In The Know: Oklahoma wins opioid lawsuit but gets much less than it sought, Homeland to build new full-service grocery store on Eastside, Oklahomans still like medical marijuana

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.

New from OK Policy

OK Policy selects second class of fellows for Oklahoma Mental Health Policy Fellowship: Oklahoma Policy Institute has hired Ky’lee Barnoski and Bobby Koolis as the second class of Fellows for the Oklahoma Mental Health Policy Fellowship. The Fellowship, an initiative supported by the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, is a two-year, full-time program for early-career professionals. [OK Policy]

OK Policy hires legislative liaison: Nicole Poindexter has joined Oklahoma Policy Institute as a full-time outreach and legislative liaison. OK Policy also promoted Kyle Lawson to senior field organizer, a new position. [Journal Record ????]

Custody death of 16-year old may help spark changes in pretrial juvenile detention: Two state agencies are looking at potential changes in Oklahoma’s system for pretrial detention of juveniles charged with criminal offenses. [Steve Lewis / OK Policy]

In The News

Oklahoma wins opioid lawsuit but gets much less than it sought: After two years of legal proceedings and an eight-week trial, Judge Thad Balkman issued a verdict Monday in Oklahoma’s lawsuit against the makers of opioid painkillers. [Public Radio Tulsa] Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson fueled Oklahoma’s opioid crisis though a “false, deceptive and misleading” marketing and drug distribution campaign, and now must pay the state $572 million to help diminish the burden the deadly epidemic has had, a judge ruled on Monday. [The Frontier] Read the full Johnson & Johnson opioid ruling from Judge Thad Balkman. [NonDoc]

What comes next after opioid ruling?: Johnson & Johnson announced shortly after Balkman read his decision that the company will appeal the ruling and ask an appellate court to put Balkman’s order on hold while the case plays out. [Oklahoma Watch] Oklahoma’s unusual use of public nuisance law in the opioid case against Johnson & Johnson will be a key issue in the drug company’s appeal of a $572 million judgment, a company attorney said Monday. [The Oklahoman]

Why was Johnson & Johnson the only opioid maker on trial in Oklahoma?: Other states are suing a range of drug makers, distributors and retailers. Here are three reasons Johnson & Johnson was the only company on trial in Oklahoma. [New York Times] Five key quotes from opioid trial verdict. [The Oklahoman]

Homeland to build new full-service grocery store on Eastside: Homeland announced Monday that it will build a new state-of-the-art grocery store at NE 36th Street and Lincoln Boulevard to open in late 2020 or early 2021. [Free Press OKC]  The release also noted that the company plans to build a new 35,000-square-foot corporate headquarters next to the new store, which features a targeted completion date of late 2020 or early 2021. [NonDoc]

Food desert zoning advances: The Oklahoma City council will be asked Tuesday to take a step toward limiting the proliferation of junk food in northeast Oklahoma City. The city manager is seeking authority to initiate an application, on the city’s behalf, to create a “healthy neighborhood overlay” zoning district within the boundaries of the 73111 ZIP code. [The Oklahoman]

Editorial: SQ 802 holds more promise than legislative panel: Lawmakers who assembled this past week during the inaugural meeting of the bipartisan, bicameral Healthcare Working Group formed with the stated goal to develop ways to increase access to health care in Oklahoma revealed why that probably won’t happen. [Muskogee Phoenix / Editorial BoardClick here for information and resources on SQ 802

Editorial: Emergency certification not pathway to top education: Public school teachers are special people. Each fall, they open their classrooms to countless children and teenagers, regardless of the student’s background, financial status, etc., to introduce them to much more than the “three R’s.” [Steve Turner / Tahlequah Daily PressWhat’s That? Emergency Certification

Second Amendment backers plan tests of permitless carry law: Backers of an approaching law allowing Oklahomans to carry a gun without training or a permit say they’re willing to test compliance with the law by showing up in certain places carrying a firearm. [Oklahoma Watch]

Second Amendment group challenges permitless carry referendum in court: The Oklahoma Second Amendment Association is challenging efforts to suspend a new permitless carry law until a statewide vote on the issue. [The Oklahoman] The Stillwater City Council joined leaders in other Oklahoma cities Monday when they threw their support behind a petition drive that would bring the issue of permitless carry of firearms to a vote of the people. [Stillwater News-PressWhat’s That? Veto Referendum

Water forum organizers want to bring poultry water issue awareness to Tulsa: Calling attention to what it dubs “a Tulsa drinking water crisis that should not be ignored,” state and local chapters of the Sierra Club have planned a forum for Wednesday evening that will focus on expansion of the poultry industry in and near Oklahoma. [Tulsa World]

Poll: A year later, Oklahomans still like medical marijuana: A year after the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority began accepting applications for patient licenses, a majority of Oklahomans surveyed in a recent SoonerPoll still approve of the law, but by a slimmer margin than when it passed. [NonDocThe Legislature passed a slate of rules and regulations on this new industry last session.

Law enforcement agencies, school districts partner to help children exposed to trauma: A growing number of Oklahoma law enforcement agencies are partnering with their local school districts to help students who are exposed to trauma through a program called Handle With Care. [The OklahomanWhat’s That? Adverse Childhood Experiences

CARE Center adds new bilingual interviewer to better serve abused children: One of the biggest needs at the center is to offer more services in Spanish. Oklahoma City’s population is roughly 16% Hispanic, and that is reflected at the Care Center, McNeiland said. [The Oklahoman]

Troubled Arkansas midwife practicing in Oklahoma: A midwife with an open warrant for practicing without a license in Arkansas is delivering babies in Oklahoma, a state with no oversight of non-nurse midwives. [The Oklahoman]

Survey’s findings highlight need for educational opportunities that bring people of different faiths together, Oklahoma experts say: The religion professor could see the transformation unfolding. College students with limited knowledge of faith beliefs other than their own were becoming more aware of the wide range of diverse faith traditions all around them. [The Oklahoman]

Longtime challenges, dreams, adddressed with OKC’s MAPS 4: Sixteen projects, 75% aimed at addressing stubborn social issues for our community, others consisting of arena and stadium investment and yet others representing some interesting opportunities to take on other long-nagging economic development challenges. [The Oklahoman] City councilors discuss concerns with MAPS 4 proposal at community event. [The Oklahoman]

OKC board meeting ends abruptly during contentious comments over Northeast: Monday night’s Oklahoma City School Board meeting ended abruptly when a board member left during contentious comments about the renaming of Northeast High School. [The Oklahoman]

Amazon opens OKC fulfillment center: Amazon’s newest facility received its first package Sunday. The Amazon fulfillment center at 9201 S Portland Ave. is the first of its kind in Oklahoma. [The Oklahoman]

At town hall meetings, Oklahoma congressmen face questions about Trump and his policies: From a raucous marathon session in Norman to a low-key civics lesson in Yukon, congressional town hall meetings last week reflected Oklahomans’ concerns about trade, guns, immigration, campaign money, climate change, election security, the national debt and — most passionately — President Donald Trump. [The Oklahoman]

200 years ago, Cherokee Nation was offered a seat in Congress. It just announced its chosen delegate: The Cherokee Nation principal chief had an important announcement to make last week. Standing on a stage in the Cherokee capital, Chuck Hoskin Jr. told his people, and the United States, that he intended to nominate a Cherokee delegate to Congress. [Tulsa World]

Quote of the Day

“Lawmakers who have blocked Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma have kept more than a billion dollars of our tax dollars from coming back home from Washington every year. That money could have kept hospitals from closing and created jobs, boosted our economy, but it went to 36 other states that expanded Medicaid. SQ 802 needs to be on the ballot in Oklahoma.”

– Muskogee Phoenix Editorial Board [Muskogee Phoenix]

Number of the Day


Percentage of women on SoonerCare that received timely prenatal care

[Source: Oklahoma Health Care Authority]

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Pell Grant mission creep: How a federal program for low-income families expanded to the middle class: Any effort to increase the maximum Pell Grant to help low-income students will…also cause families with higher incomes to become newly eligible for grants. That creates a political and budgetary hurdle to providing larger Pell Grants to low-income students [AEI]

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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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