In 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.
In The News
Parent organizes rally at Capitol to ‘vote out incumbents who were against funding public education’ in Oklahoma: The parent of four Moore Public Schools students is encouraging educators and fellow public school advocate parents to return to the state Capitol for a rally ahead of November’s general election. According to state officials, the “Remember in November Rally” has been approved to take place on Capitol grounds on the afternoon of Oct. 27, which is a Saturday, not a school day. [Tulsa World]
Will 2018 be the Year of the Woman in Oklahoma? Across the United States, 2018 is being heralded as the Year of the Woman in American politics. Building on a surge of activism following the election of Donald Trump, including the national women’s marches and the #metoo movement, the “Pink Wave” in electoral politics has led this year to a record number of women running for Congress and securing party nominations. There will be 239 women on the ballot for House seats in November, compared to a previous high of 167, and 23 women on the ballot for Senate, breaking the prior record of 18. [OK Policy] Find more information from OK Policy on Oklahoma’s upcoming elections and state questions here.
‘U.S. mail is not for sale’ say anti-privatization protesters in downtown Oklahoma City: Wearing bright blue shirts and carrying bright blue signs with the same rhyming message — “U.S. Mail Is Not For Sale” — about 50 union members and their supporters gathered Monday at a downtown Oklahoma City post office to voice their opposition to privatization efforts.“Today is an education, a notification to the public,” said Koquise Edwards, president of a local American Postal Workers Union chapter. [NewsOK]
New TPD recruit training focuses on empathy and cultural competency as well as catching bad guys: Capt. Matt McCord, assistant director of training, said about three years ago the agency scrapped the “boot camp-style” academy in favor of a “professional” program. Until recently, McCord said, each role-player scenario had someone who was trying to kill the recruit. Now the scenarios better reflect reality, he said. There’s an emphasis on de-escalation techniques and non- or less-than-lethal options in much more common situations. [Tulsa World] An OK Policy report examined de-escalation training and other strategies for building trust between law enforcement and communities here.
Voter registration deadline nears with spike in new voters: Voters have only a few more days to register to vote in this year’s general election. The number of registered voters in Oklahoma is now more than 2.1 million and the Tulsa Election Board Secretary says the spike in registered voters has been surprising … The group, Together Oklahoma Tulsa, held a forum to inform voters of all the issues, including the 30 state offices that are listed on state ballots. [KTUL]
Legislative Candidate Forum hosted at Cameron University: A citizen coalition hosted a legislative candidate forum on Tuesday at Cameron University. Both non-profit organizations Together Oklahoma and Oklahoma Watch informed citizens on policy issues. The forum featured republican and democratic candidates competing to represent Senate District 32 and House Districts 62, 63, and 64. It was dedicated to allowing the community to learn about local candidates. [KSWO] You can find more upcoming events by Together Oklahoma here.
Edmondson banking on evolving views on taxes: Oklahoma voters’ appetite for raising taxes may decide the state’s next governor. Few issues separate the top two candidates as much as their positions on generating new revenue for a state budget that has experienced years of cuts. Democrat Drew Edmondson has made tax increases on energy companies and high-income Oklahomans a center of his platform, while Republican Kevin Stitt has maintained an anti-tax platform based on cutting waste and growing the economy. [NewsOK 🔒]
Treasurer candidate, supporters criticize opponent’s retirement policies: Charles de Coune, an independent candidate for state treasurer, said Tuesday that retired state employees are worse off because of his opponent’s work in the Legislature. “Do you want someone who’s made it his mission to cut these peoples’ benefits?” de Coune said at a news conference surrounded by supporters at the state Capitol. State Rep. Randy McDaniel is the Republican nominee and the only other candidate for treasurer on the Nov. 6 ballot. [NewsOK 🔒]
Oklahoma lawmakers told investment in respite care will save state money: Lawmakers were told Tuesday that increasing funding for respite care will save the state money in the long run. The information was presented during an interim study requested by Rep. Carol Bush, R-Tulsa, before a House committee. Respite care provides a break to full-time caregivers, such as parents caring for a child with disabilities, an adult caring for a parent, or a grandparent caring for a grandchild. [Tulsa World]
Crooked Oak School Board’s apology to State Senator used in attack ad against house candidate, district teacher: A politician’s visit to a classroom ended with small, independent school district Crooked Oak at the center of a political battle, and candidates on both sides pointing the finger for “dirty politics.” It came to a head at a school board meeting Monday when one of the district’s teachers, a Democratic state house candidate, and her supporters voiced their dismay at actions taken by the school board. The controversy started when State Senator Paul Rosino toured Crooked Oak Public Schools last month and stopped into teacher Amanda Jeffers’ classroom. [KFOR]
Blast Political Email Has Teachers Fuming: Spam. Irritating. Unprofessional. That’s how some teachers on social media described an unsolicited political email sent en masse Monday morning to school inboxes across the state.The email encourages teachers to check out gubernatorial candidate Kevin Stitt’s plan for education, which Stitt made public around the same time.The email was not from Stitt’s campaign. [Oklahoma Watch]
Gov. Mary Fallin declares state of emergency for all 77 Oklahoma counties due to tornadoes, flooding: Gov. Mary Fallin on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for all 77 Oklahoma counties due to flooding, severe storms, tornadoes and straight-line winds that have struck the state since Friday. “The storm system has delivered widespread heavy rain and high winds across much of the state since then, with damage to power lines and power poles as well as trees, roofs and structures.” [Tulsa World]
State’s general revenue for September up from a year ago but just short of projections: September general revenue allocations failed to meet projections despite coming in nearly 8 percent higher than for the same month a year ago, the Office of Management and Enterprise Services said Tuesday. General revenue for the month was $545 million, or 1.5 percent less than expected. The largest revenue source, income tax, accounted for just over half the total and was 8.2 percent above projections and 14.6 percent above the same month in 2017. [Tulsa World]
After strange orders, OHCA to consider lab work rule change: A pair of Oklahoma health officials sifted through dozens of medical records to assess Medicaid spending on lab work, and they found some strange orders. Dr. Mike Herndon is the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s chief medical officer, and Jean Krieske is a medical administrative nurse. They were reviewing cases where medical providers had ordered some laboratory work that didn’t seem related to the patient’s condition. [Journal Record 🔒]
Cherokee Nation applauds state of Oklahoma for temporarily suspending new poultry farm permits: The Cherokee Nation applauded a decision today by the Oklahoma Board of Agriculture to temporarily suspend the acceptance of new poultry farm permits in the state. This allows time for the tribe, state of Oklahoma and area residents to work together on a plan for responsible growth of the poultry industry in many eastern Oklahoma counties. [Anadisgoi]
Tribe asks OKC for TIF help: City Hall and the Chickasaw Nation are racing to beat a sunset date on a state law that could provide sales tax assistance in developing an American Indian Cultural Center and Museum on the river downtown. Oklahoma City has created tax increment finance districts, or TIFs, a dozen times to encourage and incentivize public and private economic development in areas that have been deemed unproductive, undeveloped and blighted. [Journal Record]
Quote of the Day
“If you’re one or the other, then you’re not adequate to be a Tulsa police officer. We want you to be both of those things. This isn’t policing in the ’80s.”
-Capt. Matt McCord, assistant director of training for the Tulsa Police Department, speaking about why TPD moved to training that includes empathy, cultural competency, and de-escalation as well as self-defense and catching suspects [Tulsa World]
Number of the Day
Number of craft beer breweries in Oklahoma in 2016, up from 4 in 2012.
Detailed new national maps show how neighborhoods shape children for life: The research has shown that where children live matters deeply in whether they prosper as adults. On Monday the Census Bureau, in collaboration with researchers at Harvard and Brown, published nationwide data that will make it possible to pinpoint — down to the census tract, a level relevant to individual families — where children of all backgrounds have the best shot at getting ahead. [New York Times]
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