In The Know: Raises for legislative staff | Finding hospital pricing remains complicated | Post-debate panel discussion, Oct. 19

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

Together OK: Post-debate panel discussion set for Oct. 19 gubernatorial debate: Lawmakers and representatives from community organizations and the media will discuss state issues during a virtual panel discussion immediately following an Oct. 19 debate for the Oklahoma governor’s race. [Together OK]

Oklahoma News

Legislative staffers see raises as lawmakers fail to provide inflation relief in special session: The Oklahoma State Senate recently gave out more than half a million dollars in raises to employees, despite not having provided inflation relief for constituents during a special session called to do just that. [Tulsa World]

Finding hospital prices is complicated for patients, even with transparency rule in play: Price-shopping for a medical procedure could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars — especially if you’re paying cash for it. [The Oklahoman]

DVIS: Inaugural conversation to confront domestic violence will be held on Purple Thursday: A recently announced study ranked Oklahoma second in the nation for the rate at which men killed women in 2020, and a Tulsa nonprofit has a response this Domestic Violence Awareness Month: It’s time to talk about it. [Tulsa World]

State Government News

Political notebook: With voucher fight again looming, McCall touts new open transfer law: Oklahoma Speaker of the House Charles McCall, R-Atoka, who refused to bring a controversial school voucher bill to the floor last year, may have signaled continued opposition this week by talking up the effects of the state’s new open transfer laws. [Tulsa World]

Capitol Insider: Three new leaders selected for state government heading into critical operational period: Capitol Insider host Dick Pryor talks with Quorum Call publisher Shawn Ashley about a handful of high-profile appointments to executive branch positions. [KGOU]  

  • Governor Kevin Stitt appoints John Laws as Oklahoma Secretary of Budget, Chief Financial Officer [The Oklahoma City-Sentinel

Column: Rural Oklahoma residents deserve health care, public education to help them prosper: We, the people of Oklahoma, demand that our elected leaders dedicate themselves to finding common ground to provide for the Common Good. Our people are the most valuable resource we have. Oklahoma is at a pivotal point. Will we let our rural areas die, or provide the quality state services needed to save them? [Guest Columnist Marilynn Knott / The Oklahoman]

Tribal Nations News

Chickasaw Nation starts licensing hunters: FAQ on tribal hunting licenses in Oklahoma: The Chickasaw Nation recently became the latest tribe in eastern Oklahoma to issue its own hunting and fishing permits to tribal citizens. [The Oklahoman]

Voting and Election News

Stitt says he’s the ‘most pro-life governor.’ Where do his opponents stand on abortion?: Before Gov. Kevin Stitt was elected, he vowed to sign all anti-abortion bills that made it to his desk, a promise he says he’s proud to have kept during his four years in office. [The Oklahoman]

What do Oklahoma’s recent education scandals say about our governor and his leading opponent?: Epic Charter School and federal pandemic relief spending created two of the state’s biggest education-related scandals over the past few years. The top two candidates for governor had some involvement in both controversies, and each has accused the other of culpability. [The Oklahoman]

Democrat on defense: Sen. J.J. Dossett faces Dana Prieto in SD 34: The battle for Senate District 34 in the Owasso area is expected to be the closest State Senate race in Oklahoma’s Nov. 8 general election, and questions about the education sector highlight a difference between the two candidates. Beyond that, however, the outcome in SD 34 will also affect an internal Senate battle for leader of the Legislature’s upper chamber. [NonDoc]

Previewing Oklahoma’s U.S. Senate Elections, Part I: Three challengers are looking to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. James Lankford, a Republican from Edmond, in the Nov. 8 general election. [Oklahoma Watch]

  • As Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe departure nears, will successor bring home the bacon? [The Oklahoman]

Markwayne Mullin vs. Kendra Horn: Where they stand: U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin and former U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn differed on many issues when they served together in the House from 2019 through 2020. The two lawmakers split on 63% of the votes cast in those two years, according to ProPublica’s online database. The differences came on immigration, election changes, energy, gun control and many other issues, including the impeachment of former President Donald Trump, which Horn supported. [The Oklahoman]

Column: This November, we must choose to protect our local public schools: As we head into the final stretch of this election, one thing has become clear — rural public schools can’t afford four more years of Kevin Stitt and Ryan Walters. [Guest Columnist Craig McVay / The Oklahoman]

Column: November election an opportunity for voters to back public education: On November 8th, Oklahomans will be able to exercise their sacred right once again in the election of the Governor, state legislators and other offices that will lead our great state for the next four years. [Guest Columnist Jolyn Choate / Cherokee Phoenix]

In Depth: Gubernatorial candidate Joy Hofmeister on energy, education, abortion, and more: Switching parties makes for a risky political strategy, especially when one leaves the party that dominates state politics to run for governor. [KRMG]

Guest columnists present health care-based arguments for governor candidates Stitt, Hofmeister: Read the opinion columns focusing on health care in making the case for Gov. Kevin Stitt and Joy Hofmeister. 

Criminal Justice News

Man shot by OKC police dies at hospital, authorities say: Oklahoma City police shot a stabbing suspect Sunday who later died at an area hospital, authorities said. [The Oklahoman]

Economic Opportunity

TCC-led partnership’s new cyber training program aims to create diverse tech workforce: A program that aims to build a new and more diverse tech workforce for Tulsa officially kicks off Monday with its first group of students. [Tulsa World]

Tulsa city councilors look at tiny homes, tents as temporary solution to homeless problem: Becky Gligo, executive director of Housing Solutions, one of more than 30 organizations that make up A Way Home For Tulsa, said the programs are worth looking at but are not the ultimate solution to the city’s homeless problem. [Tulsa World]

Economy & Business News

Apple workers vote to unionize second U.S. store: Apple Inc retail workers voted to form a union at an Oklahoma location, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said on Friday, making it the tech giant’s second U.S. store to organize. [Reuters]

Meet the leader changing the game to bring jobs and money to Tulsa: The Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity made a total of $275 million in new investments locally in the past fiscal year, according to the annual report the organization recently released. In addition, TAEO facilitated the repayment of more than $10 million in revolving loans that support housing development downtown and oversaw the creation of 958 jobs, including 450 in the aerospace industry and 250 in the advanced manufacturing sector. [Tulsa World]

Education News

University of Oklahoma announces $2 billion fundraising campaign: The University of Oklahoma announced a $2 billion fundraising campaign Friday, having raised $600 million over the past two years for the effort. [The Oklahoman]

  • OU launches historic $2 billion ‘Lead On’ fundraising campaign [FOX 25]

Column: What does HB 1775 mean for educators’ free speech? Lawyers offer perspectives: The approach to Free Speech Week (Oct. 17-23) this year has felt like Oklahoma teachers are living through a textbook example of what First Amendment law calls a “chilling effect.” [Guest Columnist Robert L. Kerr / The Oklahoman]

Column: Tulsa city leaders need to stand up for TPS: After observing the injustice of the Oklahoma State School Board’s meeting on alleged violations of House Bill 1775 regarding Tulsa and Mustang public schools, I’m wondering why our Tulsa leaders are quiet. [Guest Column Ashley Heider Daly / Tulsa World]

General News

Oklahoma, NOAA researchers: Climate change will cause extreme flooding to become more widespread, frequent, unpredictable: With extreme floods all over the world filling headlines, researchers at the University of Oklahoma predict things will only get worse. OU researchers partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration used computer modeling to predict just how much climate change will affect extreme flooding — and the outlook is wet. [StateImpact Oklahoma]

Changes to local tag agencies explained: The implementation of the Real ID combined with the onset of the worst pandemic in over a century has led to long lines, delays, and frustration for Oklahomans renewing driver’s licenses, obtaining a Real ID, or registering vehicles. [Sapulpa Times]

Oklahoma man suing state over law limiting wind farms on his property: Mike Day is suing the state over a law that limits his ability to put wind turbines on his property. [The Oklahoman]

Quote of the Day

“I would urge the community to continue to focus on permanent housing options, and weigh the costs of interim solutions versus the long-term solutions that we are working towards.”

-Becky Gligo, executive director of Housing Solutions, speaking on how programs to provide temporary housing are worth examining but are not the ultimate solution to the problem. [Tulsa World]

Number of the Day


Oklahoma’s national rank for access to women’s health providers [America’s Health Rankings]

Policy Note

Millions of Americans are losing access to maternal care. Here’s what can be done: Access to maternity care is decreasing in the parts of the U.S. that need it the most, affecting nearly 7 million women of childbearing age and some 500,000 babies. A recent report from March of Dimes finds that 36% of counties nationwide — largely in the Midwest and South — constitute “maternity care deserts,” meaning they have no obstetric hospitals or birth centers and no obstetric providers. [NPR]

You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.


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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.