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AM NewsBrief: Dec. 8, 2023

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Friday, Dec. 8, 2023.

Stitt, Lawmakers Face Off In Court Over Tribal Compacts

Oklahoma's Supreme Court will soon determine if it has jurisdiction to determine the fate of tribal nation tobacco and car tag compacts.

Those compacts were passed by the legislature, vetoed by Go.Kevin Stitt then overridden by lawmakers.

Stitt is suing the legislature for overriding him in the state supreme court. Justices heard arguments on the case Thursday.

Stitt attorney Trevor Pemberton says lawmakers have overstepped.

"This case is about the legislature having done the impermissible. It encroached into the executive's clearly defined lane and it used unlawful process to do so," said Pemberton

Attorney General Gentner Drummond is arguing for the legislature. He says the compacts should stand and the court should not hear the case.

"The governor can not identify any injury to his office because by his own words, he continues to negotiate with the tribes on compacts," Drummond said.

The justices will ultimately decide if they should hear the case. If they do, a ruling will likely come sometime next year.

OKC Mayor, Thunder Rally At County Election Board

Early voting began Thursday on whether Oklahoma City should build an arena to replace the Paycom Center. Yesterday, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt and the OKC Thunder rallied in front of the Oklahoma County Election Board.

Holt made his final push advocating for the new arena. He says if the measure doesn’t pass, Oklahoma City could lose its status as a big league city. The mayor referenced the economic impact the NBA team has brought to the city.

“Just use your eyes, you know. Anyone who has lived here for the last 20 years knows the economic explosion we’ve experienced. We need to make a decision as to what’s best for our city, and I think we all know what that is," Holt said in an interview with KOCO-TV.

The proposed arena is estimated to cost at least $900 million dollars, largely funded through a six-year penny sales tax that would start in 2028.

Thunder ownership is pledging to chip in $50 million. Opponents say ownership should contribute more to the price tag.

Early voting continues Friday from 8am to 6pm. Election next day is next Tuesday, Dec. 12.

Proposed Rules For Public School Libraries

State Superintendent Ryan Walters is taking aim at library standards for Oklahoma public schools.

He wants to eliminate all references to the long-held American Library Association guidelines.

Walters calls the ALA “activist, left-wing” and “taxpayer-funded, woke indoctrination,” that he says fights to bring pornography to school libraries and attacks parents who disagree.

The current system from the ALA focuses on 4 major areas:

1. Inquire, think critically and gain knowledge;

2. Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge;

3. Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society; and

4. Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.

The new system would be tiered by grade-level and focuses SOLELY on skills, such as the inquiry process and incorporating AI.

The Oklahoma chapter of the ALA says it fully supports the ALA’s values in student learning, but it is reviewing the proposal and looks forward to working with officials.

Oklahomans have until January 17 to submit public comments, which can be done on sde.ok.gov/newstandards.

Proposed rules must pass through the legislature to be enacted, but that can be circumvented if the governor issues an executive order.

Six Arrested Following Allegations Of Abuse Greer Center

Six people have been arrested following allegations of abuse at a facility for people with developmental disabilities in Enid.

In a press conference, DHS shared new information about alleged abuse at the Greer Center in Enid.

Allegations stemming back from April of last year of patients being beaten and waterboarded by staff have led to the arrests of six former Greer Center employees as well as the termination of eight staff members, the suspension of four more staff members, and the resignation of the facility administrator.

Fifty of the Greer Center’s 52 beds remain filled, but five patients have asked to be moved to a different facility.

Additionally, The Frontier reports a former employee of the Greer Center claims some of her former coworkers retaliated against her after reporting the abuse allegations by hanging flyers with her photo and phone number claiming she was available for sexual encounters around Enid.

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