In The Know: What’s next for $698M economic incentive | Study: OK ranks low for business, quality of life | Inflation relief measures

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

Oklahoma lawmakers should get serious about addressing inflation: Lawmakers are right that high inflation represents a serious threat to low- and middle-income Oklahomans’ well-being, but they should ensure that any tax relief is timely enough to meet the present challenge and targeted to the Oklahomans who most need the help. By pursuing across-the-board, possibly permanent tax cuts, legislators risk irreparably damaging our state’s ability to fund public services while failing to provide the relief that Oklahomans need now. [Josie Phillips and Paul Shinn / OK Policy]

Oklahoma News

Oklahoma earmarked $698M in incentives for Panasonic deal. What’s next for that money?: Republican legislative leaders appear to have no plans to repurpose $698 million that was set aside to entice Panasonic to build a multibillion electric vehicle battery factory in Oklahoma. [The Oklahoman]

  • Unused economic incentive funds should go for inflation relief, Oklahoma House Democrats say [Tulsa World

State laws on abortion, transgender issues have companies balking on coming to Oklahoma, development official says: Some businesses are starting to think twice about relocating to Oklahoma — or expanding existing operations within the state — because of anti-abortion and anti-transgender legislation that has come out of the state Capitol, a Tulsa Regional Chamber official said Wednesday. [Tulsa World

CNBC: Oklahoma one of 3 worst states to live, also ranks low for business: Oklahoma is one of the three worst states to live in, and also not a stellar state for business, according to CNBC studies. CNBC looked at factors ranging from crime rates to environmental quality to health care, as well as availability of childcare and inclusiveness of state laws in areas such as protections against discrimination and voting rights. [KFOR

Federal Government News

Oklahoma Sen. Lankford blocks bill guaranteeing interstate travel for abortion: U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., maintained his hard line against abortion rights Thursday by blocking unanimous consent on Democratic legislation guaranteeing the right to interstate travel for the procedure. [Tulsa World]

Tribal Nations News

A Muscogee citizen appealed her Oklahoma taxes after McGirt. Here’s where the case stands: The Oklahoma Tax commission will hear arguments next month over the state’s right to tax a Muscogee Nation citizen who works for her tribe and lives on its eastern Oklahoma reservation. [The Oklahoman

Criminal Justice News

Oklahoma County to pay $1.1M to settle lawsuit over 2017 death of jail inmate: Oklahoma County is paying $1.1 million to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit over the 2017 death of a jail inmate. Charlton Cash Chrisman, 40, of Yukon, died on April 19, 2017, after two detention officers shot pepper balls at him at close range as many as 16 times. [The Oklahoman

Economic Opportunity

Oklahoma population grew even with historic increase of COVID-19 deaths: Record-level in-migration to Oklahoma from other states helped offset the number of Oklahomans who died from COVID-19 in 2021 and maintain workforce levels, according to a recent economist’s report. [The Journal Record

Economy & Business News

First winter storm bonds are set, interest rates higher than expected: Interest rates on bonds to cover winter storm costs will be twice what was expected, according to the first round of bonds issued for one of four utility companies. [The Oklahoman

A new NBA arena in Oklahoma City? Thunder, city officials beginning discussions: The Oklahoma City Thunder is putting its Thunder Alley development on hold and Mayor David Holt wants to pause $70 million in MAPS 4 upgrades as the two sides begin discussions on whether to build a new NBA arena. [The Oklahoman]

Data shows strong employment across state, nation: Initial claims for unemployment benefits ticked up in Oklahoma in the week before Independence Day, but four-week moving averages of initial claims and continuing claims fell, according to a report released Thursday by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. [The Journal Record

Education News

School board meeting sees cooperation, passage of contested items: After a contentious session Monday night, the board approved funding for a number of disputed items, including a Chinese language program at Booker T. Washington High School. [Public Radio Tulsa

Epic Charter School: Merger creates new name for Oklahoma’s biggest school system: Epic’s school board voted unanimously to merge Epic One-on-One, an online-only learning platform, with Epic Blended Charter, which incorporates physical learning sites in Tulsa and Oklahoma counties. [The Oklahoman] Epic Charter School board members approved a payment to settle litigation with former Sen. Ron Sharp (R-Shawnee) during their first meeting as a consolidated school district Wednesday night. [The Norman Transcript

Health Care News

Tulsa abortion clinic plans a move to Illinois amid bans in Oklahoma: A Tulsa abortion clinic is relocating to Illinois in the wake of stringent abortion bans in Oklahoma and the fall of Roe v. Wade. The Tulsa Women’s Clinic, which has a sister clinic in San Antonio, will be moving to Carbondale, in southern Illinois. The San Antonio clinic is moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico. [The Oklahoman

Oklahoma Local News

Edmond water projects to provide independence from OKC, sustain long-term growth: City of Edmond contractors are constructing a number of water projects around the city that officials believe will sustain the city’s expanding water needs as the city grows over the next 50 to 100 years. [NonDoc

Rising temperatures leave Oklahoma City area homeless in need of refuge, hydration: Temperatures across the Oklahoma City metro are once again expected to reach triple-digit highs this week, climbing to 100 degrees or higher for the next several days, amplifying the struggle of the city’s unsheltered to stay cool and hydrated. [The Oklahoman]

General News

  • Oklahoma’s Jim Thorpe reinstated as sole winner for 1912 Olympic golds [The Oklahoman

Quote of the Day

“When we come out with things like abortion bills or transgender laws, … we’re starting to see an impact on whether or not we can meet with companies and whether or not they want to reconsider if we have an active project to relocate here, as well. So it has been impacting us.”

-Arthur Jackson, senior vice president of economic development for the Tulsa Regional Chamber, addressing how business attraction and retention is impacted by social issues and recent legislation. [Tulsa World

Number of the Day


Oklahoma’s rank for the Life, Health, and Inclusion category in CNBC’s “America’s Top States for Business 2022” survey. Only Texas and Arizona were ranked lower. [CNBC

Policy Note

CNBC’s Top States for Business: To rank America’s Top States for Business in 2022, CNBC scored all 50 states on 88 metrics in 10 broad categories of competitiveness. Each category is weighted based on how frequently states use them as a selling point in economic development marketing materials. That way, our study ranks the states based on the attributes they use to sell themselves. We developed our criteria and metrics in consultation with a diverse array of business and policy experts, and the states. Our study is not an opinion survey. We use data from a variety of sources to measure the states’ performance. Under our methodology, states can earn a maximum of 2,500 points. The states with the most are America’s Top States for Business. [CNBC’s Top States for Business] | [10 best states to live] | [10 worst states to live] | [Oklahoma’s Scorecard]

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Kristin Wells served as the Communications and Operations Fellow for OK Policy from October 2021 to July 2022. She previously worked as a digital content producer for News On 6. A native Kansas Citian, Kristin graduated with a B.A. in Media Studies and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Tulsa in 2020. While there, she was accepted into the Global Scholars program, spurring her interests in policy, social movements, global identities, and the importance of education and advocacy. She hopes to use her skills to continue to learn and create a more equitable future for Oklahomans. An avid sports fan, Kristin lives in Tulsa with her rescue dog and is passionate about college basketball, documentaries, and coffee.

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