In The Know: OK Supreme Court declines to hear suit challenging tribal compacts | Reforming Oklahoma’s voting processes | Leaders express safety concerns for local Muslims as Israel-Hamas war continues | 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.

Oklahoma News

State’s high court punts case challenging Oklahoma lawmakers’ tribal compact extensions: Oklahoma lawmakers’ decision to extend tribal compacts without the governor’s blessing withstood its first legal challenge after the state’s highest court refused to hear the case. [Oklahoma Voice]

State Government News

With lawmaker’s cousin voting, Board on Legislative Compensation keeps pay flat: After 55 minutes, four failed motions and a discussion about whether inflationary conditions are relevant when considering elected officials’ pay, the Board on Legislative Compensation voted 5-3 to keep rank-and-file lawmaker salaries flat and raise separate stipends for Oklahoma’s legislative leaders by 5 percent. [NonDoc]

  • Oklahoma legislative leaders to get pay increases. Most lawmakers will not. [Oklahoma Voice]
  • Some Oklahoma lawmakers to get pay hike [Tulsa World]

Tribal Nations News

Oral arguments in Stroble tax case scheduled: Oral arguments have been scheduled for January 17, 2024 at the Oklahoma Supreme Court in the Stroble Case regarding state income tax. Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council employee Alicia Stroble is seeking a refund of back income taxes from the Oklahoma Tax Commission. [Mvskoke Media]

Voting and Election News

Opinion: Reforming Oklahoma voting processes could improve democratic engagement: Our nation is in an existential crisis. Democracy is imperiled. The governmental dysfunction evident today is like Lincoln’s metaphor that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Please allow me to outline remedies that might enable more effective government. [Mike O’Rourke Guest Column / Oklahoma Voice]

Trump Dominates Early Presidential Fundraising in Oklahoma: Oklahoma donors have contributed $617,656 to former president Donald Trump’s campaign, more than three times the amount of any other candidate. [Oklahoma Watch]

Rep. Josh Brecheen, Oklahoma’s freshman in U.S. House, struggles to raise reelection money: While three of Oklahoma’s five U.S. House members have built campaign war chests topping $1 million, freshman Rep. Josh Brecheen has struggled to raise funds and finished September with less than $100,000 in his reelection account. [The Oklahoman]

Criminal Justice News

Lawyers say Glynn Simmons, released after 48 years in prison, should be found ‘actually innocent.’: Attorneys are advocating for the Oklahoma County District Court to determine a man they believe served the longest wrongful conviction in U.S. history to be “actually innocent” of a 1974 murder. That designation would better allow him to pursue compensation for his time served, as well as reintegrate into public life, lawyers say. [The Oklahoman]

An Oklahoma man will serve a year and a day in prison for threats made to Gov. Stitt, other GOP politicians: An Enid has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for making online threats to multiple government officials from around the country. [KOSU]

Kingfisher head football coach, three others charged after hazing investigation: The head football coach at Kingfisher High School was charged Tuesday with child neglect after a lengthy investigation that began after a former player filed a hazing lawsuit. [The Oklahoman]

  • Charges handed down in Kingfisher football hazing case [News 9]

Ringling football coach charged after months-long investigation into player harassment: Ringling football coach Phil Koons was charged Tuesday with outraging public decency after a months-long investigation into allegations that he harassed and bullied players. [The Oklahoman]

  • High School football coach charged after months-long OSBI investigation [News 9]

Economy & Business News

Oklahoma leaders refining workforce pipeline strategy: The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, the Department of Rehabilitation Services and CareerTech, three partners funded by the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, are implementing a coordinated delivery system to refine the workforce pipeline following the passage of recent legislation. [Journal Record]

‘Tepid’ demand, higher oil output drive gas prices lower: Gas prices have continued to decline recently in Oklahoma and across the country, and motorists may realize even more savings in coming months if demand remains on the low side and production remains high, experts say. [Journal Record]

Education News

Panel hears ideas for encouraging young educators: Oklahoma Senate Education Committee members met for an interim study recently on barriers to teacher recruitment faced by school districts in the state. [Journal Record]

Oklahoma lawmakers to review how DEI programs influence state universities: Lawmakers will hear from the chancellor of higher education in Oklahoma, as well as authors of books about diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI. The focus of the study is the impact of these programs at state universities. [KOCO]

General News

Oklahoma Muslim groups hope to highlight crisis with ‘Prayers for Palestine’ event: With much of the focus in recent days on the horrors of a Hamas terror attack on Israel, Oklahoma City metro area Muslims are hoping to highlight the urgent humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza. The resulting violence also has local Muslim leaders worried about safety and cautious about raising awareness. [The Oklahoman]

Kate Barnard was one of the first to look into the Osage Reign of Terror, and it cost her: News coverage in the mid-1920s of the Osage Reign of Terror — a series of murders of Osage tribe members that led to a federal investigation and high profile criminal trials — attracted widespread attention at the time. But while undoubtedly following the news, Barnard’s interest would have been more than that of just a curious spectator. [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma Local News

  • Behenna files manslaughter charge on EPD Lt. Jennifer Haddock for shooting brother [NonDoc]
  • Poll shows Oklahoma City arena proponents have work cut out for them, Gov. Stitt with lukewarm approval rating [KOSU]

Quote of the Day

“Unfortunately, every time something happens overseas, it seems like the Muslim community in the U.S. pays the price.”

– Imad Enchassi, senior imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City [The Oklahoman]

Number of the Day


65% of Americans say they always or often feel exhausted when thinking about politics. [Pew Research]

Policy Note

Americans’ Dismal Views of the Nation’s Politics: Americans have long been critical of politicians and skeptical of the federal government. But today, Americans’ views of politics and elected officials are unrelentingly negative, with little hope of improvement on the horizon. [Pew Research]

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Annie Taylor joined OK Policy as a Digital Communications Associate/Storybanker in April 2022. She studied journalism and mass communication at the University of Oklahoma, and was a member of the Native American Journalists Association. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications from the University of Central Oklahoma. While pursuing her degree, she worked in restaurant and retail management, as well as freelance copywriting and digital content production. Annie is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation, and holds a deep reverence for storytelling in the digital age. She was born and raised in southeast Oklahoma, and now lives in Oklahoma City with her dog, Melvin.

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