In The Know: Treat reelected Senate pro tempore | Gaming compacts with tribes | Oklahoma Southern Baptists speak out against legalizing recreational marijuana

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.

State Government News

Greg Treat reelected as Senate president pro tempore: Despite rumors that internal caucus strife could result in a leadership change for next session, Republicans in the Oklahoma State Senate today reelected Greg Treat to serve another term as the president pro tempore, the top position in the Legislature’s upper chamber. [NonDoc]

Tribal Nations News

Who has the right to make gaming compacts with Oklahoma tribes?: That’s the focus of a new argument posed in a legal fight between the governor and four of Oklahoma’s largest tribes. [KOCO]

In Tahlequah, a place to preserve the Cherokee language: The Cherokee Nation on Tuesday opened its new Durbin Feeling Language Center in Tahlequah, a 52,000-square-foot facility to house all of the tribe’s language programs under one roof for the first time. [Journal Record]

Editorial: Cherokee Nation immersion school integral to Oklahoma’s culture: Decades ago, Cherokee Nation leaders made the purposeful decision to invest in restoring its native language into everyday use. It’s a commitment important to the nation’s citizens and all Oklahomans. [The Oklahoman]

Voting and Election News

Oklahoma Southern Baptists speak out against legalizing recreational marijuana: Oklahoma Southern Baptists condemned the legalization of recreational marijuana on Tuesday, expressing alarm at the “rapid advance and acceptance” of cannabis across the state. [The Oklahoman]

Criminal Justice News

26 clergy call for death penalty moratorium in Oklahoma: More than two dozen Christian clergy are calling for a moratorium on the death penalty in Oklahoma, just a few days before the state is expected to execute the third of 25 individuals set to be put to death through 2024. [The Oklahoman]

Economic Opportunity

Feeding the hungry faces challenges this year: Google Trends reports Oklahoma is the top state searching for “free thanksgiving dinner” five years running and searches for “Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma” increased by 5,000% in the past 12 months. [Journal Record]

Tulsa mayor announces $500M housing initiative during State of the City address: About a month ago, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum pledged that the city would begin taking a more active role in addressing the community’s homelessness crisis. [Tulsa World]

Racial trauma terrorized women living at Cimarron Tower in Cushing, Oklahoma, HUD finds: The Department of Housing and Urban Development found Cimarron Tower, its nonprofit owner, Cushing Housing Inc., and Oklahoma Property Management Inc., which managed the property at the time, out of compliance with the Fair Housing Act. [The Oklahoman]

Education News

3 Western Heights board members resign, including president: Three members of the Western Heights Board of Education have resigned following a failed yearlong battle against a state takeover of the struggling Oklahoma City school district, The Oklahoman confirmed. [The Oklahoman]

  • ‘Triumph’: Robert Everman, Linda Farley and Robert Sharp resign from Western Heights board [NonDoc]

Owasso school board amends book selection policies; district had pulled all graphic novels for review: Citing parent feedback, Owasso Public Schools’ Board of Education voted Monday night to formally codify its book selection and review practices to include provisions specifically targeting graphic novels, books that are presented with illustrations throughout. [Tulsa World]

TCC dedicates fourth and final Student Success Center: Tulsa Community College now offers on each of its four campuses a special place students can go to find the support they need to successfully navigate college and attain degrees. [Tulsa World]

Quote of the Day

“I really believe that our system, the way it is set up, is putting a lot of people in jail for simple possession of marijuana. I think most Oklahomans agree that putting people in jail for simple marijuana use is an idea that is outdated.”

– Michelle Tilley, campaign director for the Yes on 820 Campaign, saying SQ820 is a justice issue. [The Oklahoman]

Number of the Day


The percentage of women incarcerated in Oklahoma for child abuse/failure to protect charges, making it the top offense for which the state locks up women. []

Policy Note

Failing to Protect Oklahoma’s Child Abuse and Neglect Statute Unfairly Punishes Mothers and Endangers Children: While children’s safety must be protected, Oklahoma’s highly punitive and overly broad child abuse and neglect statute often does the opposite. By criminalizing survivors of domestic violence and mothers living in poverty—sometimes with little to no evidence of actual wrongdoing—the statute deters reporting, separates families, isolates them from much-needed help, and places children at even greater risk of abuse and neglect. [] | [PDF]

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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.

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