In The Know: Oklahoma candidates discuss tribal issues | Action delayed on adding SQ 820 to Nov. ballot | Need for youth psychiatric beds

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

‘Sovereignty is on the ballot’: Oklahoma candidates take on tribal issues: One by one, 20 political candidates stepped on to a Tulsa ballroom stage on Tuesday and explained how they would work with tribal governments. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma Supreme Court delays action on recreational marijuana question: A state question to legalize recreational marijuana appears unlikely to make it on the November ballot after the Oklahoma Supreme Court declined to step in while the measure still faces procedural hurdles. [The Oklahoman]

  • Oklahoma Supreme Court agrees to consider marijuana question [Public Radio Tulsa]
  • State Supreme Court puts recreational marijuana ballot dispute on hold [Tulsa World]

Report: Tulsa facing critical lack of youth psychiatric beds: Adding more youth mental health beds in central Oklahoma would be an asset to the state overall at a critical time, but it won’t help Tulsa gain ground in an area in which it’s sorely lacking. According to a new report released this week, the Oklahoma City metro area is home to a disproportionate concentration of the state’s already limited number of psychiatric beds for youths. [Tulsa World]

Costs for ’21 winter storm surpass Oklahoma Natural Gas estimates: Oklahoma Natural Gas ratepayer-backed bonds issued to cover added costs from the February 2021 winter storm will result in nearly a half-billion dollars more in customer costs than originally projected. [Tulsa World]

State Government News

Oklahoma car title paper shortage continues: The Oklahoma Tax Commission reports that unexpected supply chain delays continue to hold up shipments of title paper, with many Oklahomans having to wait to eight to 12 weeks to get their car title. [KFOR]

Oklahomans opposing ACCESS turnpike expansion protest at fundraiser for Gov. Kevin Stitt (video): Protestors against the ACCESS turnpike plan gathered at a fundraiser for Gov. Kevin Stitt hosted by the Association of Oklahoma General Contractors. [The Oklahoman

  • Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt holds $1,000-per-plate fundraiser while anti-turnpike protestors demonstrate outside [KOSU]

Education News

Editorial: TPS needs champions to defend against unfair political targeting: Tulsa Public Schools has been unfairly downgraded in accreditation, and city leaders appear reluctant to be its defenders. That’s not good for Tulsa. It’s obvious that the Oklahoma State Board of Education, with the exception of member Carlisha Williams Bradley, has become an anti-public school kangaroo court. Gone are the days of advocating for public education and its teachers. Now it’s about punishment and disrespect. [Editorial / Tulsa World]

Health News

Looking for a monkeypox vaccine in Oklahoma? Here’s where to go: Monkeypox vaccines are available in Oklahoma County and across the state for people eligible for the shots. [The Oklahoman]

Criminal Justice News

Family of fallen Edmond officer sues accused truck driver, employer: The family of an Edmond Police Department motorcycle officer who died July 19 from injuries suffered in a multi-vehicle crash is suing the driver accused in the deadly wreck as well as his employer. [The Oklahoman]

General News

‘It gives you hope’: Mayors unite at first All-Black Towns State Conference: The Oklahoma Conference of Black Mayors organized the statewide event that featured talks from the state’s historic and incorporated all-Black towns, along with  mayors from two communities that have a majority Black population. Opal Lee, who gained fame for her decades-long effort to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, also spoke about the importance of preserving Black history, particularly the history of racial oppression in the United States. [NonDoc]

Oklahoma Local News

  • Cherokee Nation Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. announces he has COVID [Tulsa World]
  • New Crest store coming to Edmond brings excitement alongside ‘mixed emotions’ [The Oklahoman]
  • Oklahoma City suspends sister-city relationship with Russian city over Ukraine invasion [The Oklahoman]
  • Plans progress for renovated Union Station in OKC [The Journal Record]
  • Former Dolese Bros. headquarters to be redeveloped into retail and offices [The Oklahoman]

Quote of the Day

“We got schools taking out materials and not teaching what actually happened. You can’t erase history. You cannot erase it. It’s your responsibility to see that [children] know, and they can make the decision that it will never happen again. I’m on my arthritic knees: Please don’t let it happen again.”

-Opal Lee, the 95-year-old known as the “grandmother of Juneteenth” for her decades-long effort to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, speaking to Oklahoma’s first All-Black Towns State Conference [NonDoc]

Number of the Day


Percentage of counties in Oklahoma (50 out of 77) that are designated as mental health professional shortage areas, meaning these counties lack mental health care providers. [U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means, Oklahoma Health Equity Fact Sheet

Policy Note

How the Minimum Wage Affects the Health Insurance Coverage, Safety Net Program Participation, and Health of Low-Wage Workers and Their Families: This brief examines the characteristics of minimum-wage workers, discusses the potential pathways through which the minimum wage may affect the health of workers and their families, and reviews recent empirical studies in this area. Some empirical evidence demonstrates that increases in the minimum wage are associated with reduced racial and ethnic disparities in income. Given the well-documented inequities in health by race and ethnicity, future research on the efficacy of the minimum wage as a policy lever to reduce health inequities is warranted. [Urban Institute

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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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