In The Know: New report shows Oklahoma ranks 46th for child well-being | A look at governor’s latest vetoes | 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

KIDS COUNT Report Shows Oklahoma Ranks 46th for Child Well-Being: Oklahoma ranks 46th nationally in overall child well-being — and in the bottom half of all but one of the health and well-being metrics included in state rankings — for the 2023 KIDS COUNT Data Book, a 50-state report of recent household data developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation analyzing how children and families are faring. [Oklahoma Policy Institute]

  • Study ranks Oklahoma 46th nationally in child well-being [KOSU]

State Government News

Why regulation of Oklahoma chiropractors will continue despite governor’s veto: When Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoed 20 unrelated bills this year as retribution for the Senate not adopting his tax and education agenda, three of those bills were meant to extend the life of entities within his own state government. One, however, wasn’t reconsidered. Because of that, by law, the Board of Chiropractic Examiners will expire on July 1. Kind of. [The Oklahoman]

Gov. Stitt Vetoes Inmate Competency Bill: Oklahoma lawmakers reacted with shock after Gov. Stitt vetoes a bill dealing with mental health services for inmates. Senate Bill 552 would help ensure inmates understand the charges filed against them, enough to defend themselves in court. [News On 6]

Legislator says disagreement on fees for growers led to Stitt’s veto of far-ranging medical marijuana bill: A difference of opinion on medical marijuana licensing fees led to Gov. Kevin Stitt’s veto of a far-ranging medical marijuana bill late last week, the bill’s House sponsor said Monday. Senate Bill 437, which passed the House 72-20 on the last day of the regular session, includes provisions on packaging, prescribing to minors and financial disclosure. State Rep. T.J. Marti, R-Broken Arrow, said another provision — delaying already enacted sharply higher fees for grow licenses — is what he believes triggered the veto. [Tulsa World]

  • Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoed new medical marijuana regulations. What was included in the bill? [The Oklahoman]

Full interview: Okla. AG Drummond “disappointed” by St. Isidore vote: Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond discusses the Virtual Charter School Board’s recent decision to approve the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City’s application for a public charter school. [Public Radio Tulsa]

State’s long-running poultry lawsuit moves to mediation: After one-on-one negotiations flagged, a retired federal judge will now mediate a solution to Oklahoma’s long-running lawsuit against major poultry producers. Dated Monday, the order simply cancels a hearing set in Tulsa for this Friday and orders all parties to mediation before retired 10th Circuit Chief Judge Deanel Reece Tacha. The order directs the state and poultry industries to issue a “Joint Status Report” 14 days after the conclusion of the mediation. [Oklahoma Ecology Project via Tulsa World]

Criminal Justice News

Lawton officers fired after fatal shooting should return to force, arbitrators say: Two Lawton police officers removed from the force following the shooting death of a Black man should get their jobs back, independent arbitrators have found. Through the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, arbitrators found that Robert Hinkle, who also is Black, and Nathan Ronan acted reasonably when they shot and killed Quadry Sanders, 29, while responding to a call about an alleged protective order violation in late 2021. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahomans can get free help clearing criminal records at the annual Expungement Expo. Here’s how: The Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City soon will host its third annual Expungement Expo, seeking to help about 1,000 people work to wipe their slates clean of criminal records. At the expo, about 25 volunteer attorneys will assist clients with creating petitions to expunge their records and lead the effort to navigate the court systems for free. Expungement is the destruction or seal of a criminal conviction from a state or federal record, according to the American Bar Association. [The Oklahoman]

Education News

OU board gathered at retreat lodge may vote to raise tuition for third consecutive year: Tuition at the University of Oklahoma could increase for the third consecutive year. The OU Board of Regents is expected to vote on a 3% tuition hike Wednesday for in-state and out-of-state students at the undergraduate and graduate level. [The Oklahoman]

Union to add employee child care program: In an effort to attract and retain staff, the Union school board voted Monday night to add an employee day care for infants and toddlers at Rosa Parks Elementary School. The day care will launch with 32 openings when the district’s teachers report in August for the 2023-24 school year and will be open year-round. [Tulsa World]

General News

‘We cannot bury our truth’: Tulsa community discusses possible reparations for 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: Out of all the cities where Robin Rue Simmons has traveled, she believes the case for reparations is most obvious and overdue in Tulsa. Simmons, executive director and founder of FirstRepair and a former Evanston, Illinois, alderman, travels the country informing and supporting communities on reparations. [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma Local News

  • State Supreme Court sends Tulsa Tourism Improvement District lawsuit back to district court [Tulsa World]

Quote of the Day

“The day will turn when we’re going to get applicants from maybe … a Satanic organization that says, ‘we want state funding so that we can teach the attributes of Satan.’ I mean, that’s an anathema to the vast majority of Oklahomans, and yet we’ve got state elected officials championing this illegal act saying it’s in the best interest of religious freedom. I don’t think they’re thinking through what they’re saying.”

– Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond speaking about the Virtual Charter School Board’s recent decision to approve the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City’s application for a public charter school. [Public Radio Tulsa]

Number of the Day


Oklahoma’s rank for overall child well-being in the 2023 KIDS COUNT report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. [KIDS COUNT]

Policy Note

2023 KIDS COUNT Data Book: State trends in child well-being: Data reveal how the COVID-19 pandemic and related federal policies affected child well-being nationally. Half of the indicators tracked in the 2023 Data Book worsened since before the pandemic, while four stayed the same and only four saw improvement. The most recent data available show that fewer parents were economically secure, educational achievement was hit hard and more children died young than ever before. Even so, during these trying times, child poverty remained unchanged and more children than ever were insured, outcomes that demonstrate the impact
policy has on child well-being. [2023 KIDS COUNT Data Book] | [Interactive Data Book Version]

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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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