In The Know: State’s unclear abortion laws create confusion | AG asks U.S. Supreme Court for new Glossip trial | Food insecurity during summer

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

Policy Matters: Summer months bring hungry Oklahomans: In Oklahoma, the absence of school meals during summer poses a significant challenge for families struggling with hunger. Approximately 84% of Oklahoma children rely on free or reduced lunch programs during the school year, leaving them uncertain about their next meal when summer break begins. [Shiloh Kantz / Journal Record

Oklahoma News

After court rulings, Oklahoma doctors are still confused about when abortion is legal to save a patient’s life: A more than 100-year old law now propping up the state’s sweeping abortion ban contains no clear definition about what it means to preserve the life of a mother. [The Frontier]

  • Thousands of Oklahomans sought abortions across state lines in 2022 [KOSU]

AG asks US Supreme Court for new trial for death row inmate Richard Glossip: Oklahoma’s attorney general has told the U.S. Supreme Court it should “at the very least” grant death row inmate Richard Glossip an evidentiary hearing. Glossip, 60, is asking the nation’s top court to intervene in his case and already has won a stay of execution. [The Oklahoman]

  • Oklahoma AG asks U.S. Supreme Court to review death-row inmate Richard Glossip’s case [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma Democrats, a once powerful party, look to rebuild: Drew Edmondson has four pieces of advice for anyone wanting to run for statewide office as a Democrat in Oklahoma — become familiar with a firearm, figure out how to explain your positions to a voter who disagrees with you, raise a lot of money, and learn to play the guitar or “something else that makes you a little more folksy.” [The Oklahoman]

State Government News

School security push among more than 50 laws that took effect July 1 in Oklahoma: More than 50 new state laws, including one that requires schools to undergo security audits, took effect July 1. Senate Bill 100 requires the state’s more than 2,000 school sites to undergo a risk and vulnerability assessment by July 1, 2026. [Tulsa World]

  • New Oklahoma laws take effect in public schools [KTUL]

‘No data compromised’ following Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs investigation: Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA) have announced an investigation into the February data compromise to the Oklahoma Veterans Commission has concluded. [Fox 25]

Federal Government News

Defense bill would boost artillery, AWACs funding at Oklahoma bases: Key missions at Oklahoma military bases would gain hundreds of millions of dollars in a House defense spending bill currently under consideration in Congress. But the measure has drawn opposition from Democrats because of the social policy provisions it contains. [The Oklahoman]

Voting and Election News

School board recall efforts still soaring above prepandemic averages, report says: The number of school board recall efforts nationwide so far this year remains higher then prepandemic averages, according to data collected by Ballotpedia. The data shows that parents have led at least 149 recall efforts since Jan. 1. [Fox 25]

Health News

Editorial: Maternal mortality stats for Oklahoma just keep getting worse: The news for pre nant women in the United States – and particularly in Oklahoma – is not good. A study from the University of Washington released just this week shows maternal mortality rates more than doubled in some states between 1999 and 2019 with a sharp increase for some racial and ethnic groups. [Editorial / Enid News & Eagle]

Criminal Justice News

1977 Northeast Oklahoma Girl Scout murders case gets fresh look in wake of ‘McGirt’ ruling: The horrific 1977 Mayes County Girl Scout Murders are unforgettable for many Oklahomans. Now, the case is getting a fresh look. [KOSU]

Economy & Business News

‘Twisters’ and ‘Defiant Vanity,’ with Sean Gunn, first movies approved for OKC film rebate: The Oklahoma City Council approved on Wednesday approved a local filmmaker’s upcoming feature film for the city’s new film incentive tax rebate. The council also approved $1 million in rebates for a summer 2024 blockbuster movie that the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber has signed a non-disclosure agreement on regarding its title and content. That film, as previously reported by The Oklahoman, is most likely “Twisters.” [The Oklahoman]

General News

OKC will get $10M in grants from Biden administration to improve bus system. What will change?: Ahead of service changes to Oklahoma City’s bus routes, the city’s transit operator received two grants totaling more than $10 million for planning future improvements. One of the grants is a $5.8 million federal grant to undertake planning for future improvements, and the other is a $4.3 million formula funding grant to purchase nine brand-new natural gas buses. [The Oklahoman]

Opinion: As Supreme Court tears down rights for all, Tulsa can show love will prevail: I’m tired of hearing exclusionary Christian theology used as a justification to harm a politically unpopular group. But last Friday, the Supreme Court released the final opinion of the judicial term, doing just that. The case, 303 Creative LLC v. Enis, rolled back LGBTQ+ protections in an unprecedented way. [Josiah Robinson Guesat Column / Tulsa World]

Quote of the Day

“Food security has long been a pressing issue in Oklahoma, especially for children during the summer months. Without action by lawmakers, this situation will not improve.”

-OK Policy Executive Director Shiloh Kantz, writing about the need to address food security issues in Oklahoma [Journal Record

Number of the Day


Average number of decayed teeth in American Indian/Alaska Native children aged 2-5, compared to only 1 on average for all children aged 2-5 in the U.S. [National Indian Health Board]

Policy Note

Oral Health in Indian Country: Challenges & Solutions: Tribal communities nationwide, like many underserved populations, suffer from a variety of dental afflictions. Poor oral health can result in missed school or work and decreased ability to eat healthy foods. Poor oral health also puts individuals at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, respiratory infections, dementia and diabetes. A lack of prevention services and a severe provider shortage throughout Indian Country contribute to these problems. [National Indian Health Board]

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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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