Kevin Stitt

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Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt announced Thursday that he signed two new gaming compacts with the United Keetoowah Band Of Cherokee Indians and the Kialegee Tribal Town. The compacts were signed Wednesday and sent to the U.S. Department of Interior for approval.

Oklahoma is the first state to expand Medicaid during the pandemic. Voters narrowly passed a ballot that will expand health coverage for tens of thousands of low-income Oklahomans.

We talk with Politico reporter Rachel Roubein about what this decision means for the future of Oklahoma and other red states deciding on whether to scale up coverage.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Voters in Oklahoma narrowly approved a ballot measure Tuesday night to expand Medicaid to eligible adults who need health insurance. Oklahoma is now the 37th state to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act; coverage will begin a year from now, on July 1, 2021.

Based on the final unofficial count, the measure passed with just over a 6,000-vote margin — less than one full percentage point.

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Gov. Kevin Stitt encouraged Oklahomans to wear masks and to be careful socializing during the upcoming holiday weekend. But, he said overall, the state is doing a good job fighting COVID-19.

The governor’s warnings come as the State Department of Health reports the state's largest daily increase in COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic.

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Despite pending lawsuits in both state and federal court, two new gaming compacts will go into effect.

On Monday, the Department of Interior published the agreements in the Federal Register for compacts signed at the end of April between the state of Oklahoma and the Comanche Nation, and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe.

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Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt said during a press conference Thursday that he won’t consider shutting down the economy as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state.

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In a Wednesday press conference meant to tout Oklahoma’s dispersal of federal COVID-19 relief funds, Governor Kevin Stitt ended up answering questions about President Donald Trump’s Saturday rally in Tulsa and a recent uptick in coronavirus cases.

Despite the risks, the campaign rally and the state’s reopening are slated to continue as scheduled.

State Health Department interim commissioner Lance Frye declined to say if the rally was a good idea. But he said if there is an uptick in cases, Oklahoma will be ready to respond.

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School districts struggling financially will soon get some relief via federal CARES Act grants from Governor Kevin Stitt and the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

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By default, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the federal agency that governs agreements between states and tribes, has approved the gaming compacts Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt entered into in April with the Comanche Nation and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the U.S. Department allowing gaming compacts between Governor Stitt and two tribes to move forward through inaction, the governor and his wife, Sarah hold a panel on race relations and a new poll shows a majority of Oklahomans support the protesters.

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