In The Know: State of the State responses, analysis, and 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. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

New from OK Policy

OK Policy 2020 State of the State response: During yesterday’s State of the State address, Gov. Stitt provided his vision for how Oklahoma can move forward. But what has been lacking from the public dialogue are the metrics as to how we really determine if we are moving towards Top 10 status. [OK Policy]

(Capitol Update) Mental health services could be impacted by Medicaid expansion alternative, leadership change: In the run-up to the Legislative session beginning this week, two things happened that could affect mental health services for thousands of Oklahomans. [Steve Lewis / OK Policy]

In The News

State of the State: Gov. Kevin Stitt takes aim at ‘government bureaucracy’: During his second State of the State address, Gov. Kevin Stitt kicked off the 2020 legislative session by calling for a series of agency mergers and asserting that Oklahoma’s “greatest challenge” is “government bureaucracy.” [NonDoc] His goals include merging various government agencies and slashing regulations, along with his approach to Medicaid expansion and continuing his legal battle over tribal gaming. [The Oklahoman] Six takeaways from Gov. Kevin Stitt’s State of the State speech. [The Oklahoman]

Governor’s no-growth budget proposal leaves no room for smaller classes: The governor’s budget does not include any money for addressing K-12 classroom sizes or support personnel. The only increase to common education is $11 million to annualize teacher pay raises approved a year ago. [Tulsa World] Stitt budget does not include teacher, state employee pay raises [The Oklahoman] Gov. Stitt proposes budget in State of the State Address. [StateImpact Oklahoma]

Stitt asks lawmakers for $100 million to fund education during ongoing gaming dispute: Stitt announced plans Monday to ask the state Legislature to approve using $100 million in state reserves to fund education while awaiting a court decision on tribal gaming revenue. [The Oklahoman] Tribal leaders cool to governor’s renewed contention that gaming compacts have expired. [Tulsa World]

Political tests intensify for Stitt in second year: Stitt’s second year in office is shaping up to be much more challenging than his first as a slate of political battles will go a long way in shaping his first term. [The Frontier] Watch: Oklahoma Democrats respond to Stitt’s State of the State address. [The Oklahoman]

Highlights of Stitt’s State of the State address, annotated: Gov. Kevin Stitt used his second State of the State speech Monday to urge lawmakers to continue his effort to transform state government and turn Oklahoma into a “top ten state.” [Oklahoma Watch] Comparing Stitt’s speeches in word clouds, word counts. [Oklahoma Watch] Gov. Kevin Stitt says government is ‘too big and too broken’ in second State of the State speech. [Tulsa World]

Gov. Kevin Stitt’s senior policy adviser transitioning out of office: Gov. Kevin Stitt’s senior policy adviser announced Monday that she is transitioning out of office to support his vision in a different, undisclosed capacity. [Tulsa World]

Higher education chancellor presents legislative agenda: Strengthening Oklahoma’s workforce pipeline through the Complete College America degree and certificate completion plan continues to be a top state system priority, according to Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. [The Journal Record ????]

Another petition filed against Oklahoma’s permitless carry law: Another effort to repeal permitless carry in Oklahoma is underway. State Rep. Jason Lowe, D-Oklahoma City, and other advocacy groups filed an initiative petition Monday in hopes of allowing voters to overturn the state’s permitless carry law, which went into effect Nov. 1. [The Oklahoman]

State health officials propose new vaccine rules for school enrollment: The recommendations would require parents to physically go to the health department and get education about the safety of vaccines and to provide documentation to the schools that they did so. [KTUL]

Region showing slow economic growth; Oklahoma lags most other states: Oklahoma is back to economic growth in a leading economic indicator for a nine-state region, but it’s lagging behind overall. [Public Radio Tulsa]

First reports from new CEO Greg Williams delivered to Jail Trust Monday: The Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority (Jail Trust) heard the first two reports from the new CEO of the Trust, Greg Williams. [Free Press OKC]

Tulsa plans to dig for suspected mass graves from a 1921 race massacre: Nearly a century after a race massacre left as many as 300 people dead, the city plans to dig for suspected mass graves that may have been used to dispose of African American bodies. [The Washington Post]

Quote of the Day

“How bad do things have to get for us to use the money that we’ve got in the savings account for the needs of the people of Oklahoma?”

-Senate Minority Leader Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, about Gov. Stitt’s plans to put more money into state savings, which now exceeds $1 billion [The Oklahoman]

Number of the Day


The number of Oklahomans who were registered to vote as of Jan. 15, 2020.

[Source: Oklahoma State Election Board]

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

America’s rural hospital crisis becomes major 2020 campaign issue: Since 2010, more than 100 rural hospitals have closed, with another 430 at risk of shutting their doors, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. This poses a huge challenge — and danger — for the 20 percent of the population living in rural America. [Fox News]

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Jessica joined OK Policy as a Communications Associate in January 2018. A Mexican immigrant, she was a Clara Luper Scholar at Oklahoma City University where she obtained a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy. Prior to joining OK Policy, Jessica worked at a digital marketing agency in Oklahoma City. She is an alumna of both the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute (2013) and OK Policy's Summer Policy Institute (2015). In addition to her role at OK Policy, Jessica serves as a board member for Dream Action Oklahoma in OKC and communications director for Dream Alliance Oklahoma in Tulsa.

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