In The Know: Voters fail to pass SQ 820 | House censures, strips nonbinary lawmaker of committee posts | Ways & Means Committee Hearing in OKC

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.

New from OK Policy

In What Ways Can the Federal Government Make the Economy Work For Oklahomans?: Shiloh Kantz, Executive Director for the Oklahoma Policy Institute, was invited to testify during the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Field Hearing on the “State of the American Economy: The Heartland.” The hearing was held March 7, 2023 in Yukon, Oklahoma. During the hearing, Kantz shared how low- and moderate-income residents are faring and how federal investments — especially in childcare, Paid Family Medical Leave, an increased minimum wage, and targeted tax credits — can help the economy and Oklahoma families.

Oklahoma News

Already medicated: Oklahomans pass on SQ 820’s recreational marijuana: Oklahoma won’t be joining the ranks of states permitting the recreational use of marijuana for adults after voters in rural counties soundly rejected State Question 820. Tuesday night’s overwhelming results stood as a triumph for those who believe the industry has grown too fast and caused too much disruption in parts of the state, and it landed as a stinging defeat for those in the burgeoning marijuana industry who had worked to bring the question to voters. [NonDoc]

  • Oklahoma voters reject recreational marijuana [KGOU]
  • Oklahoma recreational marijuana vote: State Question 820 results [KOCO]
  • Oklahoma voters say ‘no’ to SQ 820, recreational marijuana [The Oklahoman]
  • Oklahoma voters reject question to legalize recreational marijuana [Tulsa World]
  • Oklahoma votes against legalization of recreational marijuana [Washington Post]
  • What can Oklahoma progressives learn from failed marijuana vote? [The Black Wall Street Times]
  • Unofficial election results [Oklahoma Election Board

After transgender protest incident, state House censures OKC lawmaker Mauree Turner: The Oklahoma House of Representatives censured Oklahoma City state Rep. Mauree Turner on Tuesday, a week after a transgender rights protester sought refuge in Turner’s Capitol office following an altercation with state troopers. [The Oklahoman]

  • Okla. GOP censures, strips nonbinary lawmaker of committee posts [The Black Wall Street Times]
  • Non-binary Oklahoma representative censured, removed from all committees [KOSU]
  • GOP-led Oklahoma House censures Democrat over actions after trans-rights protest altercation [Tulsa World]
  • Oklahoma House censures lawmaker for actions during transgender bill protest [Journal Record]

State Government News

After SQ 820 Loss, Marijuana-Related Justice Reform Shifts to Legislature: With Oklahoma voters deciding against full marijuana legalization on State Question 820, the focus turns to the Legislature to address criminal justice reforms related to low-level marijuana convictions and the continued fallout from almost five years of medical marijuana sales. [Oklahoma Watch]

Oklahoma libraries once again under microscope at Capitol: New legislation that cleared the Senate Tuesday morning looks to restrict access to certain books available in libraries by requiring age-restricted areas. Opponents of the legislation said the bill will have unintended consequences that could whitewash history. [KOCO Oklahoma City]

  • Oklahoma Senate passes bill to restrict access to library books [Tulsa World]

The Frontier fact-checked the debate over an Oklahoma bill to ban gender-affirming care: Oklahoma lawmakers are weighing a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for minors and prohibit insurers from covering transgender care for people of all ages. Oklahoma’s House Bill 2177 is a nearly word-for-word copy of legislation Arkansas enacted in 2021 that has since been introduced in several other states. [The Frontier]

General News

Column: Oklahoma Turnpike Authority’s property purchases vital for building roadways: My previous duty as an Oklahoma Turnpike Authority board member included monitoring property purchases for two of the largest new road alignments in many decades: the Kilpatrick Extension and the Eastern Oklahoma Connector (renamed the Kickapoo). [G. Carl Gibson Guest Column / The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma Local News

  • Frustrated by former company, Clinton votes for effort to reopen hospital [NonDoc]
  • City scorecard for tracking inequality shows improvement in most areas [Tulsa World]
  • United Way calculates massive impact on Tulsa [Tulsa World]

Quote of the Day

“This wasn’t about legalizing marijuana, this was about keeping Oklahomans out of the criminal justice system.”

– Ryan Kiesel, a former state representative and advisor to the State Question 820 campaign, speaking on the need for legislation that addresses past convictions of low-level marijuana crimes. [Oklahoma Watch]

Number of the Day


Female Oklahomans on average earn $13,302 less annually than male Oklahomans. The national gender pay gap is $10,150. [U.S. Census Bureau]  

Policy Note

The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap: Over half a century after pay discrimination became illegal in the United States, a persistent pay gap between men and women continues to hurt our nation’s workers and our national economy. Women working full time in the U.S. are still paid just 83 cents to every dollar earned by men — and the consequences of this gap affect women throughout their lives. The pay gap even follows women into retirement: As a result of lower lifetime earnings, they receive less in Social Security and pensions. In terms of overall retirement income, women have only 70% of what men do. [AAUW]

Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day, and March is National Women’s History Month.

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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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