In The Know: Supreme Court sides with Oklahoma in Red River water dispute

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today you should know that the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a Texas agency’s attempt to tap into Oklahoma’s water supply.  An explosion at a chemical plant operated by Tulsa-based Williams Company killed one and injured dozens in Louisiana.

Arizona lawmakers voted to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid and extend health care to 300,000 low-income residents.  The state medical examiner has added an unidentified little girl to the list of Moore tornado victims.  U.S. wholesale grocers filed a lawsuit against potato growers in 15 states, including Oklahoma, accusing them of running a price-fixing cartel

A Federal Grand Jury indicted a mentally ill Oklahoma man, recently arrested at a propane company in Talequah, for possession of explosive devices and an unregistered firearm.  The OK Policy Blog posted a video explaining why high quality early childhood education raises incomes

The Number of the Day is the percentage increase in the price of groceries, compared to the percentage increase in price inflation overall, since 2005. In today’s Policy Note, the Census Bureau released analysis of an increasingly diverse electorate; there is no statistically significant difference in voter turnout in Oklahoma between Whites and African-Americans, but large gaps in turnout between Hispanic/Latino and non-Hispanic/Latino residents.

In The News

Top Court Blocks Texas Agency From Taking Oklahoma Water

A unanimous court held that the Red River Compact does not allow Texas to trump Oklahoma’s sovereign right to control its own water supplies. It concluded that Texas has rights to water under the compact, but is not entitled to draw it from Oklahoma. Legal experts said the ruling could have implications for the many compacts that govern the flow of river water between states.

Read more from The Wall Street Journal

Explosion rocks Louisiana chemical plant owned by Tulsa-based Williams Partners

A ground-rattling explosion Thursday at a Louisiana chemical plant owned and operated by Tulsa-based Williams Partners LP ignited a blaze that killed one person and injured dozens of others, authorities said. Witnesses described a chaotic scene of flames as high as 200 feet into the air and workers scrambling over gates to escape the plant. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the blast and blaze, OSHA spokesman Juan Rodriguez confirmed to the Tulsa World. 

Read more from Tulsa World

Arizona Gov. Brewer secures Medicaid expansion

Ending a six-month legislative session, Arizona lawmakers endorsed a key element of President Barack Obama’s health care law in a huge political victory for Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, after a lengthy fight over Medicaid expansion that divided the state’s Republican leadership. The expansion that will extend health care to 300,000 more low-income Arizonans came after months of stalled negotiations, tense debates and political maneuvering as Brewer pushed the Medicaid proposal through a hostile Legislature. 

Read more from Associated Press

Unidentified child added to May 31 Oklahoma tornado, storm death toll

The state medical examiner has added a 22nd victim to the May 31 tornadoes and storms death toll. An unidentified little girl is the most recent victim added to the list nearly two full weeks after the storms. Her cause of death has not been determined. 

Read more from KJRH

Grocers allege potato group pumped up spud prices

A U.S. wholesale grocer says America’s potato farmers have run an illegal price-fixing cartel for a decade, driving up spud prices while spying on farmers with satellites and aircraft fly-overs to enforce strict limits on how many tubers they can grow. Kansas-based Associated Wholesale Grocers’ lawsuit against United Potato Growers of America and two dozen other defendants was shifted this week to U.S. District Court in Idaho, America’s top potato-producing state at 30 percent of the nation’s supply. 

Read more from Associated Press

Federal Grand Jury indicts Bryan Berres for Tahlequah bomb scare at propane company

A Federal Grand Jury indicted a man Wednesday in the May bomb scare at a propane company that shut down US Highway 62 in Tahlequah. Bryan Berres was arrested for possession of destructive devices and an unregistered firearm. According to court documents, Berres walked up to Amerigas Propane Company in Tahlequah May 9, removed a backpack and asked for an ambulance.

Read more from KJRH

Watch This: The economic case for preschool

In this TED Talk, economic development expert Tim Bartik talks about why high quality early childhood education raises incomes, even for those who didn’t attend preschool.

Watch This at OKPolicy Blog

Quote of the Day

“The day has been a red-letter day for the people of Arizona.  It was a win, win, win all the way around.”

Governor Jan Brewer, on Arizona approving Medicaid expansion after a lengthy legislative fight

Number of the Day

29 percent

Percentage increase in the price of groceries (or ‘food at home’) since 2005, compared to just 19 percent inflation overall

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics via

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

The Diversifying Electorate:  Voting Rates by Race and Hispanic Origin in 2012

This report provides analysis of the increasingly diverse American electorate, specifically for presidential elections since 1996, with particular focus given to the patterns of voter turnout by race and Hispanic origin. Overall voting rates have fluctuated in recent presidential races, from a low of 58.4 percent of the citizen population in 1996 to a high of about 64.0 percent in both 2004 and 2008. In 2012, the overall voting rate was 61.8 percent. By examining these overall changes by race and Hispanic origin, this report provides a better understanding of the social and demographic factors that have influenced recent American elections.

Read more from the U.S. Census

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