In The Know: OTC: State can tax tribal citizens | Honoring Native cultures, strengthening relations | Wealth inequality in Okla., U.S.

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.

New from OK Policy

Policy Matters: Honoring Native cultures, strengthening relations: On Monday this week, Oklahomans around the state celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day by acknowledging the history and honoring the culture of tribes in our state. Alongside the positives, however, we must also face the complex relationship tribes have – both historic and present – with the state and federal governments. [Shiloh Kantz / Journal Record]

Oklahoma News

Oklahoma can tax tribal citizens on reservations after McGirt, commission rules: Oklahoma can tax wages earned by tribal citizens living on their reservations, according to a long-awaited ruling by the state Tax Commission. The Oct. 4 order is the commission’s first significant response to thousands of tax refund and waiver requests filed by tribal citizens since courts determined six tribal reservations still exist in eastern Oklahoma.  [The Oklahoman]

Hofmeister, Stitt air differences at Petroleum Alliance forum: Gov. Kevin Stitt on Wednesday tried to tie President Joe Biden’s policies around Joy Hofmeister’s neck. Hofmeister, meanwhile, accused Stitt of sowing chaos and division and called his administration corrupt. The pair met Wednesday during an hour-long forum sponsored by the Petroleum Alliance at its headquarters in Oklahoma City. [Tulsa World]

  • Joe Biden looms large as Stitt, Hofmeister debate energy issues [The Oklahoman]
  • Gubernatorial candidates face-off for the first time [KFOR]
  • Oklahoma’s gubernatorial candidates face off in conversation about major issues [KOCO]
  • Sparks fly as Stitt, Hofmeister make their case [The Journal Record]

State Government News

Private group raises money for new Oklahoma governor’s residence: A private foundation has raised more than $6 million to build a residence for future Oklahoma governors and their families, under a plan that calls for the current mansion near the state Capitol to be used for official meetings and special events, according to Gov. Kevin Stitt and people involved in the project. [The Oklahoman]

September general revenue beats estimate by 40%: Deposits to Oklahoma state government’s main operating fund were 40% more than expected in September and 26% more than for the same month a year ago, the Office of Management and Enterprise Services said Wednesday. General revenue fund collections are 31% — or $510.2 million — above the estimate for the first three months of fiscal year 2023, which began July 1. [Tulsa World]

Tribal Nations News

Oklahoma’s largest tribes say history was made, joining together to endorse Hofmeister: Oklahoma’s largest tribes said history was made this week when they joined together to endorse Joy Hofmeister for governor. What impact will the endorsement have? [KOCO]

Cherokee Nation Chief Hoskin Signs Cherokee Artist Recovery Act: Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. has signed into law the Cherokee Artist Recovery Act (ARA) of 2022, setting aside $3 million through 2024 to address the adverse economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Cherokee artists. [Indian Gaming]

FEMA Announces First National Tribal Affairs Advocate: Following the release of its first-ever National Tribal Strategy in August, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has appointed the agency’s first National Tribal Affairs Advocate. [Native News Online]

New VAWA provisions mean more violent crimes against Native women can be prosecuted in tribal court: Earlier this year, President Joe Biden signed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), a law that protects thousands of women from domestic violence and abuse. The law is especially important for Indigenous women, who have some of the highest rates of domestic violence in the nation. [KOSU]

Voting and Election News

HD 45: Annie Menz, Teresa Sterling flex ‘experience,’ oppose new turnpikes: East Norman residents voting in the House District 45 general election will choose between a former legislative assistant in the Oklahoma State Senate and a retired Oklahoma City Police Department officer who served nearly 30 years on the force. [NonDoc]

Behenna, Calvey spar in wide-ranging Oklahoma County DA debate: Oklahoma County District Attorney candidates Vicki Behenna and Kevin Calvey attacked each other’s ethics and competence while scuffling over the county jail and prosecuting police accused of excessive force, but they found common ground on marijuana decriminalization during a debate Tuesday night hosted by NonDoc, News 9 and The Oklahoman at The Auditorium at The Douglass. [NonDoc]

  • In DA debate, Republican Kevin Calvey says opponent complicit in possible murders [The Oklahoman]

Health News

Muscogee Nation and OU announce partnership at south Tulsa’s Council Oak hospital: Expanding services at the tribe’s new hospital in south Tulsa, the Muscogee Nation considered several organizations to provide surgical care. [Tulsa World]

Column: Nursing home residents deserve quality care; taxpayers deserve accountability: Oklahoma has ranked among the worst in the nation for quality of care for nursing home residents as well as access to preferred home- and community-based services. And for far too long, the only solution proposed by the nursing home industry is more taxpayer money while simultaneously rejecting calls for accountability and transparency. It is time to stop writing blank checks to nursing home operators and develop a system that prioritizes quality not just profits. [Sean Voskul Guest Column / Tulsa World]

Criminal Justice News

Clemency denied to death row inmate convicted of killing 3-year-old boy: The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-1 on Wednesday to deny clemency to convicted child killer Richard Fairchild. [The Oklahoman]

Economy & Business News

Report examines factors for ‘disconnect’ between job seekers, employers: Multiple factors, ranging from a widespread lack of affordable child care to transportation difficulties of workers, play into challenges that many businesses have faced in recent years finding available workers to fill jobs. [Journal Record]

Women seek to expand, improve opportunities in cybersecurity industry: Speakers will address issues facing women in cybersecurity during an Oct. 19 panel called “Hacking the Boys’ Club” at the upcoming InnoTech Oklahoma conference at the Oklahoma City Convention Center. Their session at this technology and innovation conference is part of the breakout summit hosted by the nonprofit professional organization Oklahoma Women in Tech. [Journal Record]

Column: Historic investments position Tulsa as a leader in advanced mobility industry: We are in the midst of a moment of generation-defining shifts that will build a future centered on innovation and advancements in the air and ground mobility industries. [Guest Columnist Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum / Tulsa World]

Education News

Reconsideration process draws Tulsa school board member’s ire: A Tulsa Public Schools board member is pushing back on some of the administrative procedures used by the board and the district. [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma lawmakers consider 4-day school weeks to combat teacher shortage: Lawmakers Wednesday considered allowing school districts to return to 4-day school weeks, as a way to combat the teacher shortage in the state. [KTUL]

$7 million challenge grant to establish new endowment for OU Bedlam Clinics: After two decades of serving Tulsa-area residents in need, the OU Bedlam Clinics are close to having a permanent endowment that will ensure that its work can continue. [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma State University aims for 60% debt-free graduates in new strategic plan: Oklahoma State University aims to graduate 60% of its students debt free beginning in 2026 and increase graduation rates by 10% under a new strategic plan announced Wednesday. [The Oklahoman]

2023 Teacher of the Year Finalists announced: The Oklahoma State Department of Education announced the 12 finalists for Oklahoma’s next Teacher of the Year. The 2023 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year will be named in March. [Oklahoma State Department of Education]

Quote of the Day

“They’re trying to limit (recent Supreme Court decisions on tribal jurisdiction) to criminal cases only, but I think it’s much broader than that. Oklahoma either has jurisdiction, or it doesn’t.”

Number of the Day


Share of all wealth in Oklahoma held by individuals and households with a net worth greater than $30 million. This means that just over $1 in every $4 of wealth in Oklahoma belongs to individuals and households representing just .2% of all Oklahomans who could be expected to file tax returns. [ITEP: Rankings by State] | [Full Report]

Policy Note

The Geographic Distribution of Extreme Wealth in the U.S.: Economic inequality in the U.S. is large, growing and highly unpopular. Excessive concentration of wealth runs counter to our national aspiration for genuine equality of opportunity, and it saps the vitality of our democracy through the consolidation of power and influence. Tax policy offers a powerful means of beginning to address our nation’s stark level of inequality, but current law is clearly falling short of its potential. Federal and state tax codes include little in the way of direct taxes on the wealth holdings of extremely affluent families and instead often favor sources of income that are derived from wealth. [Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy]

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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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