In The Know: Roe v Wade reaction in Oklahoma | Analysis: Gun deaths rose as access grew | State primaries on Tuesday | Capitol Update

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

Time will tell about effectiveness of Oklahoma’s move towards more top-down governance model (Capitol Update): We’ve had a few years now with the new “the buck stops here” form of state government where the governor directly controls some state agencies. The premise is that when one person, the governor, is clearly in charge, the enhanced accountability will make agencies more efficient because when things go wrong the public knows whom to blame. The theory is dubious because the only way to really hold a governor accountable (short of proving criminal activity) is at the ballot box. [Steve Lewis / Capitol Update]

Oklahoma News

Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, allowing states to ban abortion: The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years in a decision by its conservative majority to overturn Roe v Wade. Friday’s outcome is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. [The Black Wall Street Times

  • Oklahoma anti-abortion laws triggered by U.S. Supreme court Roe v. Wade decision [KGOU
  • Tulsans protest overturning of Roe v. Wade, plan to work to restore reproductive rights [Tulsa World
  • Historic Supreme Court decision leaves Oklahoma abortion advocates defeated, opponents elated [The Oklahoman
  • Oklahomans contemplating what’s next after SCOTUS ruling [CHNI via The Norman Transcript
  • ‘Today is the day we pay attention’: attorney urges local action after fall of Roe v. Wade [Public Radio Tulsa
  • The Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade abortion decision. Oklahoma leaders react [The Oklahoman
  • Fall of Roe v. Wade sparks conversations about LGBTQ+ reproductive health care during Tulsa Pride [Tulsa World
  • In an empty Oklahoma abortion clinic, staff cling to hope [Reuters
  • U.S. tech industry frets about handing data to states prosecuting abortion [Reuters
  • Oklahoma abortion opponents celebrate; abortion rights groups vow to continue fight [CNHI via Enid News & Eagle]

As Oklahoma’s gun access expanded, deaths from firearms increased: Just 44 days on the job, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed his first bill as governor, which allowed Oklahomans over the age of 21 to carry a gun without a permit or training. Gun deaths in Oklahoma have increased since the new law went into effect as the state has recorded some of its deadliest months in history, according to an analysis of state medical examiner data by The Oklahoman. [The Oklahoman

  • Poll shows Oklahoma voters split on semiautomatic weapon bans and Second Amendment [The Oklahoman
  • Newspaper: Oklahoma gun deaths rose as firearms access grew [AP

State Government News

ACLU of Oklahoma challenging state’s riot law and arrest of activists after 2020 protests: The ACLU of Oklahoma Foundation has filed two federal lawsuits regarding rights of protesters, including one suit that challenges the constitutionality of the Oklahoma Riot Statute. [The Oklahoman] The anti-protest law is unconstitutionally broad and vague, according to one of the lawsuits filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City. [Public Radio Tulsa

Lawmakers say widespread political donations made addressing Epic issues difficult: Legislators who raised concerns about Epic Charter Schools say lawmakers and others allowed the alleged illegal activity to occur because of massive and widespread political contributions — contributions that prosecutors said were made with taxpayer-supplied funds cycled through Epic-related bank accounts. [Tulsa World

  • Epic Charter Schools co-founders made political donations with state dollars, OSBI says [The Oklahoman
  • DA hopeful Kevin Calvey promises to give Epic criminal case to AG if elected [The Oklahoman

Voting and Election News

Oklahoma voters go to polls Tuesday; some races to be determined by primary results: Voters will go to the polls Tuesday to determine primary winners and those who will face a runoff. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Most of the primaries are among Republicans. [Tulsa World

  • Native American groups help hundreds of new Oklahoma voters register ahead of primaries [The Oklahoman
  • Check your polling place before voting Tuesday, Election Board official says [Tulsa World
  • (Audio) Primary elections for Congressional District 2, Attorney General, State Superintendent and more [KOSU
  • Oklahoma County judge cheat sheet: Four races in primary, one in general [NonDoc
  • GOP primary will decide next rep for House District 55 [NonDoc
  • Facing investigation, Pottawatomie County DA Allan Grubb challenged by two [NonDoc
  • GOP primary to decide next House District 21 representative [NonDoc
  • ‘Whims of democracy’: Ideological divides evident in House District 66 GOP primary [NonDoc
  • OK County District 3: Democrats Cummings, Bridwell differ on policy focus, agree on jail bond [NonDoc
  • OK County District 3: GOP candidates tout county government experience [NonDoc
  • One DA hopeful has done over 100 jury trials, another only one. Does it matter? [The Oklahoman
  • Yukon state Sen. Jake Merrick faces tough reelection bid against political newcomer [The Oklahoman
  • 3 Democrats seek open south Oklahoma City House seat in Tuesday’s primary election [The Oklahoman

GOP gubernatorial primary: Stitt challengers find common theme: As Gov. Kevin Stitt seeks a second term, he faces three Republican challengers in the June 28 primary. If no one candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote on Tuesday, the top two finishers will head to runoff on Aug. 23. [NonDoc

U.S. Sen. James Lankford challenged from right and left: While incumbent U.S. Sen. James Lankford has the money, name recognition and support to be well positioned to win reelection this year, it won’t come without turbulence along the way. [NonDoc

Senate hopefuls are finding it hard to stand out in a crowded GOP race: With half a dozen candidates vying for the Republican nomination to fill Oklahoma’s open U.S. Senate, name identification could play a big role in who will advance to a likely runoff. [The Frontier] Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) announced he will retire in November, and now 16 candidates are vying for his seat in the Senate. [OU Daily

We fact-checked GOP hopefuls for state superintendent: From opposition funding from teacher’s unions to how many Oklahoma students live in poverty, we looked into candidates’ claims. [The Frontier

Health News

Healthy Start: A Boon for North Tulsa Families: Of all the disparities dividing North Tulsa’s Black community from the rest of the city, the gap in prenatal care is one of the most glaring.  Fortunately, the Tulsa Health Department’s (THD) Healthy Start program goes a long way in addressing these issues. [The Oklahoma Eagle

Economic Opportunity

Out-of-state corporations are flooding Oklahoma housing market: According to the National Real Estate Association, Oklahoma is third in the nation for corporations owning homes. This is making it almost impossible for some Oklahomans to buy homes. [Fox 25

Economy & Business News

New clean energy financing kick-starts stalled developments: More than $80 million in development, all of it stalled for months if not years, is set to start this summer after being given a boost from a new clean energy financing program created by Oklahoma County commissioners. [The Oklahoman

Quote of the Day

“In Oklahoma, if you were a tenant and you were to make a formal complaint about basic improvements that needed to be made. If you were to go on the news and say, ‘Hey, back in my apartment, we don’t have air conditioning.’ In Oklahoma, the landlord could evict or raise your rent.” 

-Rep. Mickey Dollens, D-OKC, noting that Oklahoma is one of six states that does not have anti-retaliation laws to protect tenants from vindictive landlords. [Fox 25]

Number of the Day


Percentage of Americans who say voting is “a fundamental right for every adult U.S. citizen and should not be restricted in any way.” Fewer (42%) express the view that “voting is a privilege that comes with responsibilities and can be limited if adult U.S. citizens don’t meet some requirements.” The survey shows a wide partisan divide on whether voting is a fundamental right or a privilege with responsibilities. [Pew Research Center]

Policy Note

Voter Turnout: Voter turnout is a measure of civic participation that many people believe best gauges the health of the electoral process. However, measuring turnout can be more difficult than it first appears, which means that understanding how and why it fluctuates can also be difficult. [MIT Election Data and Science Lab]

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Kristin Wells served as the Communications and Operations Fellow for OK Policy from October 2021 to July 2022. She previously worked as a digital content producer for News On 6. A native Kansas Citian, Kristin graduated with a B.A. in Media Studies and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Tulsa in 2020. While there, she was accepted into the Global Scholars program, spurring her interests in policy, social movements, global identities, and the importance of education and advocacy. She hopes to use her skills to continue to learn and create a more equitable future for Oklahomans. An avid sports fan, Kristin lives in Tulsa with her rescue dog and is passionate about college basketball, documentaries, and coffee.

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