In The Know: Better Tomorrows Youth Justice Panel and Report Release | Bill to protect data privacy | 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.

Better Tomorrows Youth Justice Panel Discussion

Please plan on joining today at 1 PM as Oklahoma Policy Institute releases its latest report, which focuses on the state’s youth justice system. To celebrate the report’s release, OK Policy will be holding an online panel discussion to look more deeply at issues impacting the state’s youth justice system and the issues raised in the report. The discussion will be streamed live on our website or via OK Policy’s social media channels on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube

State Government News

Capitol Notebook: What to know about an Oklahoma bill that aims to protect data privacy: For the second year in a row, the Oklahoma House gave final approval to bipartisan legislation that aims to prevent technology and telecommunications companies from sharing Oklahomans’ digital data without their consent. [The Oklahoman]

‘These are beautiful children’: Parents of transgender kids worry about future in Oklahoma: One bill filed this year in the Oklahoma Legislature sought to prevent doctors from providing transgender health care to minors, even with their parent’s permission. Another bill passed by state lawmakers limits the participation of transgender girls in high school sports. [The Oklahoman]

  • Conversion therapy bans continue to be discussed in Oklahoma [KGOU]

Proposal to consolidate Oklahoma’s law enforcement agencies heads to House: A law enforcement consolidation bill is headed to the House floor. Senate Bill 1612 would consolidate the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotic and Dangerous Drugs Control, and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation all under the Department of Public Safety. [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma state Senate passes bill seeking details on Kickapoo Turnpike expansion: Amid questions, protest and outright frustration, an amended Senate bill passed on Thursday would require the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority to submit a report to the Legislature on potential impacts of the planned South Extension Turnpike. [The Oklahoman]

Advocate: Oklahomans tired of lawmakers catering to gun lobby: A bill allowing people to carry guns at state fairs and into government buildings is paused in the state legislature. Don Spencer of the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association said he “worked” on HB 4138 and he’s very excited about it. [Public Radio Tulsa]

Federal Government News

White House warns it’s running out of COVID funding. What does that mean for Oklahomans? Federal funding running dry for COVID-19 response could make it more difficult for Oklahomans to access testing, vaccinations and life-saving treatments like monoclonal antibody therapies. [The Oklahoman]

Tribal Nations News

Osage Nation principal chief candidates address goal ahead of election April 4: Election Day is nearing for the Osage Nation. Incumbent Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear is challenged in his re-election bid by current Osage Nation Congress members Angela Pratt and Joe Tillman. [Tulsa World]

Voting and Election News

Records show State Superintendent candidate failed to report campaign expenses: Ryan Walters has failed to report campaign expenditures in his quarterly finance reports in his bid for State Superintendent, violating state ethics laws and leading to confusion about how much money his campaign actually has on hand. [The Frontier]

We fact-checked campaign ad claims on Stitt’s first term as governor: A flood of early campaign ads has signaled the beginning of a protracted election season as Gov. Kevin Stitt seeks a second term in November. We found half-truths and misleading statements in some. The ads include some funded by a dark money group attacking Stitt in the months leading up to the election. [The Frontier]

  • Gov. Kevin Stitt to face new attacks over commutation decisions [The Oklahoman]

EPS District 2 forum: Williams, Hobgood debate ‘image’ of Edmond Public Schools: At a forum held in the West Field Elementary School gym Thursday night, Edmond school board candidates Cheryl Williams and Courtney Hobgood answered questions about their qualifications and the policies they would prioritize if elected to the vacant EPS District 2 seat. [NonDoc]

Criminal Justice News

Teen’s case goes dark in federal court system after crash that killed two in east Tulsa: Over a year after a 14-year-old boy with a troubled juvenile delinquent past was arrested in connection with a double-fatality vehicle crash in east Tulsa, his fate in the justice system is known to few. [Tulsa World]

‘They didn’t care’: Tulsan mourns sister, her child after OHP troopers chase teen in stolen truck: A state trooper chased a “possible stolen vehicle” at up to 125 mph into Tulsa on the Broken Arrow Expressway based only on the word of a motorist at a stoplight who had pursued the pickup truck in Coweta. [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma troopers fatally shoot man who reportedly shot at officers in Ada: Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers shot and killed a man in Ada who reportedly fired a gun at officers following a domestic dispute Saturday night. According to the Ada News, the Ada Police Department responded to a domestic disturbance at an apartment complex in Ada. [Tulsa World]

Mother of fatally shot Oklahoma County jail inmate files wrongful death claims: The mother of a fatally shot inmate has filed wrongful death claims against the Oklahoma County jail, the jail trust and the Oklahoma City Police Department. Rhonda Lambert filed the claims Thursday, through an attorney, on behalf of herself and her son’s estate. [The Oklahoman]

Economic Opportunity

Tulsa sees ‘revolving door’ with homeless encampments as new sites pop up when others are cleared: As Tulsa ramps up efforts to clear out “tent cities,” especially west of downtown, many homeless campers are simply moving to other makeshift campsites or circling back to the very same spots again, officials say. [Tulsa World]

Economy & Business News

Hundreds turn out for first glimpse of Canoo electric vehicle models: Former Chouteau Mayor Frank Klucevsek said he was apprehensive Friday when he entered a showroom packed with Canoo inventory. But laying his eyes and hands on the company’s electric vehicles put him at ease. [Tulsa World]

Tourism rebounding in the OKC, Tulsa metros: Oklahoma City and Tulsa have been busy making sure new attractions, accommodations and opportunities will be available for visitors and locals. Zac Craig, president of the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the future of tourism in Oklahoma’s metros is “looking pretty bright.” [The Journal Record]

Education News

Voucher bill narrowly defeated in state Senate major topic at TPS legislative breakfast: A controversial voucher bill narrowly defeated in the Oklahoma State Senate earlier this week dominated discussion at Friday’s annual meeting between Tulsa Public Schools leaders and area lawmakers. [Tulsa World]

  • Oklahoma’s massive school voucher bill is dead, but the ideas behind it are unlikely to go away [KGOU]

Attempts to ban books from public schools fall short: When Kyle Reynolds, superintendent of Woodward Public Schools, saw that the book Fahrenheit 451 was on a list of books under review for obscenity by Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor earlier this year, he thought “There’s irony in that.” [Gaylord News via NonDoc]

Latino families take a stand against discrimination at school board meeting: A dozen Tulsa community members, many Hispanic and Latina/x/o, showed up to speak at this week’s Tulsa Public Schools Board meeting. They had come to stand up for their community and speak out about ongoing issues of discrimination. [The Black Wall Street Times]

Mourners gather for a vigil for 6 girls killed in crash: Mourners gathered in a small Oklahoma town’s high school football stadium Friday evening to pay tribute to six teenage girls killed in a crash with a large truck. The vigil occurred beneath a clear sky and fading light in the Tishomingo High School stadium. [AP News]

General News

‘Focus: Black Oklahoma’: school choice, COVID long haulers, escalation of anti-Asian hate: Focus: Black Oklahoma has been selected to participate in the Advancing Democracy cohort with the Solutions Journalism Network, or SJN. Our series, In A Confused State, will follow Oklahoma advocacy groups navigating new restrictions on freedoms in four areas: reproductive rights, voting laws, teaching history, and direct action/activism. [KOSU]

Quote of the Day

“If you are of that mindset — the system you need to have in place is one that has adequate funding in place in the first place, which Oklahoma does not have.”

– Tulsa Superintendent Deborah Gist, speaking about public school funding and school vouchers [Tulsa World]

Number of the Day


Number of young people held in detention in Oklahoma between July 2019 and August 2020.

[Source: Oklahoma Juvenile Affairs]

Policy Note

Better Tomorrows: A Landscape Analysis of Oklahoma’s Youth Justice System and Suggested Reforms: Better Tomorrows: A Landscape Analysis of Oklahoma’s Youth Justice System and Suggested Reforms reviews the historical context for Oklahoma’s youth justice system, examines contemporary processes and actors within the system, and recommends a series of reforms that can help achieve better outcomes for justice-involved children and their families. [OK Policy]

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Jessica joined OK Policy as a Communications Associate in January 2018. A Mexican immigrant, she was a Clara Luper Scholar at Oklahoma City University where she obtained a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy. Prior to joining OK Policy, Jessica worked at a digital marketing agency in Oklahoma City. She is an alumna of both the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute (2013) and OK Policy's Summer Policy Institute (2015). In addition to her role at OK Policy, Jessica serves as a board member for Dream Action Oklahoma in OKC and communications director for Dream Alliance Oklahoma in Tulsa.

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