In The Know: OK lawmakers work to address teacher pipeline, Medication-assisted treatment not being used enough, First Lady meets with soon-to-be-released inmates

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. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

New from OK Policy

(Capitol Update) Justice reform for the children: There was an informative interim study last week in the House Judiciary Committee about the impact of incarceration on the children of people who are sentenced to prison. The topic is an issue that has remained largely undiscussed during criminal justice reform efforts. [Steve Lewis / Capitol Update]

In The News

Oklahoma lawmakers work to address teacher pipeline: The Legislative Education Advocacy Plan or LEAP is still in the works, but Representative John Waldron says the essential principles are clear and based on the concept that the teacher pipeline is the keystone of education reform and restoration. [NewsOn6]

Experts tell Oklahoma lawmakers medication-assisted treatment for addiction not being used enough: Witnesses at an interim study on Monday wanted state lawmakers to increase access to medication-assisted addiction treatment. The practice can greatly boost rates of successful addiction recovery, especially when used in combination with counseling. [Public Radio Tulsa]

Oklahoma Transportation Commission approves eight-year construction work plan: The Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved three separate planning documents Monday that identify its priorities for spending nearly $8 billion over the next several years to improve Oklahoma’s roads and bridges. [The Oklahoman]

First lady Sarah Stitt meets with inmates who could soon be released under criminal justice reform: First lady Sarah Stitt wanted to offer a message of hope Monday to a group of inmates who could soon be released from prison under a criminal justice reform that takes effect next month. [The OklahomanThe legislature made SQ 780 retroactive last session, but the cost of expungement is still very high.

Johnson discusses benefits of a college degree: Chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education Dr. Glen D. Johnson Jr. spoke at the Woodward Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Monday about the value of higher education. [CNHI] On average, states that have a larger share of workers with a college degree are more productive and have higher median wages

The tax take from medical marijuana, by county: Medical marijuana generated more than $34.5 million in tax revenue through the end of September. Patient licenses now exceed 200,000, far above the initial projections of 80,000 in the first year, according to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. [Oklahoma Watch]

Four counties in central Oklahoma get text-to-911 system: Local emergency officials on Monday announced the rollout of a text-to-911 system that lets residents in four counties send messages from their mobile devices to emergency dispatchers. [The Oklahoman]

As new gun law approaches, seizures of firearms in largest cities keep rising: Data from the Oklahoma City and Tulsa police departments show gun seizures are up in both cities as officials say a mix of added crime-fighting enforcement measures and the ever-growing number of guns, owned legally or illegally by Oklahomans, is contributing to the increase. [Oklahoma Watch] Retailers unmoved by Oklahoma’s new gun law. [Journal Record ????]

Court upholds MAPS 4 ballot: The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday rejected former Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid’s bid to scuttle MAPS 4. In a unanimous 10-page ruling, the high court said Oklahoma City’s MAPS 4 ordinance is constitutional. [The Oklahoman]

With fish, animals and plants contaminated, group pans EPA’s Tar Creek water cleanup plan: A new study up for public comment looks at contaminated water, fish, plants and animals at the Tar Creek Superfund Site, but critics say the study gives the site’s namesake short shrift. [Tulsa World]

Four fewer names will be on Muscogee (Creek) chief do-over ballot: When they return to the polls next month, Muscogee (Creek) voters will be greeted with a similar but not identical ballot to the one they cast last month. [Tulsa World]

Native American Day provides a chance to go beyond history and celebrate contemporary indigenous achievements: Native American Day is more than an opportunity to honor the heritage and resilience of the country’s indigenous peoples. [Tulsa World] Oklahoma celebrates first official Native American Day. [News9]

Quote of the Day

“The walkout was never about a raise, it was about respect for education and that’s why the educator legislators are going have to fight to keep education at the forefront of the debate.”

– Rep. John Waldron (D-Tulsa), a former teacher at Booker T. Washington High School [NewsOn6]

Number of the Day


Percent of infants and toddlers in Oklahoma who live in 2-parent homes.

[Source: State of Babies Yearbook 2019]

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

How many people in your state go to local jails every year? New data shows that local jails impact more people in your state than you may think: Understanding the true number of people directly affected by local jails allows policymakers to better assess the impact of jail policies. But more importantly, these statistics ought to prompt state and local policymakers to question whether it is necessary to jail so many people in the first place. [Prison Policy]

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Jessica joined OK Policy as a Communications Associate in January 2018. A Mexican immigrant, she was a Clara Luper Scholar at Oklahoma City University where she obtained a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy. Prior to joining OK Policy, Jessica worked at a digital marketing agency in Oklahoma City. She is an alumna of both the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute (2013) and OK Policy's Summer Policy Institute (2015). In addition to her role at OK Policy, Jessica serves as a board member for Dream Action Oklahoma in OKC and communications director for Dream Alliance Oklahoma in Tulsa.

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