In The Know: Special session fizzles after Senate adjourns when governor declines to meet | Childcare programs lose millions of federal dollars | More

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.

Oklahoma News

Oklahoma Legislature effectively ends special session five hours after it opened: The Oklahoma Legislature gaveled in the second extraordinary session of the year Tuesday morning, answering Gov. Kevin Stitt’s call for a special session focused on cutting the state income tax. Five hours later, the Senate ended the special session for good, adjourning sine die. [The Oklahoman]

  • Oklahoma Senate rebuffs Stitt, abruptly ends special legislative session [Oklahoma Voice]
  • After Stitt skips committee, Senate adjourns special session hours after it starts [NonDoc]
  • After Gov. Stitt declines to testify, Oklahoma Senate adjourns special session on same day it started [KGOU]
  • Oklahoma Senate adjourns on session’s opening day without tackling Stitt-requested tax cut [Tulsa World]
  • Stitt talks, Senate walks [AP via Journal Record]

State Government News

Oklahoma’s multi-year railroad crossing safety projects finished: State officials have completed a multi-million dollar effort to improve railroad crossing safety. Oklahoma Department of Transportation officials said 204 crossing improvements have been made. [Oklahoma Voice]

Stitt names new director for Office of Juvenile Affairs: Jeffrey Cartmell will become executive director of the Office of Juvenile Affairs, Gov. Kevin Stitt’s office said Monday. Cartmell is replacing Rachel Holt, who was recently named executive director of the United Way of Central Oklahoma. [Tulsa World]

Federal Government News

How Oklahoma lawmakers voted in bid to remove Kevin McCarthy as House speaker: The U.S. House voted Tuesday to remove Republican Kevin McCarthy from his job as speaker, a historic ouster started by a small band of hard-line conservatives but made possible by Democratic lawmakers. [The Oklahoman]

Child care programs just lost thousands of federal dollars. Families and providers scramble to cope: After two years of receiving federal subsidies, 220,000 child care programs across the country were cut off from funding Saturday. The largest investment in child care in U.S. history, the monthly payments ranged from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars, and stabilized the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. [AP via Tulsa World]

Farmers want more money for crop support programs in this farm bill. But do price safety nets work?: Crop support programs are supposed to help smooth out the edges on hard farming years. The government sends payments to keep farmers out of bankruptcy and get them back in their fields for the next planting season. [KOSU]

Tribal Nations News

Following the headrights: Mollie Burkhart’s many connections to the Osage Reign of Terror: Although many Osages had multiple friends and relatives who were killed in the early 20th century over oil revenue, one survivor in particular has drawn additional attention due to “Killers of the Flower Moon.” [Tulsa World]

Criminal Justice News

One Oklahoma lawmaker says Richard Glossip’s claim of innocence should be enough to halt executions: Richard Glossip has spent 26 years on death row, has had two trials, nine execution dates and three last meals. An interim study at the Oklahoma Capitol will examine whether the state has done enough to ensure innocent people aren’t executed. [The Frontier]

Officials picked a site for the new Oklahoma County jail, but it may not work out. Here’s why: Officials have more work to do before signing off on a location for a facility to replace the long-troubled Oklahoma County jail. [The Oklahoman]

  • ‘A lot to sort through’: New Oklahoma County Jail site selected, but hurdles remain [NonDoc]

Oklahoma County Jail pay raises approved, Styrofoam trays being phased out: For years, the Oklahoma County Jail has faced hurdles recruiting and retaining staff in what can be a challenging work environment. But frontline employees who work with detainees will be getting a bump in pay thanks to a 5 percent raise approved by the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority. [NonDoc]

Education News

Tulsa Union’s National Teacher of Year says it’s a ‘hard time to be in public education’: Union High School’s National Teacher of the Year spoke in Tulsa on Tuesday about what a “hard time to be in public education” it is for teachers. Rebecka Peterson, a math teacher named 2023 National Teacher of the Year by the Council of Chief State School Officers, offered the keynote address titled “For the Love of Teaching” at the Oklahoma Retired Educators Association’s annual state convention. [Tulsa World]

USDA expands universal school meal program for Oklahoma districts: More Oklahoma students could eat free meals in their school cafeteria with a new expansion of federal reimbursements for child nutrition costs. [Oklahoma Voice]

HBCU underfunded: Black Caucus Chair seeks solutions: When Oklahoma state Rep. Monroe Nichols (D-Tulsa) learned the state Legislature had underfunded Langston University, the state’s only Historically Black College (HBCU), by nearly $419 billion over the last 30 years, he wasn’t surprised. “You can go anywhere in the country, and see that’s the case,” Rep. Nichols said. [The Black Wall Street Times]

Tulsa Public School board stalls charter school contract renewal, approves another vape settlement: Tulsa Public Schools has temporarily halted the reapproval of a charter school’s contract with the district. [Public Radio Tulsa]

  • Tulsa school board tables charter renewal for Tulsa Honor Academy High School [Tulsa World]

General News

What resources are there for Oklahomans experiencing domestic violence?: Oklahoma ranks second in the nation for women killed in single victim and offender incidents in the U.S. Agencies like the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and Palomar — a family justice center — aim to lower that number and support victims of domestic violence. [KGOU]

Elon Musk tops recent Forbes 400. Which wealthy Oklahomans made the cut?: Forbes’ list of 400 wealthiest Americans was released Tuesday, revealing the group is $500 billion richer than a year ago. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma Local News

  • Youths caught with guns at Tulsa Fair, Sheriff’s office warns public not to bring more [Public Radio Tulsa]

Quote of the Day

“It’s the height of irony and hypocrisy to put in a call for budget transparency and then say I’m willing to meet behind closed doors with your caucus, but I’m not willing to meet in an open meeting.”

-Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, talking about Gov. Stitt’s decision to not attend a Senate budget meeting as part of the governor’s call for an Oct. 3 special session on taxes and budget transparency. [NonDoc]

Number of the Day


Oklahoma public defenders have a case workload that is 4.4x higher than the new national recommended workload. [Tulsa World]

Policy Note

The State of the Nation on Gideon’s 60th Anniversary: In honor of Gideon’s 60th anniversary, the Sixth Amendment Center surveyed all state and local governments to estimate total national expenditures on the right to counsel under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. We estimate that, collectively, state and local governments spend approximately $6.5 billion, or $19.82 per capita, on indigent defense. Compared to the $123 billion the nation spends on police and the $82 billion on corrections, this is a drop in the bucket. Of serious concern, though, are states that spend far less than $19.82 per capita. Oklahoma ranked 48th on per capita spending on indigent defense at $8.36. [Sixth Amendment Center]

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David Hamby has more than 25 years of experience as an award-winning communicator, including overseeing communication programs for Oklahoma higher education institutions and other organizations. Before joining OK Policy, he was director of public relations for Rogers State University where he managed the school’s external communication programs and served as a member of the president’s leadership team. He served in a similar communications role for five years at the University of Tulsa. He also has worked in communications roles at Oklahoma State University and the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce in Arkansas. He joined OK Policy in October 2019.

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