before veto vote [Journal Record
  • Gov. Stitt sues GOP lawmakers after veto overrides [KGOU

Lawsuit: 10 plaintiffs challenge Catholic virtual charter school: A group of 10 plaintiffs including faith leaders, public school parents and the Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee filed a lawsuit today seeking to invalidate the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board’s June decision to authorize a Catholic virtual charter school, which would become the first religiously affiliated public school in America. [NonDoc

  • Legal Challenge Filed Against Publicly Funded Religious Charter School [Oklahoma Watch]
  • One-of-a-kind Catholic charter school faces legal challenge in Oklahoma [The Oklahoman
  • Christian Nationalists Can’t Wait for This School in Oklahoma to Open [Rachel Laser Opinion / The New York Times
  • First legal challenge to state-sanctioned Catholic charter school filed in Oklahoma [Tulsa World
  • Lawsuit challenges legality of religious charter school [Journal Record
  • Oklahoma lawsuit threatens to derail nation’s first publicly funded religious school [Public Radio Tulsa]
  • Parents, church leaders join lawsuit to challenge legality of religious charter school in Oklahoma [KOCO]

State Government News

No rules yet on Oklahoma’s new private school tax credit, but they’re coming: Rodney Burchett, head of school at Life Christian Academy, is preparing for a significant growth spurt at his Choctaw private school, where enrollment is currently about 130 students. Beginning next year, families with children in a private school will receive a refundable tax credit to use for tuition. [The Oklahoman

Tribal Nations News

Tribal man, area tribes ask U.S. Supreme Court to deny stay in tribal citizens traffic-ticket case: The city of Tulsa’s emergency request for a stay of a court ruling limiting its police jurisdiction to nontribal members should be rejected, the U.S. Supreme Court was told in a court filing Monday. [Tulsa World

Health News

For 6 million US women, finding a safe place to have a baby is difficult, report finds: Women in more than half the states across the country saw availability of nearby prenatal and pregnancy care drop from 2018 to 2022, according to a nationwide study released Tuesday by the March of Dimes. [Tulsa World]

Criminal Justice News

After DA dismissed manslaughter charges, officers’ return to work timeline unclear: After the announcement that several police officers involved in fatal shootings have had criminal cases against them dismissed, Oklahoma City Police Chief Wade Gourley said Monday there is no timeframe for their return to duty. [The Oklahoman

Business fraud case involving Oklahomans moves toward resolution: A federal criminal case involving an Oklahoma couple accused of conspiring to sell millions of dollars’ worth of pirated licenses for business telephone system software has taken a step toward resolution. [Journal Record]

Economic Opportunity

New Edmond alliance seeks good policy on development issues: A new not-for-profit organization aims to be a voice for development and business in Edmond and “stand up against misinformation,” co-founder David Chapman said. Chapman and Josh Moore – former Edmond City Council members whose terms expired this spring – are both developers and advocates for more affordable housing in Edmond. [Journal Record]

Microsoft joins Black Tech Street for “digital transformation”: Black Tech Street’s ambitious goal to create 1,000 Black cyber employees in the city of Tulsa by 2030 moves closer to reality as Microsoft joins the organization to create a “digital transformation” for Black Wall Street. [The Black Wall Street Times

Education News

Why is Tulsa on Oklahoma schools Superintendent Ryan Walters’ mind?: Tulsa Public Schools was a common punching bag for Gov. Kevin Stitt during the pandemic as he criticized the district for closing buildings even though, like many large districts, it often lacked enough COVID-free staff to keep them open. Now, state schools Superintendent Ryan Walters has picked up that baton to continue targeting the state’s largest school district, a predominately nonwhite school system of more than 33,000 students he says faces “significant and severe issues” and is “plagued by scandal.” [The Oklahoman]

Moms For Liberty leader, school board member call for Tulsa superintendent to resign or be fired: Moms For Liberty joined Tulsa school board member E’Lena Ashley on Monday in saying the Tulsa Public Schools superintendent should resign or be fired. [Tulsa World]

How a partnership between the sheriff’s office, Metro Tech will benefit students, residents: An Oklahoma County 911 dispatch center will move later this year from its current home — a building on a parking lot in Midwest City where a car dealership once operated — to a newly built, storm-resistant building at Metro Technology Centers’ South Bryant Avenue campus. But the deal isn’t just about better facilities at an affordable price. [The Oklahoman

General News

Tulsa’s historic 2SLGBTQIA human rights group begins work: Formed as a standing committee under Tulsa’s Human Rights Commission on May 15, the first meeting of the 18-member committee represents the culmination of a years-long effort to shine a long-term light on the issues impacting the 2SLGBTQIA community. [The Black Wall Street Times

Column: Massacres and museums: Education or exploitation?: People like to believe that historical events are things that have come and gone and can be neatly packaged in museums and history books. But in the case of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre — in which White people laid violent waste to the all-Black Greenwood neighborhood — as time passes, poisonous new real-life battles keep springing Hydra-like from the original monstrous event. At the center of one of the latest battles are the estate and intellectual property of one of the massacre’s most famous victims, Andrew Chesteen (A.C.) Jackson. [Karen Attiah / The Washington Post]

Oklahoma Local News

  • OSBI investigation continues into Comanche County commissioner [The Lawton Constitution
  • Three file for Lawton’s Ward 7 City Council seat [The Lawton Constitution
  • What’s included in Improve Our Tulsa 3 vote coming Aug. 8 [Tulsa World]
  • ‘Land of opportunity’: OKC’s industrial real estate on the rise [Journal Record]
  • Oklahoma City employees among those affected by Yellow Corporation closure [KFOR]

Quote of the Day

“Plain and simple, the governor’s continued rhetoric and vitriol surrounding not only these compacts, but also our Native American Tribal partners as a whole, seeks to divide the state. It is clear at this point the governor has no end game, goal or aspirations of working with the legislature or tribes.”

– President Pro Tem Greg Treat, after the governor asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court Monday to invalidate extensions to tribal tax compacts, which he vetoed earlier this year and the House voted to renew. [The Oklahoman]

Number of the Day


The cost of court fees to file an eviction in Oklahoma, which entails $45 for a forcible entry and detainer for small claims ($5,000 or less), $6 law library fee, and $7 for alternative dispute resolution fee. A $50 fee for service or attempted service by sheriff in a civil case can be waived if the filer arranges service on its own. [Uniform Oklahoma Fee Schedule / OSCN]

Policy Note

When it’s cheap to file an eviction case, tenants pay the price: We find that the cost of filing an eviction case has a clear and powerful effect on how often landlords turn to the courts. Specifically, increasing the filing fee by $100 reduces the eviction filing rate by 2.25 percentage points. For context, the eviction filing rate in the median neighborhood in our sample is 3.3%. That $100 increase to the filing fee would more than halve its number of eviction cases. [Eviction Lab]

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Kristin Wells served as the Communications and Operations Fellow for OK Policy from October 2021 to July 2022. She previously worked as a digital content producer for News On 6. A native Kansas Citian, Kristin graduated with a B.A. in Media Studies and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Tulsa in 2020. While there, she was accepted into the Global Scholars program, spurring her interests in policy, social movements, global identities, and the importance of education and advocacy. She hopes to use her skills to continue to learn and create a more equitable future for Oklahomans. An avid sports fan, Kristin lives in Tulsa with her rescue dog and is passionate about college basketball, documentaries, and coffee.

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