In The Know: Oklahoma treasurer says revenue collections still tumbling

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today In The News

Oklahoma treasurer says revenue collections still tumbling: The ripple effects of depressed oil and natural gas prices are still dragging down Oklahoma’s economy, and the state’s condition is expected to worsen before it starts improving, Treasurer Ken Miller said Wednesday. Miller released revenue figures that show for the first time in five years, 12-month gross receipts to the treasury were below the level of the previous annual period [Journal Record]. State agencies are being encouraged to draft their budget requests realistically in view of the likelihood of large budget cuts [OK Policy].

Most Police Seizures of Cash Come from Blacks, Hispanics: Nearly two thirds of seizures of cash by Oklahoma law enforcement agencies come from blacks, Hispanics and other racial or ethnic minorities, an Oklahoma Watch analysis of high-dollar forfeiture cases in 10 counties shows. The findings suggest to some critics of the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws that officers are using racial profiling, even subconsciously, in deciding whose vehicles to search or money to seize [Oklahoma Watch]. A range of unlikely allies have come together to push for civil asset forfeiture reform [OK Policy].

Defending our rights: Recently I participated in a joint press conference at the state Capitol that involved a very unlikely group of allies. My organization, the Oklahoma Policy Institute, joined state Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City; the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma; and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs to release a new poll. It shows a large, bipartisan majority of Oklahomans favor reforms of a problematic policing practice known as civil asset forfeiture [Journal Record].

Oklahoma County’s teen birth rate drops for first time in at least five years: Oklahoma County saw its teen birth rate drop in 2014 to the lowest it has been in at least five years, a milestone that health leaders say correlates with increased efforts to teach local students evidence-based sex education [NewsOK]. 

Oklahoma sees increase in babies dying before a month of life: Oklahoma has seen an increase in the rate of babies dying before they reach a month of life, data from the state Health Department shows. In recent years, Oklahoma has celebrated the overall decline in its infant mortality rate, the rate of babies who don’t live to their first birthday [NewsOK]. 

Back on the road to Medicaid managed care: During the 2015 legislative session, lawmakers passed HB 1566, which requires the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) to solicit requests for proposals for care coordination models for Oklahomans on Medicaid who are aged, blind, or have a disability. OHCA has initiated a nearly 18-month process of gathering facts, community input, demonstration proposals, model selection, and requests for proposals. Here’s how it will work [OK Policy].

Oklahoma House considers No Child Left Behind options: Oklahoma legislators inquired about the ramifications of dropping the state’s No Child Left Behind waiver during a three-hour meeting Wednesday of the House Common Education Committee. Most of the testimony during the live-streamed interim study of teacher evaluation processes was critical of teacher evaluations that rely heavily on high-stakes testing. Such evaluations are a requirement of the NCLB waiver [Tulsa World].

Federal Government, Oklahoma Tribes Reach $186 Million Settlement: The U.S. Department of the Interior and the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations agreed to a settlement on Tuesday to end long-running litigation regarding a lawsuit filed by the tribes regarding federal handling of tribal resources and funds held in government trust. Speaking at the ceremonial signing on Tuesday at Choctaw headquarters in Durant, Oklahoma, Bill Anoatubby, Governor of the Chickasaw Nation, said the settlement was a milestone in tribal and federal relations [KGOU].

Sheriff’s office training facility could get name change after Glanz resignation: A major training facility being built for the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office could be the target of a name change in the wake of Sheriff Stanley Glanz’s announced resignation. County Commissioner John Smaligo said a name change should be discussed at some point before the center is completed [Tulsa World].

Company that rebuilt Oklahoma Ten Commandments monument still unpaid: A company that built a granite Ten Commandments monument that was removed from the Oklahoma Capitol grounds under a court order said Tuesday it still hasn’t been paid for its work. Wilbert Memorials sales manager Gary Mosier said the company fronted the costs of constructing the monument after someone drove a car into the original last year. Mosier said the second monument was built with the understanding the company would be reimbursed but that no payments have been made [Tulsa World].

Quote of the Day

“I pulled my money out, in a rubber band. He (the officer) said, ‘How much money is that?’ I said, ‘About 12,000 dollars.’ He said, ‘That’s a lot of money.’ I said ‘Okay, I’m going to Las Vegas to gamble. I can’t go there with a little bit of money because I won’t last long.’ He said, ‘Well, it’s got a rubber band on it.’ I said, ‘Yeah?’ He said, ‘Well, drug dealers use rubber bands.’”

– Robert B. Mack, describing how a state Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs officer confiscated cash and phones from himself and a friend en route to Las Vegas in June after they were pulled over for speeding (Source)

Number of the Day


Percentage of Sequoyah County, OK, residents who reported getting insufficient sleep on at least 15 of the prior 30 days, the highest of any county in the state

Source: CDC via Washington Post.

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

The measured worker: Discussions of income inequality typically focus on how information technology raises the return to skilled labor, or on the rise of global trade, or perhaps on the way that politics skews power toward the rich and well-connected. But there’s another fundamental driver of income inequality: the improved measurement of worker performance. As we get better at measuring who produces what, the pay gap between those who make more and those who make less grows [MIT Technology Review].

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Carly Putnam joined OK Policy in 2013. As Policy Director, she supervises policy research and strategy. She previously worked as an OK Policy intern, and she was OK Policy's health care policy analyst through July 2020. She graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2013. As a student, she was a participant in the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute and interned with Planned Parenthood. Carly is a graduate of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Nonprofit Management Certification; the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council’s Partners in Policymaking; The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship in Tulsa; and Leadership Tulsa Class 62. She currently serves on the boards of Restore Hope Ministries and The Arc of Oklahoma. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and doing battle with her hundred year-old house.

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