In The Know: Officials still talking revenue cuts | Primary election results, runoffs | Tribal-state coordination can protect children

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

Tribal-state coordination to prioritize Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare is one way to improve child well-being: As a state with a high population of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children and overall low ranking in general child well-being, it is crucial that Oklahomans understand what the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) means for child well-being in the state. ICWA is a federal law that passed in 1978 as a response to the high number of AI/AN children being removed from their homes by both private and public agencies and placed in non-AI/AN homes, institutions, and adoptive homes. [Vivian Morris / OK Policy

State Government News

‘It’s not over by any means’: Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt still optimistic on tax cuts: Gov. Kevin Stitt said he’s still optimistic the Oklahoma Legislature will approve tax cuts in a special legislative session. After the House and Senate left the special session called by Stitt at odds over a slate of tax cut proposals, it’s unclear where lawmakers will go from here. [The Oklahoman

From OK Policy: Targeted relief can help Oklahoma families weather inflation

Study: Oklahoma’s response to the pandemic was among worst: Oklahoma ranked at the bottom, 50th out of 51, in a recent study ranking the states and the District of Columbia’s response to the pandemic. The study offers how and where improvements can be made, according to local health care experts, and highlights how important it is to get small children vaccinated. [The Journal Record

Housing renovations for Oklahoma’s most at-risk juvenile offenders shows state’s support for their futures, OJA director says: Oklahoma’s Office of Juvenile Affairs recently cut the ribbon on a re-envisioned and consolidated secure-care treatment center for adjudicated youths, and Executive Director Rachel Holt said that should serve as an encouraging message for all who come for a stay. [Tulsa World

From OK Policy: 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. 

Voting and Election News

Kevin Stitt, Joy Hofmeister advance in governor’s race: In a result that carries no big surprises, the two most high-profile candidates for governor, incumbent Gov. Kevin Stitt and Superintendent of Public Education Joy Hofmeister, have won their respective primary campaigns and will face each other in the November general election. [NonDoc] In the Nov. 8 general election, Stitt and Hofmeister will face Libertarian Natalie Bruno and former state Sen. Dr. Ervin Yen, who switched from Republican to independent to run. [Tulsa World

Most incumbent state legislators win re-election, with two exceptions: Tuesday’s primaries saw most incumbent state legislators from the Tulsa area reelected outright or advancing to the general election — save a Mounds representative who was targeted with dark money for opposing private school vouchers and a Collinsville representative who is credited for the bill Gov. Kevin Stitt heralded as “the nation’s strictest abortion ban.” [Tulsa World

  • Ryan Walters, April Grace make state superintendent GOP runoff [NonDoc] [The Oklahoman
  • State Auditor Cindy Byrd wins reelection; other state offices head to runoff [The Oklahoman
  • Avery Frix, Josh Brecheen advance to 2nd Congressional District runoff [NonDoc
  • In Oklahoma County DA race, Republicans Kevin Calvey and Gayland Gieger will be in runoff [The Oklahoman] [NonDoc
  • Oklahoma County commissioner races are headed to primary runoff elections [The Oklahoman
  • Dunkerley, Jack headed to runoff in Republican primary for District 3 County Commission seat [Tulsa World

Gentner Drummond wins attorney general’s primary, beating Stitt’s nominee, John O’Connor: The governor’s pick for attorney general was defeated Tuesday by a Tulsa attorney who ran on a platform of ending corruption in state government and bringing a more cooperative attitude towards the state’s tribal nations. [The Oklahoman] Drummond held around a 6,000-vote lead over O’Connor’s in nearly complete election results late Tuesday. [Tulsa World

Lankford wins; Mullin, Shannon advance in US Senate primary: U.S. Sen. James Lankford won Tuesday’s GOP primary outright in his race for reelection to another six-year term in the U.S. Senate, while U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin and former House Speaker T.W. Shannon advanced to a runoff in Oklahoma’s other U.S. Senate race. [Public Radio Tulsa

  • Tom Cole, Frank Lucas, Stephanie Bice advance to November general elections [The Oklahoman
  • US Sen. James Lankford easily wins primary nomination; Democratic runoff set in Senate race: [The Oklahoman] [Tulsa World
  • Markwayne Mullin, T.W. Shannon advance in U.S. Senate race [NonDoc] [The Oklahoman
  • Frix, Brecheen headed to runoff to fill Mullin’s congressional seat; incumbents breeze [Tulsa World

Fire at McAlester church closes polling location: A fire at a McAlester church closed a polling location Tuesday. The First Assembly of God was the polling spot for two McAlester precincts, and according to the McAlester News-Capital, Fire Chief Brett Brewer said the church is likely to be a total loss with most of the structure burned. [Tulsa World

Tribal Nations News

The never-ending maze: Continued failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA: American Indian and Alaska Native women face some of the highest rates of sexual violence in the United States: 56.1 percent of Native women have experienced sexual violence; Native women are 2.2 times more likely to be raped than non-Hispanic white women. [Amnesty International

Criminal Justice News

Voters approve Oklahoma County jail’s $260 million bond package in primary election: The $300 million facility is the county’s sole plan to put an end to years of trouble at the current jail.  [The Oklahoman] The jail bond proposal was approved with more than 59 percent support, or 61,147 votes. [NonDoc

Economy & Business News

Highest Mortgage Rates Since 2008 Housing Crisis Cool Sales: In the span of a few weeks, real estate agents have gone from managing bidding wars to watching properties sit without offers, and once-hot markets like Austin, Texas, and Boise, Idaho, are poised for big declines. The culprit is rising mortgage rates, which have spiked to their highest levels since the 2008 housing crisis in response to the Federal Reserve’s recent efforts to tame inflation. [The New York Times

Quote of the Day

“We’re for tax reform. We just want to make sure the tax reform is good long term for the state of Oklahoma.”

-Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-OKC [The Oklahoman]

Number of the Day


American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children are four times more likely to be placed in foster care than white children

[Casey-CSSP Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare]

Policy Note

About the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA): When a law that was put into place to protect Indian children comes under attack, it requires a nationwide response. It requires tribes, tribal organizations, and Indian law practitioners to come together with one voice. And it requires a partnership with allies in Congress, federal government, state government, child and family services, and academia that know how well ICWA works. [Native American Rights Fund]

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Kristin Wells served as the Communications and Operations Fellow for OK Policy from October 2021 to July 2022. She previously worked as a digital content producer for News On 6. A native Kansas Citian, Kristin graduated with a B.A. in Media Studies and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Tulsa in 2020. While there, she was accepted into the Global Scholars program, spurring her interests in policy, social movements, global identities, and the importance of education and advocacy. She hopes to use her skills to continue to learn and create a more equitable future for Oklahomans. An avid sports fan, Kristin lives in Tulsa with her rescue dog and is passionate about college basketball, documentaries, and coffee.

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