In The Know: Work remains on Tribal-state compacts | Focus on constructive bills, not ‘stupid,’ ‘hateful’ ones | 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

Oklahoma’s governor just signed three compacts with tribes. He has many more to go: Top Oklahoma lawmakers say new state-tribal compacts negotiated by the governor are welcome signs of progress. But many more agreements still need to be worked out by the end of the year, and it remains to be seen whether the Legislature will further intervene. [The Oklahoman]

  • New Chickasaw compacts’ broader implications unclear [Tulsa World]
  • Gov. Kevin Stitt, Chickasaw Nation finalize new tobacco, car tag compacts [Oklahoma Voice]

State Government News

New Ethics Commission director gets Guardian System extended for 2024 election: The Oklahoma Ethics Commission’s new director announced today that its Guardian System, a database used for reporting and tracking campaign financial information and lobbyist registrations, will be extended through February 2025. [NonDoc]

After a week of ‘hateful,’ ‘stupid’ bills, Oklahoma lawmaker angles for constructive bills: Oklahoma lawmakers have made headlines this week as a stack of proposed laws emerged on unusual topics, ranging from restricting “furries” in schools to labeling Hispanic gang members as terrorists. In reaction to what he called “some of the most hateful, disgusting, and honestly just stupid bills ever excreted,” one state representative took to social media to showcase bills he hopes to pass instead. [The Oklahoman]

More states like Oklahoma are moving to block foreign ownership of farmland in 2024: Although China is often the focus of political rhetoric on the issue, entities associated with the country hold less than 1% of farmland held by foreign entities, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. [KOSU]

Health News

Biden Administration denies complaint from Oklahoma woman who sought emergency abortion: An Oklahoma woman with a nonviable pregnancy was told by an Oklahoma City hospital last year to wait in the parking lot until her condition was severe enough to qualify for an abortion. Now, the Biden Administration is saying the hospital did not violate federal law. [KGOU]

Criminal Justice News

Michael Gaines case highlights “arbitrary” life without parole: Despite no DNA evidence tying him to the murder weapon, police allowed the other defendants to pin the murder on Gaines. Advocates say life without parole sentences are often arbitrary. [The Black Wall Street Times]

Glossip appeal going to U.S. Supreme Court; Oklahoma AG celebrates new chance for justice: The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will review the case of Richard Glossip to determine whether new evidence and the state of Oklahoma’s admission of error should save him from death row. [Tulsa World]

Police officer cleared by grand jury in fatal shooting of gunman: An Oklahoma City police officer who shot and killed an armed man in November will not face charges after the Oklahoma County grand jury determined there was not enough evidence to pursue a case. [The Oklahoman]

Education News

Critics say public universities are spending too much outside the classroom: Among public four-year universities, Oklahoma had the lowest per-student administrative cost at $1,970, survey found. [Oklahoma Voice]

TPS board members file lawsuit over superintendent hiring process: Two Tulsa Public Schools board members and a charter school parent have filed a lawsuit over the hiring of Ebony Johnson as the district’s superintendent. [Tulsa World]

Quote of the Day

“This work, done properly, strengthens the Chickasaw Nation and Oklahoma. We believe our new agreements are good examples of what can be done when we work together, and we are glad they will benefit all of us who call Oklahoma home.”

-Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby, in a statement about the newly signed compacts between the Tribe and the state regarding tobacco revenue and automobile licensing. [Tulsa World]

Number of the Day


Percentage of residential land in Oklahoma City that is zoned only for detached single-family homes by right. [OK Policy analysis]

Policy Note

Survey Finds Large Majorities Favor Policies to Enable More Housing: Most Americans support a roster of zoning policies intended to boost housing availability and affordability, according to a nationally representative survey conducted in September for The Pew Charitable Trusts. The findings from one of the largest surveys done on these issues shows significant but varying support for 10 policy initiatives to encourage more housing. At the high end, nearly 9 in 10 (86%) say they would back efforts to expedite permitting processes, while at the lower end, about half (49%) support the concept of allowing smaller lots, and homes to be built closer together. [Pew Research]

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David Hamby has more than 25 years of experience as an award-winning communicator, including overseeing communication programs for Oklahoma higher education institutions and other organizations. Before joining OK Policy, he was director of public relations for Rogers State University where he managed the school’s external communication programs and served as a member of the president’s leadership team. He served in a similar communications role for five years at the University of Tulsa. He also has worked in communications roles at Oklahoma State University and the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce in Arkansas. He joined OK Policy in October 2019.