In The Know: Lawmakers won’t override ARPA vetoes | Transparency, accountability at issue with relocated public health lab | Capitol Update

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

Legislature passes ARPA relief proposals; Governor signs 8, vetoes 3, while 21 others pass into law without his signature (Capitol Update): The legislature recessed its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) special session on Sept. 29, giving the governor until last Wednesday (Oct. 5) to act on the bills. Gov. Stitt, largely uninvolved in allocating the $1.8 billion in ARPA funding, had three choices: Sign the bills, veto the bills, or allow them to become law without his signature. During the three-day session, legislators passed 32 measures. The governor acted on only 11 of the measures, signing eight and vetoing three bills. He allowed the remaining 21 bills to become law without his signature. [Steve Lewis / Capitol Update]

Oklahoma News

Oklahoma lawmakers won’t return to special session to override Stitt’s vetoes: State lawmakers will let stand Gov. Kevin Stitt’s vetoes of $24.2 million in federal stimulus spending. [The Oklahoman]

  • Oklahoma Lawmakers Let Stitt Vetoes Stand on Three Pandemic Relief Bills [Oklahoma Watch]
  • Legislature won’t try to override Gov. Kevin Stitt’s vetoes from recent special session [Tulsa World]

As Oklahoma faced COVID-19 spikes, state used $30 million to relocate lab: Oklahoma officials used millions in federal relief money to cover pandemic-related payroll costs, freeing up other money to move a state lab that has since been plagued with problems. [The Frontier]

On Native American Day, Tulsa-area tribes gather to remember history and to make it: Hundreds of people gathered near downtown Tulsa to celebrate Native American Day as proclaimed by the mayor and City Council, resuming an annual tradition that started in 2017 but went virtual the last two years due to COVID-19. [Tulsa World]

  • Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at the First Americans Museum (photos): [The Oklahoman]

Federal Government News

Supreme Court rejects Oklahoma attempt to narrow Indian definition: The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Oklahoma’s attempt to narrow the definition of “Indian” in criminal cases as it sought to reclaim more jurisdiction in the wake of the McGirt case. [The Oklahoman]

Voting and Election News

Oklahoma’s Five Tribes will endorse Joy Hofmeister for governor: Leaders of Oklahoma’s largest tribes plan to formally endorse Joy Hofmeister for governor amid their final push to inspire more tribal citizens to vote and unseat incumbent Gov. Kevin Stitt. [The Oklahoman]

  • Oklahoma’s five largest tribes set to endorse Joy Hofmeister for Governor [KOSU]
  • Five of state’s largest tribes to endorse Hofmeister for governor [Tulsa World]
  • Five tribes to unite to back Joy Hofmeister for governor [The Frontier

Hofmeister opposed Medicaid management change implemented by Stitt: Gov. Kevin Stitt is defending his push to outsource management of the state’s Medicaid program, one of his biggest policy achievements that Joy Hofmeister, his Democratic challenger, says she would work to undo if elected. [The Oklahoman]

Brad Banks, Suzanne Schreiber seek Tulsa’s open HD 70: Both candidates for Tulsa’s House District 70 say listening to constituents will be a top priority if elected, and both tout their willingness to have conversations across the aisle. [NonDoc]

Are you ready for the general election? What to know before Nov. 8 voting in Oklahoma: Election Day is less than month away when Oklahoma voters will cast ballots for candidates in the general election. From registration to absentee ballots and everything between, we’ve gathered the information you need to prepare to vote on Nov. 8. [The Oklahoman]

Editorial: Deadlines to register to vote, get absentee ballot are approaching fast: The Nov. 8 general election is approaching fast, as are two important deadlines for people who want to vote. For those who aren’t registered to vote, the deadline is Oct. 14. For those wishing to vote by absentee ballot, that deadline is 5 p.m. Oct. 24. Anyone can request an absentee ballot. You do not have to have a reason. [Editorial / Tulsa World]

Economy & Business News

OPEC’s decision could lead to price changes at the pump in Oklahoma: A decision made half a world away could cause gasoline prices to rise once again this year, but the full impact, especially in Oklahoma, isn’t yet known. The OPEC+ alliance of oil exporting countries announced they would slash production by 2 million barrels a day, which represents nearly 2% of global production. [The Oklahoman]

Biggest thing … since the late 1980s.’ Cushing is one of 2 finalists for $5.6B refinery: Cushing is one of two sites competing for a $5.6 billion “next generation” refinery that, if built, would be one the country’s largest, processing 250,000 barrels of light crude daily. [The Oklahoman]

Guest: How far could Latinos go if celebrations, conversations weren’t limited to a month?: It’s no secret the Latino population is growing rapidly in the U.S. Today, Latinos represent 19% of the U.S. population, and 18% of the labor force. This share will continue to skyrocket in the next few years, as it is estimated that Latinos will account for 67% of total U.S. population growth from now to 2026. Latino voters are also the nation’s second-largest group of eligible voters and are among the fastest-growing voter blocks. In 2022, nearly 35 million Latinos will be eligible to vote. [Erika Lucas / The Oklahoman

Education News

New Data Shows Students Gaining Ground, But Still Below Pre-Pandemic in Core Subjects: Test score data for 2022 shows fewer students are on grade level in math and reading than in 2019, a stark sign of the coronavirus pandemic’s negative impact on student learning and the slow recovery ahead. Includes a searchable table for school districts’ scores by grade and subject and indicates the percentage of students who scored proficient or advanced, defined by the state as on track for college or career success. [Oklahoma Watch]

School safety protocols laid out for Tulsa school board members: During the Tulsa school board’s first meeting since the Sept. 30 shootings at McLain High School, Tulsa Public Schools administrators spent more than an hour laying out an overview of the district’s safety protocols. [Tulsa World]

Tulsa school board doesn’t extend contract for KIPP Tulsa high school: Tulsa Public Schools’ Board of Education voted Monday night not to extend its agreement with a Tulsa charter high school. [Tulsa World]

Column: Everyone benefits from public schools: Most communities around Oklahoma are small rural towns, whose common interest is the school system. [Robert Lee / Tahlequah Daily Press]

General News

Michael Flynn’s ReAwaken roadshow recruits ‘Army of God’: Michael Flynn’s ReAwaken roadshow recuits ‘Army of God’: ReAwaken America was launched by Michael Flynn, a former White House national security adviser, and Oklahoma entrepreneur Clay Clark a few months after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol failed to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Attendees and speakers still insist — against all evidence and dozens of court rulings — that Donald Trump rightfully won. [Associated Press]

Column: ‘Resilience’ documentary still prompting work to help kids reach full potential: Five years ago this week, the Potts Family Foundation began a journey that continues to this day. Introduced to the documentary “Resilience: The Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope” in 2017, our immediate reaction was that all Oklahomans need to see this film. [Guest columnist Linda Manaugh / The Oklahoman]

Quote of the Day

“There was a time in this country when Native Americans were predicted to be just a footnote in history. But if you look on this stage, and if you look at it this crowd, we are not a footnote in history. Ladies and gentlemen, we are making history.”

-Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., at Tulsa’s Native American Day celebration [Tulsa World]

Number of the Day

$42.9 million

Amount of local, state, and federal taxes paid in 2019 by Oklahomans who were eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an administrative relief that protects from deportation eligible immigrants who came to the United States when they were children. [New American Economy]

Policy Note

How Immigrants Expand Opportunity for All Americans: In a time where hyperpartisanship and division seem to dictate the news, it is the immigrant story that unites us and keeps the American Dream alive. Immigration reform is possible: it just needs to be driven by immigrants’ stories. [The Next 100]

NOTE: National Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. Each week, OK Policy will share policy notes and numbers to recognize this commemoration.

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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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