In The Know: Oklahoma County jail inmate dies after being found unresponsive, Stitt hopes to renegotiate gaming compacts despite opposition from tribal leaders, Governor Signs “Nancy’s Law”

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.

In The News

Oklahoma County jail inmate dies, was found unresponsive: The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office says it’s investigating the death of a county jail inmate. The sheriff’s office says in a Tuesday news release that 56-year-old Daryl Clinton died Saturday at a hospital where he was taken after being found unresponsive earlier in the day. [AP News]

Stitt hopes to renegotiate gaming compacts despite opposition from tribal leaders: Despite pushback from Oklahoma tribes, Gov. Kevin Stitt appears resolute in his desire to renegotiate gaming compacts and get a better deal for the state. Leaders of 29 American Indian tribes notified Stitt in writing last month that they believe they are not obligated to renegotiate, but they will listen if he has a proposal. [Tulsa WorldWhat’s That? Tribal Gaming Compacts

Governor Signs “Nancy’s Law”: Beginning November 1, a new law takes effect to help Oklahoma women be better informed about a condition that can make breast cancer difficult to detect.  A ceremonial signing of Senate Bill 443, known as Nancy’s Law, was recently held at the state Capitol. [Public Radio Tulsa]

Gun permitting requirements a ‘necessary standard,’ lawmaker says: In an annual review of statistics related to Oklahoma’s Self Defense Act, which at least through Nov. 1 requires Oklahomans to train for and apply for licenses before being permitted to legally carry guns, the OSBI reported that 46,757 licenses were approved between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2018. About twice as many, 31,303, were issued to men than women. The average age of a man permitted was 51; the average age for women was 50. [Journal Record]

Broken Arrow legislator charged with felony DUI in culmination of prior and recent arrests: A state lawmaker from Broken Arrow was charged Tuesday in Tulsa County District Court with felony DUI — the culmination of a recent arrest and a prior misdemeanor conviction. [Tulsa World]

Two reported sexual assaults at state-contracted group homes spur concerns over supervision: Since Jan. 1, 2016, the DHS Office of Client Advocacy has confirmed three cases of abuse involving three victims and one case of neglect involving two victims at the Speck Home’s location where Eric was placed, DHS spokeswoman Debra Martin said. One staff member was involved in each case. [The Frontier]

Point of View: Teacher preparation matters: During the 2018-2019 school year, the state Board of Education approved more than 3,000 emergency teaching certificates. The only initial requirement for those with emergency certification is to have completed a bachelor’s degree. While they are well-meaning, prior to being in the classroom these novices are not required to take any education or content courses — no mandate for prior work with children; no coursework on children’s learning, development or teaching methods; and no certification exams. [Robin Fuxa / The OklahomanWhat’s That? Emergency Certification

OKC school district asks for dismissal of Northeast Academy lawsuit, board member calls for resignations: On a day when thousands of students returned for the first day of classes, Oklahoma City Public Schools requested to throw out a lawsuit over the renaming of Northeast Academy, and a school board member called for resignations of the superintendent and board chairwoman. [The Oklahoman]

Dove Schools’ application for virtual school sponsorship rejected by state board: The operator of one of Oklahoma’s largest and oldest charter school networks was rejected Tuesday in its bid to open a statewide virtual school. Dove Schools, which last year enrolled more than 2,100 students on multiple campuses in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City, had applied for sponsorship by the Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board. [Tulsa WorldVirtual charter schools received closer attention from the legislature last session.

City Council approves large mixed-use development, discusses old city jail: In a frequently contentious meeting, the City Council approved a large mixed-use development near Penn Square Mall, took action on the old city jail preservation, and discussed the futures of youth leaders. [Free Press OKC] The Oklahoma City Council on Tuesday moved ahead with plans to demolish the vacant 1968 police headquarters and the former Municipal Court to make way for parking. Left unresolved, though, was the fate of the 1930s police headquarters and city jail, one of four buildings that comprised the original Civic Center. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma City’s immigration court defendants face long, costly journey to court: Carlos came to the United States from Chihuahua, Mexico, about 35 years ago. An undocumented immigrant, Carlos has lived in New Mexico, Kansas and most recently Oklahoma with his family in pursuit of the American Dream. But that dream has been a letdown. For the past three years, he has been dealing with an immigration case that could put his son’s health in danger. [Big If True]

Tulsa Police Department diversity remains under microscope after latest academy class fails to produce African Americans: According to the 2017 Tulsa Police Department annual report, the most recent year with available data, African Americans made up 9.2% of the department. U.S. Census Bureau data for that year indicated Tulsa’s African American population was 15%. The city’s Equality Indicators report score for race and TPD employees dropped from 18 to 15 over the past year. [Tulsa WorldRead OK Policy’s report on strategies to build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Preliminary plan reached on Tulsa levee district improvements: Local officials and the Army Corps of Engineers have reached an agreement on a $150 million to $200 million improvement plan for the Tulsa area’s aging levee system, Tulsa County announced Tuesday. [Tulsa World]

Kingfisher County earthquakes continue, even after fracking work is stopped: Western Kingfisher County continues to shake nearly two weeks after an oil and gas operator stopped trying to complete wells at one of its locations. An ongoing swarm of earthquakes continues to impact an area about 8 miles west of the county seat, including one that happened Aug. 7 that measured 3.5 on the Richter scale. [The Oklahoman]

Wind energy investments in Oklahoma moving east: Oklahoma, which is third in the nation for installed wind power capacity, has a stronger wind resource in the western part of the state and the Panhandle, where most of the state’s wind power projects have been built. [Journal Record ????]

Principal chief delivers his final State of the Nation address: It was the final Tribal Council meeting for several elected officials Monday, as Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, District 3 Tribal Councilor David Walkingstick, District 12 Tribal Councilor Dick Lay, District 13 Tribal Councilor Buel Anglen, and At-Large Councilor Wanda Hatfield will leave office this month. [Ada News]

Quote of the Day

“The more confident that the community has that their views, feelings, and beliefs are represented, the more willing they are to cooperate. That creates an environment of participation. When you have participation, you tend to not have as many negative interactions.”

– Chris Burbank, of the Center for Policing Equity, explaining why it’s important that a police force reflect the community it serves [Tulsa World]

Number of the Day


Number of licenses approved by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority for medical marijuana patients as of July 13, 2019

[Source: Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority]

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

The citizenship question isn’t the only threat to the census. Here’s what’s at stake: The Census does not belong to any one president or party. Its success depends on national, state and local public officials, nonprofits, businesses, and many others in civil society as well. Ensuring a complete census requires efforts that depend not only on what happens in the White House, but also in statehouses and municipal buildings throughout the country. [Washington Post]

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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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