In The Know: Jail employees air grievances at Oklahoma County Jail Trust meeting; No plans for investigation of Senator

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. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

New from OK Policy

Restoring Oklahoma’s Earned Income Tax Credit necessary: When the Legislature ended Oklahoma’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) refundability in 2016, they reduced an essential tax benefit for over 200,000 Oklahoma families. [Paul Shinn / Enid News & Eagle]

(Capitol Update) Improving Oklahomans’ education is a key to better health: The charge to the healthcare working group is to recommend ways to improve Oklahoma’s healthcare system. Among many useful presentations was that of Dr. Gary Raskob, Dean of the College of Public Health at the OU Health Sciences Center. [Steve Lewis / OK Policy]

In The News

Current jail employees air grievances at Oklahoma County Jail Trust meeting: Employees implored the trust to provide definitive answers on what their pay, job status, and benefit access will be. Since the trust does not have full authority over the jail yet, they could only pass a resolution saying they plan to give current employees benefits that are “equivalent to or better” than what they have now. [The Oklahoman] While the meeting started with generous spirits all around, as the agenda items passed, the tension between the Sheriff’s Office and other trustees began to rise. [Free Press OKC]

Epic Charter Schools wants investigation of state senator, but pro tem says ‘no plans for an investigation at this time’: Epic Charter Schools fired back Monday at a state senator who has been raising questions about the legality of its student attendance practices. The school is accusing Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, of “intentional misrepresentation of legal guidance given to him by two state agencies” and defamation of the school. [Tulsa World]

Miami leaders call Inhofe amendment ‘unfair’: Civic and tribal leaders in Miami, Oklahoma, thought they were following proper channels when working with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Grand River Dam Authority in regard to flood control of the Neosho River. But legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, who has owned property on Grand Lake since the 1960s, has changed the whole playing field. [Miami News-Record]

NOC, NWOSU receive state funding to combat opioid addiction: Several Oklahoma institutions of higher learning are joining the fight against opioid abuse, with $250,000 in assistance from the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. [Enid News & Eagle]

State Senate committee takes up mental health transfers: Tulsa Deputy Police Chief Jonathan Brooks told a state senate interim committee that law enforcement should not be involved in transporting non-violent mental health patients to facilities. [Public Radio Tulsa]

Lawmakers look at issues impacting schools before upcoming session begins: Legislators are gathering this week to look at issues impacting schools going into the upcoming session. That includes growing class sizes. [KJRH]

Attorney General seeks more time to put together restitution plan for Tate Publishing victims: Tate Publishing & Enterprises customers who qualified to get reimbursed for their losses will have to wait a while longer before learning any details about how and when they will get paid. [The Oklahoman]

Media campaigns launched over gaming compact conflict: Scott Meacham, Oklahoma’s former secretary of finance and revenue who 15 years ago negotiated the legal compact that set the stage for an explosion of investment in tribal gaming in the state, has weighed in on questions raised recently about whether the compact will renew or expire at the end of 2019. [Journal Record ????]

SBA approves more than $35 million in disaster loans for state: The U.S. Small Business Administration said Monday it has approved more than $35 million in disaster loans for Oklahoma individuals and businesses in the wake of this spring’s flooding and storms. [Tulsa World]

Editorial: Doing whatever it takes for suicide prevention: This week, our country marks National Suicide Prevention Week. It’s an effort to raise awareness of the problem of suicide and advocate for preventing such a terrible tragedy. Unfortunately, this is another health area where Oklahoma has much ground to gain. [Kari Stomprud / The Oklahoman]

Forced by court order, SeeWorth, Inc. allows OKCPS to retrieve equipment: At the former campus of the defunct SeeWorth Academy, a moving company on contract to Oklahoma City Public Schools started loading out equipment destined to many points around the district. [Free Press OKC]

Kirk resigns from Oklahoma City School Board: A member of the Oklahoma City School Board will resign after a year and eight months in office. District 7 representative Jace Kirk has submitted his resignation, which will be effective Oct. 9. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma City superintendent speaks on Northeast Academy renaming: Amid legal action and public discourse, the superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools has weighed in on the debate over the renaming of Northeast Academy. [The Oklahoman] OKCPS planning projects to honor Northeast Academy. [The Oklahoman]

Tulsa Election Board looking for hundreds of precinct workers: Elections don’t just happen. Tulsa County Election Board Secretary Gwen Freeman is well aware of this, and so she’s preparing now for what promises to be a busy 2020. [Tulsa World]

Libraries continue to evolve, stay relevant: Libraries are not dead. In an increasingly digital world, public libraries are rising to the challenge. September is Library Card Sign-up Month. [CHNI]

OMRF scientist uncovers clues about age, muscle loss: New findings from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation have revealed clues that could lead to strategies to combat age-related muscle loss. [The Oklahoman]

Quote of the Day

“We want humane treatment for not only those detained in the jail, but for those that work there, too.”

– Tricia Everest, Chairwoman of the Oklahoma County Jail Trust, on plans for the trust to take over operations of the Oklahoma County jail. Current employees challenged members of the trust at a public meeting on Monday [Source: The Oklahoman]

Number of the Day


Number of Oklahoma’s nearly 700,000 students in grades PK through 12 who experienced homelessness in 2018.

[Source: Oklahoma State Department of Education Fast Facts 2019-2020]

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

“Medicare for All” Is Missing a Vital Group: The Incarcerated: No one is talking about making federal health insurance truly “for all” by extending eligibility to the 2.2 million people incarcerated in this country. [The Marshall Project]

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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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