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PM NewsBrief: Dec. 15, 2022

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022.

Oklahoma legislature limits governor’s authority to negotiate tribal gaming compacts

Under Stitt’s leadership, Oklahoma has had a tense relationship with tribal nations over gaming compacts.

Last month, a federal judge upheld that four gaming compacts aren’t legal and the U.S. Department of the Interior had the obligation to determine the validity of the contested agreements before allowing them to go into effect.

This has created a regulatory mess. House Charles McCall says lawmakers must ultimately take charge in gaming regulation moving forward.

“The legislature-only the legislature ultimately holds the authority. And we can grant authority to the executive branch, and we can revoke authority to the executive branch through our lawmaking process.”

It’s unclear what form a bill might take to strip Stitt’s bargaining powers for compacts. But it will likely be a topic of discussion when lawmakers reconvene in February.

2SLGBTQ+ advocate reflects on Respect for Marriage Act passage

One Oklahoma 2SLGBTQ+ advocate was present at the signage of the Respect for Marriage Act in Washington D.C. earlier this week.

Nicole McAfee is the executive director of Freedom Oklahoma, a local group that advocates for the 2SLGBTQ+ community. They say there was a sense of joy during the signing.

“To be on the ground in Washington, DC, with queer people from around the country... And to just see queer love affirmed and celebrated is really beautiful and exciting,” said McAfee.

Although the Respect for Marriage Act guarantees every state in the nation must recognize same sex and interracial marriages - it does not guarantee the right to marry.

“Our hope is that this passage does nothing but affirm protections, and that it's not something that we ever have to engage.”

But McAfee says if there was ever a challenge to these protections that Freedom Oklahoma would advocate and make sure people are aware of their rights and are engaged with groups who do more direct litigation or representation.

Holiday shipping deadlines quickly approaching

The deadline to guarantee a package before Christmas is quickly approaching.

The United States Postal Service says it’s ready to handle the influx of mail over the coming week. Oklahoma City USPS officials say the distribution center in the metro has the ability to process nearly 280,000 packages a day. The postal service says Saturday, Dec. 17 is the last day for delivery via ground service. For priority mail, the deadline is Monday, Dec. 19.

FedEx’s deadline has already passed, but you can use the company’s premium options to guarantee delivery by Christmas.

UPS encourages people to use its website to calculate the deadline as ship times vary depending on the route.
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