In The Know: Oklahoma halts enforcement of gender-affirming care ban | Lawmakers discuss overriding governor’s veto of OETA funding | 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

Enforcement of Oklahoma’s gender-affirming care ban delayed by legal proceedings: Enforcement of Oklahoma’s new ban on gender-affirming care for minors will be delayed until at least mid-summer as the result of an agreement announced Thursday evening. [Tulsa World]

  • Oklahoma agrees to not enforce gender-affirming care ban while temporary order sought [AP News]

State Government News

Oklahoma may be hurting itself with a ban on some big banks and financial firms: Stillwater officials had worked for months on a plan to update the city’s heating and cooling systems, install new street lights and improve water infrastructure in an effort to significantly reduce rising energy costs. In April, the city council voted to borrow money for the $13.5 million project from Bank of America, which offered the lowest interest rate. [The Oklahoman]

OETA will likely be funded despite Gov. Kevin Stitt’s veto: Internal discussions about the future of Oklahoma’s public broadcasting station continued this week as the Legislature neared its final few days of regular session. Senate leader Greg Treat said Thursday that he would be in a meeting to discuss Gov. Kevin Stitt’s veto of OETA’s reauthorization, and that discussions with House leadership on other possible veto overrides are ongoing. [The Oklahoman]

  • Lawmakers could be gaining momentum to save OETA after veto [KOCO]

New Oklahoma law mandates CPR instruction for 911 operators: If someone has a heart attack at home, in a gym or anywhere else other than in a hospital, their chances of surviving are greatly diminished if somebody else isn’t around who knows how to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 people suffer cardiac arrest outside of hospital environments every year, and 90% face high prospects of dying without immediate skilled intervention. Bystander CPR, when performed immediately and effectively, can double or even triple chances of survival. [Journal Record]

Podcast: Special legislative session, education spending plan, Superintendent Ryan Walters and more: KOSU’s Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and Civil Rights Attorney Ryan Kiesel about state lawmakers calling for a special session to run concurrently with the regular session, and Gov. Kevin Stitt and GOP legislative leaders celebrating an education funding plan. [This Week in Oklahoma Politics,  / KOSU]

Marijuana business owner says OMMA denying due process in emergency shutdown: After a Delaware County cannabis-testing facility’s license was suspended due to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s citing a possible public health emergency, its owner says the state has denied due process for the lab to defend itself. [Tulsa World]

Tribal Nations News

At graduations, Native American students seek acceptance of tribal regalia: A bill vetoed earlier this month by Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, would have allowed public school students to wear feathers, beaded caps, stoles or other objects of cultural and religious significance. Yanchick, a citizen of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma and descendent of the Muscogee Nation, said she hopes the legislature tries again. [Associated Press]

Criminal Justice News

$3M in kratom seized from Oklahoma manufacturer, company faces 2 class action lawsuits: In a case winding its way through federal court, a Broken Arrow manufacturer of dietary supplements is fighting with the federal government over millions of dollars in product that contains kratom, an herbal drug often marketed as effective for easing opioid withdrawals. [The Oklahoman]

Tulsa police report details uses of force, disciplinary actions, other data: The Tulsa Police Department received fewer complaints in 2022 than in the previous year, but the number of formal investigations based on those complaints increased over that time period, according to the agency’s annual Internal Affairs report released this week. [Tulsa World]

Column: State v. Glossip – Why prosecutors must play fair: In the American criminal justice system, prosecutors are “ministers of justice.” Their duty is not to win a case, but to ensure justice is done. Our nation’s highest court tells us that “(s)ociety wins not only when the guilty are convicted but when criminal trials are fair.” Simply put, prosecutors must do the right thing and play fair. [Patrick Ryan and Daniel Webber Guest Column / Tulsa World]

Education News

Enid native Lamb named president of UCO: After a national search, the Board of Regents for the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO) has named Enid native Todd G. Lamb as 22nd president of University of Central Oklahoma. Lamb will assume the presidency July 1, 2023, replacing Andrew K. Benton, who was named interim president in January. [CNHI News]

General News

Column: Wondering if you’re making a difference? Seek out a nonprofit: President Ronald Reagan once said, “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in this world. The Marines don’t have that problem.” I am here to tell you that neither does anyone working in the nonprofit sector. [Marnie Taylor Guest Column / The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma Local News

  • Tulsa Housing Authority launches landlord incentives program [Tulsa World]
  • OKC 13-year-old boy makes history by graduating with associate degree from OCCC [The Oklahoman]

Quote of the Day

“While we certainly understand the intent behind this state law, I think it is important that we kind of go back through and look at what are all the other consequences that might come into play. It’s frustrating because clearly there are other costs with this.”

– Will Joyce, Stillwater’s mayor, on the mounting fiscal consequences from Oklahoma’s recent boycott of national financial institutions. Oklahoma’s Republican Legislature approved the ban last year because they said some financial firms were pushing “political agendas” by moving more investments to clean energy companies. [The Oklahoman]

Number of the Day

Estimated number of Oklahoma households with senior citizens who would see a tax reduction if Oklahoma expanded the Sales Tax Relief Credit to $200 per person. [OK Policy]

Policy Note

How Fines and Fees Impact Families: Can Policies Like the Child Tax Credit Help?: Low-income families are overly burdened by financial penalties imposed for violations of the law, including parking and speeding tickets, court-imposed fees used to cover administrative costs of courts and prisons, and other criminal legal charges and penalties. Lacking financial resources, these families often turn to high-cost and predatory services and forgo basic necessities to avoid further legal consequences. When the federal Child Tax Credit (CTC) was temporarily expanded in 2021 to provide benefits to children in households with low or no incomes, it provided parents with new resources to invest in their children. Monthly deposits of CTC benefits also helped families better navigate their debt, including debt from fines and fees. Though, in some cases, CTC deposits were taken through garnishments by non-federal creditors reducing debt with involuntary payments. While the expanded CTC provided these families with some relief from onerous fines and fees, a temporary tax policy should not be used to solve the inequitable system of fines and fees in criminal law. [American Bar Association]


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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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