In The Know: Oklahoma minimum wage petition moves forward | Hilbert tapped as next House speaker | What you need to know for Super Tuesday

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

Oklahoma minimum wage petition can move forward, court rules: The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Monday that an initiative petition asking voters to raise the minimum wage can move forward. “Initiative petition 446 does not clearly or manifestly violate either the Oklahoma or United States Constitution,” the court ruled in a 2-page order. [Oklahoma Voice]

State Government News

Bristow Republican Kyle Hilbert will be youngest House Speaker in Oklahoma history: Rep. Kyle Hilbert, R-Bristow, will be the next Speaker of Oklahoma’s House of Representatives. Current House Speaker Charles McCall announced Hilbert as his successor in a news conference Monday. [KGOU]

  • Oklahoma’s next House Speaker will likely be youngest ever [KOCO5]
  • Bristow Republican Kyle Hilbert will be youngest House Speaker in Oklahoma history [KOSU]
  • Rep. Kyle Hilbert on track to be the youngest Speaker in Oklahoma [News on 6]
  • House GOP designates Rep. Kyle Hilbert as next speaker [NonDoc]
  • Oklahoma GOP names Rep. Kyle Hilbert to be state’s new speaker of the House next session [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma House votes to exempt Ag secretary from Drummond’s multi-office opinion: The Oklahoma House of Representatives on Monday moved quickly in reaction to an attorney general’s opinion concerning dual office-holders in the executive branch by shucking a discarded Senate bill and substituting an exemption to the ruling for Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur. [Tulsa World]

Roundup: Bid riggers plead guilty, audit shows Seminole County theft, Talihina property disputed: The following roundup chronicles a few stories worth watching in Oklahoma, including criminal cases, state agency machinations and leadership changes in the public sector. [NonDoc]

Tulsa requests drone-related legislation, lawmaker proposing ‘vertiports’ says: Senate Bill 1912 not only introduces the concept of vertiports, but it’s also meant to ensure that Oklahoma has a good plan in place for successfully integrating rapidly developing technology into the state’s airspace. [Tulsa World]

Tribal Nations News

Osage Nation breaks ground on $40 million in broadband projects: About 3,000 households in the Osage Nation are expected to have more reliable internet access. Officials from the nation and the Biden-Harris Administration broke ground on over $40.6 million in broadband expansion infrastructure projects on Monday. [KOSU]

Voting and Election News

What’s on Tuesday’s ballot in Oklahoma? Trump, taxes, liquor and OG&E: Oklahomans will cast their ballots Tuesday to select presidential nominees for the Republican, Democratic and Libertarian parties. Oklahoma participates in Super Tuesday, where political parties in more than a dozen states will select their preferred nominee. [The Oklahoman]

  • Everything you need to know for Oklahoma primary elections on Super Tuesday [The Oklahoman]

Tulsa mayor switched from backing closed primaries to campaigning for open ones: Millions of voters in states like Oklahoma with primaries that are at least partially closed are shut out from voting in contested races because of their independent status or party affiliation, denying participation in elections their tax dollars fund. [Tulsa World]

Health News

Analysis finds Oklahoma hospitals not transparent enough when it comes to prices: The vast majority of Oklahoma hospitals don’t comply with federal price transparency rules, according to a national review by consumer advocates. Of the 41 Oklahoma hospital websites analyzed by, only seven met all federal guidelines that require hospitals to post prices online. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma Sen. Markwayne Mullin says Alabama IVF ruling ‘is not the position’ of Republican Party: Oklahoma Republican Senator Markwayne Mullin criticized an Alabama Supreme Court ruling defining frozen embryos as children, saying it doesn’t align with the Republican Party or anti-abortion movement. [StateImpact Oklahoma / KOSU]

Telehealth abortions on the rise since Dobbs, new report shows: Researchers studying national abortion trends found that in the 15 months since Roe v. Wade fell, abortion rates remained elevated despite more limited access throughout the U.S., according to the Society of Family Planning’s latest #WeCount report published Wednesday.  [Oklahoma Voice]

Criminal Justice News

Oklahoma County wants more time to use federal funds for jail-associated health center: Oklahoma County’s Board of County Commissioners is asking the state’s congressional delegation to help it secure more time to use $40 million in federal funds provided through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to help pay for building a medical/behavioral health center adjacent to a new county jail. [The Oklahoman]

Judge upholds jury’s $33 million verdict in Ottawa County jail death: A judge has affirmed a $33 million damages award and rejected a request for a new trial in an Ottawa County civil rights lawsuit involving the 2015 death of a 26-year-old man who complained of health issues to jail and medical staff for days while a detainee at the county jail. [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma judge indicted over drive-by shooting in Austin, Texas, last year: An Oklahoma judge has been indicted over a shooting in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 11. A Travis County grand jury returned an indictment, charging Brian Lovell with eight felony counts of deadly conduct. [The Oklahoman]

Housing & Economic Opportunity

Bill to extend eviction window in Oklahoma to be heard: State lawmakers are digging into the state’s eviction process. Under current state law, evictions can begin just five days after a missed payment. Senator Julia Kirt (D-OKC) has filed a bill to double that timeline. Oklahoma ranks among the highest in the country for evictions, but has one of the shortest eviction timelines under current law. [News9]

Tulsa’s Women’s Commission is tackling childcare gaps: After spending over a year working on the issue, the Tulsa Women’s Commission is nearly ready to present a childcare plan to the mayor. The commission hosted a forum Friday with local business leaders to discuss the needs and challenges for implementing expanded childcare programs in the city. [Public Radio Tulsa]

Education News

Education Department won’t take action on Edmond accreditation while lawsuit proceeds: A hearing before an Oklahoma Supreme Court referee scheduled for Tuesday has been canceled after the Oklahoma State Department of Education voluntarily agreed to stay enforcement proceedings against Edmond Public Schools over a school library book dispute. [The Oklahoman]

Insight School of Oklahoma fighting again to stop changes in alternative education rules: For the second time in four months, leaders of Insight School of Oklahoma, which bills itself as Oklahoma’s only alternative online school, fear a potential action by the state — this time, a bill that sailed through the House Education Committee last week — could effectively close their doors. [The Oklahoman]

Viral Deer Creek high school toe licking fundraiser investigated: What happened, who was involved?: Last week, Fox 25 published a video of students at Deer Creek High School licking peanut butter off the toes of other students as part of a fundraiser. The event in question occurred during “The Clash of Classes” assembly, the district wrote in a statement, where students pay to attend and watch other students who signed up in advance participate in student-organized competitions pitting class against class. [The Oklahoman]

Teachers merit stipend program proposal approved by Tulsa school board: Tulsa Public Schools’ Board of Education approved a proposal Monday night for the district to participate this semester in a merit-based teacher stipend plan. [Tulsa World]

Local Headlines

Quote of the Day

“It’s time to let the people decide.”

-Amber England, Raise the Wage Oklahoma campaign spokesperson, speaking about Monday’s Oklahoma Supreme Court decision that would allow supporters to start gathering signatures for a state question to raise the state’s minimum wage, which hasn’t been adjusted in nearly 15 years. [Oklahoma Voice]

Number of the Day


The effective federal corporate tax rate for oil, gas, and pipeline industries between 2018 and 2022, well below the statutory rate of 21%. The oil and gas sector had the second lowest effective tax rate during this period while reporting more than $39.3 billion in profits. [Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy]

Policy Note

Corporate Tax Avoidance in the First Five Years of the Trump Tax Law: The tax overhaul signed into law by former President Donald Trump in 2017 cut the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, but during the first five years it has been in effect, most profitable corporations paid considerably less than that. This is mainly due to loopholes and special breaks that the 2017 tax law left in place and, in some cases, introduced. This study examines federal corporate income taxes paid by the largest profitable corporations from 2018 through 2022. Because the corporations included in this study were profitable each year for all five of those years, one would reasonably expect that they would pay significant taxes. But in many cases, they did not. [Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy]

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Kandis West is a communications professional with more than 15 years of experience. Most recently, she served as the Communications Director for the Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus. She spent nine years in the Olympia/Tacoma area of Washington organizing compensation campaigns for teachers for the Washington Education Association. Kandis has a proven track record of increasing community engagement, public awareness and media exposure around the most pressing issues that impact citizens. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism.