In The Know: Lawmakers already eyeing tax cuts for 2023 despite looming recession | Jail admins still waiting for SQ 781 funding | 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

‘Where’s the money?’: Jail administrator gets few answers to funding question: Ben Crooks, Garfield County Detention Facility administrator, has asked several state government officials that question with regard to two criminal justice reform state questions approved by voters in 2016 and enacted in 2017. State Question 780 changed the classification of simple drug possession crimes from felony to misdemeanor. [Stillwater News Press]

State Government News

Oklahoma House speaker: Tax cuts will be a ‘focus’ next session: Oklahoma’s House and Senate leaders have promised a renewed focus next year on tax cuts, an issue that recently created tension between the two legislative chambers and the governor’s office. Warning signs of a looming recession have some lawmakers worried the timing is wrong to work for further tax cuts. [The Oklahoman]

Lawmakers outline priorities at State Chamber’s public affairs forum: Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, said the state had a very transparent process in determining how to spend $1.87 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act. The state had $18 billion in requests, he said. Programs that received the funding included projects that deal with broadband, workforce development, health care and water infrastructure, he said. [Tulsa World]

Stitt has vowed to revive a private school voucher plan, but details are scarce: Gov. Kevin Stitt has vowed to make expanding private school choice programs a top priority in his second term, but details are still scarce on how he will revive the plan. Similar programs in other states have seen legal challenges and criticisms that they mostly benefit the wealthy. [The Frontier]

Health News

Top Saint Francis physicians encourage flu, COVID shots to prepare for holiday gatherings: Hospital leaders at Saint Francis Health System say 2022’s holiday season has already gone viral, literally, and this week is your last, best chance for an immune system boost before Christmas gatherings. Dr. Reetu Singh, chief medical officer, and Dr. Travis Campbell, medical director at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis, said Tuesday they are concerned amid an early peak in flu cases, soaring levels of RSV hospitalizations of young children not seen here since 2009 and a recent uptick in COVID. [Tulsa World]

Criminal Justice News

OKC Police’s Crowd-Sourced Effort Exploits Accused: When a 67-year-old man reported a clothing theft in September, Oklahoma City police turned to crowd-sourced crime solving. Oklahoma City police insist these posts do indeed work, citing 155 solved cases this year through September. Yet, two-thirds of its posts that month featured nonviolent offenses such as shoplifting, porch piracy and vandalism, according to an Oklahoma Watch review. In most cases, the phrasing implied guilt before an investigation is completed. [Oklahoma Watch]

Man accused in Okmulgee salvage yard slayings ‘demonstrated a pattern of violent behavior,’ prosecutors allege: Joseph Lloyd Kennedy II, 67, faces four counts of first-degree murder in the early October deaths of Mark Chastain, 32, Billy Jack Chastain, 30, Mikel Sparks, 32, and Alex Stevens, 29. [Tulsa World]

Economy & Business News

Chamber: Top issue facing business leaders is workforce: Each year the State Chamber takes a survey of business leaders in Oklahoma, and the latest survey made clear what state leaders need to do to help business, according to Chad Warmington, president and CEO of The State Chamber. “More than 60% of respondents said that the number-one issue facing their business, the biggest threat to their business being able to be in Oklahoma and be competitive, was workforce,” Warmington said. [Journal Record]

Council discusses tax credits for less-expensive rent: The Norman City Council on Tuesday discussed using federal funds earmarked for affordable housing on a tax credit program to drive down rent prices The council, during a study session, considered a partnership with a housing developer to construct at least 50 duplex or apartment units with a cap on the amount tenants can be charged. [Norman Transcript]

Oklahoma Local News

3 killed when small plane crashes near Oklahoma City: A small plane crashed near Oklahoma City, killing all three people who were on board, authorities said Tuesday. The Beechcraft Bonanza F33A crashed at around 9:20 p.m. Monday near Clarence E. Page Airport in Yukon, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said. The plane crashed about four minutes after taking off from the airport, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware. [Public Radio Tulsa]

Quote of the Day

“These posts seem to represent a departmental goal of producing internet content. The motivations are unclear, but the emphasis on these very minor, clickbait stories might distract the public from more serious unsolved crimes, actual public safety threats, or critical public oversight needed to monitor the police effectively.”

– Sarah E. Lageson, a Rutgers University professor who studies the intersection of criminal law and technology, speaking on how some police departments have turned to crowd-sourced crime solving using social media. [Oklahoma Watch]

Number of the Day


The number of students entitled to essential rights reserved for homeless students that have slipped through the cracks, unidentified by the school districts mandated to help them. [Center for Public Integrity]

Policy Note

Hidden toll: Thousands of schools fail to count homeless students: The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, first enacted in 1987 and expanded in 2001, requires that districts take specific actions to help unstably housed students complete school. Districts must waive enrollment requirements, such as immunization forms, that could keep kids out of the classroom. They must refer families to health care and housing services. And they must provide transportation so children can remain in the school they attended before they became homeless, even if they’re now outside the attendance boundaries. Some 2,400 districts — from regions synonymous with economic hardship to big cities and prosperous suburbs — did not report having even one homeless student despite levels of financial need that make those figures improbable. [Center for Public Integrity]

You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.


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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.