In The Know: Stitt names transition team; coalition opposes new Green Card restrictions; Medicaid expansion in more red states…

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.

In The News

Stitt announces transition team: Marc Nuttle, a Norman attorney with decades of experience in national Republican politics, will lead the transition team of Gov.-elect Kevin Stitt, who enters office in two months. Nuttle, 69, formerly served as executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee and was national campaign manager for televangelist Pat Robertson’s presidential bid in 1988. Stitt’s campaign announced Nuttle as the transition team chairman on Tuesday, along with eight other individuals who will help the governor-elect hire senior staff and fill seven issue-centered advisory committees. [NewsOK]

Medical Monday: A focus on the newly formed Coalition for the Future of Oklahoma Families: On this edition of our program, we’re discussing a recent DHS-related proposal put forth by the Trump Administration as well as local efforts to challenge this proposal. The proposal in question would change the accepted federal definition of Public Charge, which is a term used by immigration officials to refer to certain legal immigrants who are able to receive government benefits like food assistance, housing assistance, and health care. [Public Radio Tulsa] Advocacy Alert: Families shouldn’t be punished for accepting help when they need it. [OK Policy]

Tulsa faith leaders join caravan to ‘bear witness’ to teenage migrants detained at Mexican border: A group of Tulsa faith leaders are joining a caravan headed to the nation’s southern border to rally at a shelter used to house teenagers who are seeking asylum in the U.S.Stephanie Marshall, director of education at Tulsa’s Temple Israel, said they are traveling with faith leaders and congregants from around the United States to the Texas border town of Tornillo, “bearing witness” to the living conditions of teenage migrants detained there. [Tulsa World]

Post midterm win, Medicaid backers eye expansion in more red states: Backers of Medicaid expansion in a number of red states see hope from voter initiatives in Idaho, Utah and Nebraska and are mulling whether they too can override opposition from their Republican leaders. Voters in those three states last week cast their ballots to broaden access the federal health program to a greater spade of low-income individuals. [Healthcare Dive]

After closely watched campaigns, teachers notch wins and losses — but for some, the fight isn’t over yet: Across the country, teachers ran for office this year, inspiring almost as many underdog campaign stories as Texas’s Beto O’Rourke and drawing widespread attention to state legislative races that otherwise wouldn’t break into national headlines. When the votes were counted, educators scored some notable wins, but it was far from a sweep for teacher candidates. [The 74]

New 1st District Congressman Kevin Hern sworn in: Oklahoma’s 1st District is again represented in Congress after newly elected Kevin Hern was sworn in Tuesday evening.Hern, a Republican, was elected Nov. 6 to succeed Jim Bridenstine, who resigned last spring to become head of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.Hern was able to take office immediately, instead of in January when the new Congress convenes, because the seat has been open. [Tulsa World]

Individual income tax collections lift October general revenue fund receipt: State government’s general revenue fund receipts beat projections by 2 percent in October and were 19 percent ahead of the same month a year ago, the Office of Management and Enterprise Services said Tuesday.The growth was driven by strong net individual income tax revenue, which came in at $187.9 million. That was $16 million, or 9.3 percent, above the estimate for the month, and 15.5 percent above the same month a year ago. [Tulsa World]

Former state park manager calls for investigation following lease to private company: A year after state tourism officials warned lawmakers that half of Oklahoma’s state parks could be shuttered if the department saw drastic budget cuts, one of those parks is now being operated by a private company. Earlier this year, the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation turned over operations at Red Rock Canyon State Park to a company owned by Rick Thiel, a Hinton businessman. [NewsOK]

Closing the gap: Skills must catch up to demand in aviation sector, officials say: Last month at a news conference at American Airlines’ Tulsa Maintenance Base, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe promoted a vision as large as the Boeing 737 staged behind him. The goal, the longtime legislator and pilot said, is to make Oklahoma the aviation capital of America. Whether the state soars that high remains to be seen. But to stay among the nation’s industry leaders, it must begin to close the gap between the demand for maintenance workers and the number of new employees joining the industry, otherwise known as the skills gap.  [Tulsa World]

OKC district names building after Clara Luper: The woman known as the mother of the Oklahoma civil rights movement received some long overdue recognition Tuesday night.To no one’s surprise, the Oklahoma City School Board voted unanimously to name the district’s future administration building after Clara Luper, a longtime teacher and civic leader.Luper also led nonviolent protests in drugstores and restaurants in 1958 that helped end segregation policies at retailers in the downtown Oklahoma City area. [NewsOK]

Oklahoma work through grant to help homeless veterans a “model for the rest of the country”: Mental health officials say a three-year federal grant to help homeless veterans was a huge success. Homes, Honor and Health for Oklahomans, or H3OK, is a housing-first program. That means participants were first put into permanent housing like an apartment, then connected to services to help them stay there. [Public Radio Tulsa]

Still illegal: 10 things medical marijuana patients cannot do under SQ788: State Question 788 went into effect July 26 after the state’s medical marijuana program was approved by voters. As the state gets closer to establishing the permanent framework that allows patients to obtain and use medical marijuana, many are still trying to get educated on what will and will not be allowed under law. These are 10 examples of activities that will remain prohibited. [Tulsa World]

DOJ sues Griffin Communications over alleged pricing collusion: The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against six major broadcasting companies, including one based in Oklahoma City, raising antitrust and anti-competitive behavioral concerns. The department accused the companies of sharing advertising pricing, which made the market less competitive for consumers. DOJ also offered the companies proposed settlement agreements the same day the lawsuit was filed in an effort to curtail the behavior. [Journal Record ????]

Quote of the Day

“Folks here have seen the success of ballot initiatives in other states and would certainly consider beginning the process to putting this on the ballot in 2020 if the legislature doesn’t act.”

-Oklahoma Policy Institute Executive Director David Blatt, speaking about the success of Medicaid expansion ballot initiatives in in Idaho, Utah and Nebraska this year [Source: Healthcare Dive]

Number of the Day


Number of Oklahomans who had their prison sentences recommended for commutation by the Pardon and Parole Board last week. All were serving sentences of a decade or more for crimes that are now misdemeanors with no prison time under SQ 780.

[Source: Tulsa World]

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

As Medicaid work requirements spread, more expected to lose health care: Since the experiment took effect in June in Arkansas, more than 8,000people have lost health coverage because of work requirements and can’t reapply for them until January. Health care experts are warning of similar losses in Indiana and New Hampshire. … Given the inherently complicated nature of Medicaid, and work requirements, it’s going to be an uphill battle to make sure patients don’t lose their health care — even if they are eligible. [Governing]

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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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