In The Know: Today is voter registration deadline | OTC decision could lead to federal lawsuit | 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

Deadline for Oklahomans to register to vote in general election hours away: Anyone interested can fill out a Voter Registration Application using the OK Voter Portal “wizard.” Applications are also available at all 77 County Election Boards, most tag agencies, post offices, and at libraries. Voters who have recently changed their name or have moved should verify their registration through the OK Voter Portal or by contacting their County Election Board or the State Election Board. [Public Radio Tulsa]

‘Precedential’ Tax Commission ruling on tribal tax exemption could lead to federal lawsuit: In what it calls a “precedential decision” that could apply to about 9,000 tribal citizen appeals, the Oklahoma Tax Commission ruled Oct. 4 against a Muscogee Nation citizen who had filed for an exempt tribal income exclusion. In its 19-page order released Wednesday, the state agency said tribal citizens who live and work for tribes in eastern Oklahoma do not qualify for the income tax exclusion outlined in state code if they do not live on land owned by their tribe or held in trust by the federal government. [NonDoc]

  • Commission rules on tribal tax case; controversy simmers [Journal Record]

State Government News

Governor Kevin Stitt appoints new Oklahoma State Department of Corrections director: Gov. Kevin Stitt on Thursday appointed a new Oklahoma State Department of Corrections director who will oversee more than 20 executions through 2024. [The Oklahoman

  • Gov. Kevin Stitt appoints Steven Harpe to lead Department of Corrections [Tulsa World]

State initial jobless claims increase slightly: The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) reported Thursday that initial and continued claims increased slightly, while initial and continued claims’ four-week moving averages decreased for the week ending Oct. 1. [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma County received over $154 million in ARPA funding. What has it spent so far?: When President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 billion American Rescue Plan Act, Oklahoma County received more than $154.8 million in relief. County officials said they would focus on addressing needs originating internally and then look at possible projects elsewhere in the community. [The Oklahoman]

Federal Government News

‘Huge, huge, huge’: Social Security increase sounds good for many locally: Percentage-wise, the increase will be the largest in more than 40 years and will raise the average monthly benefit by more than $140. It becomes effective Jan. 1. [Tulsa World]

Tribal Nations News

Cherokee Nation awarded grant to expand broadband access: A $34 million federal grant awarded to the Cherokee Nation will be invested in a 240-mile fiber network linking rural communities in eastern Oklahoma to broadband internet, the tribe announced Thursday. [Journal Record]

Voting and Election News

DA hopeful Kevin Calvey said at debate he is no longer being investigated. OSBI says he is.: The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is still looking into allegations against Kevin Calvey, the Oklahoma County commissioner running for district attorney, officials said Wednesday. [The Oklahoman]

‘It’s guilty by association,’ says City Council candidate who was in Washington on Jan. 6: Ken Reddick is a conservative Republican who ran for mayor in 2020 and this year is now making a second run for the District 7 City Council seat held by Lori Decter Wright. He has posted at least one message on social media casting doubt about the 2020 presidential election results and says he would support an investigation into how the votes were tallied. [Tulsa World]

Podcast: Gubernatorial polls, teacher pay raises, tribes endorse Hofmeister and more (audio): This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU’s Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and Civil Rights Attorney Ryan Kiesel about dueling polls showing different positions in the race for governor ahead of the Nov. 8 general election, Gov. Kevin Stitt calling a $5,000 increase for teacher pay an “easy cop-out” and the Political Action Committee for the state employee’s union backing Stitt. [KOSU]

Column: 2022 campaign a Wild West of ideas of how to govern Oklahoma: In between the soundbites and talking points, I’m hearing a variety of ideas. If a democracy is a marketplace of ideas, the shelves are pretty full in 2022. [Bob Doucette / Tulsa World]

Criminal Justice News

Deeply Rooted: How Racial History Informs Oklahoma’s Death Penalty: Oklahoma’s planned executions are scheduled to move forward despite evidence that there are serious problems with Oklahoma’s death penalty that the state has done little to address. [Death Penalty Information Center]

Authorities: 17,000 pounds of illegal pot seized in Ottawa County; six arrested: A raid on an alleged illegal marijuana farm resulted in the confiscation of more than 4,000 plants — and more than 17,600 pounds of dried marijuana — with an estimated street value of $32 million to $43 million, authorities said. [Tulsa World]

Economy & Business News

For the third time in a year, OG&E customers will see their bill increase. Here’s why: After months of wildly fluctuating natural gas prices that spiked to historic high levels, electric utility provider Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. recently told customers a portion of their bill will increase by 7.4% as it pays off the cost of buying that fuel to generate power. [The Oklahoman]

New president named to lead Greater OKC Chamber: The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber announced Thursday that Christy Gillenwater, president of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce in Tennessee, has been named to lead the chief advocacy organization for business and industry in Oklahoma City. [Journal Record]

Quote of the Day

“Tribal sovereignty benefits all Oklahomans. Tribal nations contribute billions to the state’s economy. These issues are a long way from being over and settled. We look forward to challenging any threat to our inherent sovereignty every step of the way.”

– Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief David Hill speaking about the recent Oklahoma Tax Commission ruling that the state could tax wages for tribal citizens who work for tribes and live on tribal land. [NonDoc]

Number of the Day


Number of Oklahoma families who are in the “family glitch,” which meant they were generally ineligible for financial assistance for purchasing health care on the exchange/marketplace if their employer offered affordable health insurance that also met other criteria. [KFF

Policy Note

IRS regulations fix the ACA’s ‘family glitch’ as of 2023: From 2014 through 2022, some families were generally ineligible for financial assistance if they wanted to purchase their own health coverage through the exchange/marketplace. But that’s changing as of 2023. The IRS has finalized a new regulation that replaces a 2013 IRS regulation that created the “family glitch.” The new regulation fixes the family glitch, making some families newly eligible for marketplace premium subsidies as of 2023. []

You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.


Hana Saad joined OK Policy in August 2022 as the Communications and Operations Fellow. She graduated from the University of Tulsa with degrees in Media Studies and English and is part of Phi Beta Kappa, an academic honor society. At TU, Hana regularly wrote for The Collegian and was the Co-Editor of the Stylus Journal of Art and Writing. She also serves on the team at Puppy Haven Rescue to help in their mission of saving rescue dogs across Oklahoma. Hana is eager to learn more about public policy in Oklahoma and use her skills to support the OKP work to build a more equitable state. In her free time, she loves to read fiction and poetry, walk her dog, and make copious cups of tea.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.