In The Know: Validity of vote on public religious charter school in doubt | Reignited fight on tribal-state tobacco compacts | 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.

State Government News

AG: Validity of vote on religious school funding questioned: The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office is questioning the validity of a state board’s decision to approve the first publicly funded religious charter school in the U.S. At the conclusion of a three-hour Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board meeting Monday, a 3-2 vote approved a second effort this year from the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and the Diocese of Tulsa to create the St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School. [Journal Record]

Stitt vetoes highlight reignited fight on state-tribal tobacco compacts: Disputes between the state of Oklahoma and sovereign tribal nations over tobacco taxation date back to the 1980s and have spurred critical cases at the highest courts in the land. Now, as other questions linger about civil jurisdiction following the 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma, the state and tribes could be barreling back into the courtroom for new showdowns over compacting authority, tobacco taxation and reservation designations. [NonDoc]

PSO, others hit with possible class action over selling info and “junk solicitations”: Three companies, including Public Service Company of Oklahoma, are facing a proposed class action lawsuit from a Tulsa resident for allegedly selling customer information and sending “junk solicitations” to PSO customers with misleading information, according to a petition filed Monday. [Public Radio Tulsa

Chamber praises elimination of franchise tax: During the recent special session of the Oklahoma Legislature, lawmakers passed budget legislation that would repeal the franchise tax. Without action by the governor, it became law on Friday. In a release, proponents of business interests in the city said the action reflected studies conducted by the State Chamber Research Foundation and Tax Foundation as part of a comprehensive tax reform plan aimed at making Oklahoma a more pro-growth tax environment for existing and incoming businesses. [Journal Record]

$10M in ARPA funds for Oklahoma’s arts is dubbed ‘transformational investment’: As the 2023 regular session wound down, the state Legislature approved a proposal investing $10 million in state American Rescue Plan Act funding in rebuilding Oklahoma’s arts and cultural sector. [The Oklahoman]

Criminal Justice News

Van Treese family, prosecutors ask U.S. Supreme Court to let Glossip execution advance: A murder victim’s survivors and prosecutors have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to let Richard Glossip’s execution move forward. The friend of the court brief was filed Monday on behalf of the victim’s family and the Oklahoma District Attorneys Association. [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma death-penalty opponents urge clemency for Tulsa killer Jemaine Cannon: Opponents of the death penalty are urging the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board to grant clemency to a man who has spent 27 years on death row after being convicted of stabbing a Tulsa woman to death. [Tulsa World]

  • Jemaine Cannon to go before Oklahoma parole board in death sentence case [The Oklahoman]

Former Oklahoma jail guard sentenced in excessive force case: A former Grady County jail guard has been ordered to serve four years on probation after pleading guilty in an excessive force case. [The Oklahoman]

Economic Opportunity

Could Fort Worth, Denver be models for OKC in affordable housing?: The Oklahoman’s Steve Lackmeyer, joined by Mark Gillett Dan Straughan, executive director of the Oklahoma City Housing Authority, fielded reader questions Friday during Lackmeyer’s weekly OKC Central Live Chat. [The Oklahoman]

General News

Column: We need leaders who have the courage to act independently and not out of self-interest: True leaders look to our legacy as a great nation, though far from perfect, to insure freedoms for all Americans regardless. However, the divisions we have are being accelerated at a record pace by culturally conservative legislation sweeping across red states including Oklahoma. [Phil G. Busey Sr. Guest Column / The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma Local News

  • Oklahoma City Council approves 2024 budget in 7-2 vote [KOSU]
  • City Council approves OKC FY 2024 budget, tables medical waste facility permit [NonDoc]
  • OKC Council approves $1.9 billion budget [Journal Record]
  • Oklahoma City approves $1.9 billion budget, includes new fire department transport program [The Oklahoman]

Quote of the Day

“In a country built on the principle of separation of church and state, public schools must never be allowed to become Sunday schools.”

– Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, speaking on the decision the Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board made to approve a publicly funded religious charter school. [Journal Record]

Number of the Day


Number of eligible children in Oklahoma who cannot access public housing or vouchers due to having a guardian with a criminal record. [Vera Institute of Justice]

Policy Note

Expanding Housing Access for People with Conviction Histories in Oklahoma: Housing is foundational for people to succeed post-incarceration. However, restrictive housing policies bar people with conviction histories from securing a home. To estimate the scope of this issue in Oklahoma, Vera analyzed criminal justice data and the admissions policies of public housing authorities and developments funded by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. The fact sheet sheds light on the number of people affected by these policies and offers recommendations to increase access to safe and affordable housing for all individuals. [Vera Institute of Justice]

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.