In The Know: OG&E rate increase | Tulsa ARPA projects approved | It’s time to address Oklahoma’s eviction crisis

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

It’s time for action to address Oklahoma’s eviction crisis: Evictions are skyrocketing in some areas of Oklahoma, part of a nationwide crisis in affordable housing. In several counties across the state, including Canadian and Oklahoma counties, evictions in the first half of 2022 were at an all-time high. With the last rental assistance program having closed applications on August 31, the state’s eviction crisis has no clear short-term relief in sight. During the next legislative session, state lawmakers can improve protections for renters against unfair evictions, but the larger housing crisis will take bold federal and state efforts to fix. [Ryan Gentzler / OK Policy]

Oklahoma News

Oklahoma approves OG&E $30 million rate increase: Amid heavy public scrutiny and customer frustration about rising electric bills, Oklahoma Gas & Electric received permission from state regulators to raise the base rate charged for utility service by about 1.9%. [The Oklahoman]

Panel OKs another $70 million in Tulsa ARPA projects: A legislative panel gave preliminary approval Thursday to $70 million in American Rescue Plan Act allocations for medicine-related projects in Tulsa. [Tulsa World]

State Government News

State tax revenue continues to grow: State tax revenue continued growing at a record pace in August, Oklahoma Treasurer Randy McDaniel said Thursday. McDaniel said gross receipts of $1.37 billion for August set an all-time high for the month and brought the 12-month total to $16.82 billion, also a record. [Tulsa World]

Voting and Election News

Column: Initiative petition process stymied at expense of state voters: The state Supreme Court showdown over State Question 820 isn’t solely about whether Oklahomans will get to vote this November on whether to legalize recreational marijuana. [Arnold Hamilton / The Journal Record]

Race for Tulsa’s District 7 city council seat heading to November runoff following recount: The race for the District 7 city council seat is heading to a runoff in November following a recount of August’s votes by the Tulsa County Election Board. [Public Radio Tulsa]

Health News

Column: Our mental health providers need Oklahoma to invest in rural youths: Increasing numbers of infants, young children and their families who need mental health support is a pressing issue across rural Oklahoma. Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Programs (IECMH) are difficult programs to deliver, especially as infants are not always able to tell caregivers or their parents what is wrong. We face a huge responsibility in meeting this need. [Kevin Evans Guest Column / The Oklahoman]

Criminal Justice News

Oklahoma AG Urges Prosecution for Performing An Abortion: Republican Attorney General John O’Connor, a fierce opponent of abortion, issued guidance for law enforcement and prosecutors on how to navigate the state’s new anti-abortion laws, which make it a felony to perform an abortion in the state. [The Oklahoma Eagle]

Longtime public servant Michael Thompson retires from state service: Michael Thompson on Thursday announced his retirement as deputy director of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation after a lengthy public service record. Oct. 1 will be his last day in the office. He started working for the agency in early 2022. [Tulsa World]

Education News

TPS board member concerned redistricting will affect schools’ representation: Tulsa Public Schools’ Board of Education met this week to discuss potential plans to address redistricting that one board member says could potentially affect representation on different TPS campuses. [Public Radio Tulsa]

Oklahoma Schools Dealing With Shortage Of Registered Nurses: Oklahoma is not only dealing with a teacher shortage but also a lack of school nurses. According to the State Department of Education, there are less than 400 school nurses for the more than 700,000 students across the state. [NewsOn9]

Oklahoma Local News

  • Updated COVID boosters are here. Here’s how and where to get an OKC appointment [The Oklahoman]

Quote of the Day

“We tell (youths in our detention program) ‘We are investing in you to never come back.’ It is working. However, it is evident that we wouldn’t have as many kids in detention if our state focused more on early and less costly prevention services and programs.”

– Kevin Evans, Executive Director of Western Plains Youth & Family Services in Woodward, writing about the need for increased investments for rural youths by mental health providers [Kevin Evans Guest Column / The Oklahoman]

From OK Policy: Better Tomorrows: A Landscape Analysis of Oklahoma’s Youth Justice System and Suggested Reforms

Number of the Day


Percentage increase of eviction filings in Oklahoma County from January to July 2022, when compared with the same period during 2019 before the pandemic.  [Open Justice Oklahoma

Policy Note

Case By Case: A Study of Oklahoma’s Eviction Courts and a Path Toward Equity: Housing courts in our state often failed to serve many Oklahomans but especially our most vulnerable citizens: the elderly and parents with children. These issues arose from various places, including overcrowded dockets, geographic inequality, underused mediation, and inconsistent applications of the Landlord Tenant Act. But we have the tools to improve, and we know how to use them. Enhanced filing requirements, judicial training, investments in mediation, and commonsense changes to the Landlord Tenant Act can improve both equity and efficiency in our housing courts. [Oklahoma Access to Justice Foundation]

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.