In The Know: Oklahoma House leader approves 122 interim studies

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.

Today In The News

Oklahoma House leaders approve 122 interim studies: At least five of the 122 interim committee studies announced by Oklahoma House leaders will delve into earthquakes and the oil and gas industry, water, electricity and the Corporation Commission [OK Energy Today]. You can see the full list of approved House interim studies here.

Oklahoma Republican Party compares SNAP recipients to animals: After a cascade of criticism, the Oklahoma Republican Party deleted its Facebook post equating food stamp recipients to animals in national parks that receive food handouts. “Last night, there was a post on our OKGOP Facebook page, and it was misinterpreted by many,” state Republican Party Chairman Randy Brogdon said. “I offer my apologies for those who were offended — that was not my intention” [NewsOK].

OK private colleges must allow their employees to access contraception: The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver overturned a U.S. District Court ruling that temporarily stopped enforcement of a mandate imposed on Southern Nazarene University, Oklahoma Baptist University, Oklahoma Wesleyan University and Mid-America Christian University. The universities can opt out of providing the drugs they deem offensive, but they cannot block third party insurance companies from providing them [NewsOK].

Where women are winning political office in Oklahoma: Political offices in Oklahoma do appear to be gendered across the board — but just as there are “men’s offices,” there are “women’s offices,” too. Very few women are serving as legislators, sheriffs, district attorneys, or county commissioners, but women make up large majorities of the state’s county assessors, county treasurers, election board secretaries, county clerks, and court clerks [OK Policy Blog].

Carter, Goodwin win special election primaries: OKC businessman Carter won the Republican primary election Tuesday to serve the remaining term of the late-Oklahoma Rep. David Dank. He will face Democratic candidate Cyndi Munson in the Sept. 8 general election [NewsOK]. Community activist Regina Goodwin beat out six other Democrats in the primary to replace former Rep. Kevin Matthews, who moved to the state Senate. No Republicans ran for the seat, so Goodwin goes straight to the House [Tulsa World].

Choctaw Nation excited about President’s visit: President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak to selected members of the Choctaw Nation and other invitation-only guests today at Durant High School. About 15 youths from various tribes will get a private meeting with the president and Choctaw Chief Gary Batton [NewsOK]. $58 million in federal aid has flowed into the 10-county Choctaw Nation region since its designation last year by Obama as a “Promise Zone” [McAlester News-Capital].

Norman adopts new drilling regulations: The Norman City Council adopted a controversial update of the city’s ordinance governing oil and gas operations within city limits Tuesday. The unanimous vote of approval came after multiple comments from oil and gas royalty owners and local environmentalists [Norman Transcript].

OKC will demolish Union Bus Station: The fight to stop demolition of downtown’s Union Bus Station is over after Oklahoma County District Judge Roger Stuart ruled Tuesday against an appeal by Councilman Ed Shadid to force a rehearing by the city’s Downtown Design Review Committee. Shadid told The Oklahoman that he does not plan to appeal the ruling, saying “I think we’re done” [NewsOK].

Quote of the Day

“Obviously you did not bother to know the majority of the 604,000 people receiving food benefits in Oklahoma are people who are aging, people with disabilities (including disabled veterans) and the working poor who are raising children. The able-bodied adults who do not have children can only receive food benefits for three months if they are unemployed or must work at least 20 hours a week to receive help beyond that point. Last month, only 13,000 or 2.1% of the total recipients were in this category. Food benefits are a very small amount and are not intended to be a person’s entire food budget, thus the name ‘Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’. In fact, the average SNAP benefit is $4.27 per person per day or $1.42 per meal. The people who need this meager benefit are dependent upon it in order to keep themselves and their children from starving. Is that the kind of dependency you are suggesting we discourage?”

-The Oklahoma Department of Human Services, responding to a Facebook post by the Oklahoma Republican Party that compared SNAP food benefits to feeding animals in National Parks (Source)

Number of the Day


Number of registered sex offenders in Oklahoma.

Source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Key changes schools may see in federal education law rewrite: As Congress considers bills to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the most heated debate has been over how to hold schools accountable for student performance, and who should decide. The previous version of the law, the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act, for the first time set national rules for accountability [Hechinger Report].

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Gene Perry worked for OK Policy from 2011 to 2019. He is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism.

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