All articles by Kate Richey

In The Know: State Rep. Kern files handful of anti-gay proposals

by | January 23rd, 2015 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

State Rep. Sally Kern filed three anti-gay bills, including one to allow businesses to refuse service “to any lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person, group or association.” A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Oklahoma women earn some of the lowest wages in the country.

The widow of a man killed by three Moore police officers and two off-duty game wardens in the parking lot of a movie theater filed a lawsuit alleging unreasonable force; Rodriguez had not committed any crime, didn’t attempt to resist or evade arrest and didn’t have a criminal record.

A proposal to ban oil and natural gas drilling in some parts of Stillwater was rejected by the city council. Gov. Mary Fallin announced Oklahoma’s new secretary of education and workforce development.

The OK Policy Blog discusses Governor Fallin’s goal of boosting educational attainment – and President Obama’s new plan to make that happen. The Number of the Day is the percentage of women incarcerated in Oklahoma who ran away from home before age 18. In today’s Policy Note, PolicyLink published new research to inform the debate about racial equity and the future of the American economy. 

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In The Know: State Rep. proposes barring marriage licenses for same-sex couples

by | January 22nd, 2015 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today you should know that State Rep. Todd Russ proposes barring court clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman says Oklahoma teachers are underpaid.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt is accused of harassment and misconduct in a suit filed by the Humane Society, alleging a campaign of harassment of the organization at the behest of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. Authorities are quietly scrutinizing wells in earthquake-prone parts of the state.

Sen. Jim Inhofe supports an amendment declaring that climate change is real and not a hoax, but maintains that, “the hoax is that there are some people who are so arrogant to think they are so powerful they can change climate.” The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs began presenting its case against a Sequoyah County doctor who it says was overprescribing controlled substances at his clinics. 

The OK Policy Blog writes about the three biggest barriers that block Oklahomans with a felony record from putting their lives back together. The Number of the Day is the percentage of children receiving the full series of childhood vaccinations in Oklahoma. In today’s Policy Note, Howard University’s Center on Race and Wealth reports on how predatory lenders drain income and wealth from economically vulnerable communities.

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New & Improved: Detailed, interactive county-level data tables

by | January 13th, 2015 | Posted in Blog | Comments (1)

INSURANCEPICToday Oklahoma Policy Institute published detailed county-level tables on 12 key social and economic indicators, now including time series data. The new tables on our State & County Data resource page cover topics such as:

  • Population and income
  • Poverty and free school lunch
  • Employment in state and local government
  • Labor force participation and unemployment
  • Insurance, disability, obesity and smoking

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In The Know: Lower oil prices predicted to fuel hiring nationally

by | January 9th, 2015 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today you should know that analysts predict the U.S. economy will add 300,000 more jobs this year if oil stays near its current price than if the price had remained at its June level. Oil producers are bailing out of long-term contracts for drilling rigs as crude prices fall.

Organizers of an education rally planned for March 30th say they’re expecting 50,000 people to turn up at the Capitol. Oklahoma State Rep. John Bennett renewed his attacks on Oklahoma Muslims and questioned the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ sincerity in condemning the recent Paris attack.

The U.S. Geological Survey says Oklahoma had more earthquakes last year than in the past 30 years. Representatives from Iowa Pacific shared their plan for passenger rail between Tulsa and Oklahoma City with Tulsa city councilors.

In today’s Policy Note, a new analysis from Pew Research Center finds that financially insecure Americans are far less likely to vote or be politically engaged in other ways. The Number of the Day is the number of Oklahomans who selected plans on Healthcare.gov during the open enrollment period in 2014.

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The ‘work requirement’ that wasn’t

by | December 17th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, Poverty, Poverty & Opportunity | Comments (1)

Welfare as it exists in the minds of many Americans bears little resemblance to welfare as it exists in reality. The nation’s ‘welfare’ cash assistance program was functionally dismantled in the mid-1990s, but especially in Oklahoma, leaders still lean heavily on the specter of nanny state budget bloat and the work-shy freeloader. Even some twenty years after welfare was gutted, most voters either don’t know that the program was essentially eliminated or they have long since forgotten. This has made it easy for ambitious politicians to campaign on an ‘anti-welfare’ agenda while their actual proposals receive little scrutiny.

STATE OF THE STATEOklahoma legislators recently targeted a nutrition assistance program called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), formerly food stamps, citing a disdain for ‘welfare’ and a commitment to the value of hard work. Oklahoma’s former House Speaker T.W. Shannon introduced HB 1909 in 2013 with a familiar refrain:

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Upcoming Event: ‘Closing the gap’ & Alliance for Economic Inclusion

by | December 2nd, 2014 | Posted in Upcoming Events | Comments (1)

Photo_Kate RicheyThe Alliance for Economic Inclusion for Northeastern Oklahoma (“NEOK AEI”) will host their quarterly meeting this Thursday, December 4th. Kate Richey, who works for Oklahoma Policy Institute as project coordinator for Oklahoma Assets Network will present her research, ‘Closing the Opportunity Gap: Building Equity in Oklahoma.‘ This research outlines an equity agenda for Oklahoma’s future, one that acknowledges the racial wealth gap and income inequality as products of our collective history, culture, and public policies:

Oklahoma’s prosperity depends on the financial success and economic achievement of the people who call it home. For a state that has always been rich in natural resources and entrepreneurial spirit, the future continues to look bright. Yet we’ve also inherited a legacy of discrimination that historically impeded economic opportunity for people of color and created a wealth deficit that persists today. Left unaddressed, this wealth deficit threatens Oklahoma’s ability to achieve shared prosperity into the
future.

aeiThe NEOK AEI partnership seeks to improve the financial capability of low- to moderate-income consumers and is comprised of community based organizations, financial institutions, foundations, employers, faith-based organizations, tribal, state and local governmental agencies, bank regulators, and public officials. The NEOK AEI, launched in October 2012, has over 150 members representing 97 organizations. 

The meeting is free and open to the public and will be held from 6:00 to 8:00pm at 221 E Mathew B Brady St in Tulsa Oklahoma.

Better know Oklahoma with CountySTATs 2014

by | November 18th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy | Comments (2)

Oklahoma Policy Institute is pleased to release a new and improved tool for learning about Oklahoma’s counties and residents. CountySTATS 2014 covers demographics, the economy, education, and health. The factsheets display statistics for each of the state’s 77 counties, incorporating:

  •  Key local statistics at-a-glance
  • Complicated information with colorful graphics 
  • Tools for quick comparisons along a range of indicators

Find out the percentage of residents who rely on social security disability or which industries employ the most people. Learn how a county’s overall health compares to the rest of the state. The colorful, two-page factsheets feature over 20 key indicators to provide a snapshot of your county.

 

What a profitable Postal Service looks like (Part Two)

by | November 11th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, Poverty & Opportunity | Comments (0)
Postal Trucks

Photo by Ron Doke.

We already know from Part One in this series that the United States Postal Service (USPS) has a long history and excellent record of administering financial services, which up until now has been limited to savings products. But a new report from the Office of the Inspector General at USPS makes a convincing argument that your local post office is actually well-suited to offer a suite of financial products and services, not just savings bonds and accounts.

Table 1 below details the potential services that are feasible using existing postal service infrastructure, but it is not exhaustive. In addition to transactional services like bill payment and check cashing, USPS could partner with banks and credit unions to offer affordable credit options, like small dollar alternatives to payday loans.

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In The Know: Candidates spar over the direction of public schools

by | October 29th, 2014 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

 State superintendent candidates John Cox and Joy Hofmeister debated the direction of public schools during a televised debate. Under new guidance from the Health Dept., Oklahoma will not require a blanket quarantine for all health-care workers who visited West Africa.

The House Utility and Environmental Regulation Committee held an interim study on the link between fracking and earthquakes in Oklahoma. The Oklahoman Editorial Board argued that lawmakers can’t be ‘tough on crime’ if they aren’t fully funding corrections.

Oklahoma City and Tulsa rank among the most-affordable big cities in the United States according to Kiplinger. A guest post on the OK Policy Blog discussed a new effort to bring millennial voters to the polls and millennial voices to the policy-making table.

In today’s Policy Note, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities demonstrated the long-term economic growth potential for states who would choose to spend less in maintaining extremely high prison populations and spent more instead on public education. The Number of the Day is how many Oklahomans with physical or mental disabilities obtained gainful employment through services provided by the Department of Rehabilitation Service.

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In The Know: Superintendent candidates square off in debate

by | October 28th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today you should know that the state’s superintendent candidates squared off in a public debate. Applications to vote by mail with an absentee ballot in Oklahoma can be requested until 5 p.m. Wednesday and the polls will be open for early voting this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The Cherokee Nation celebrated the construction of a $5 million treatment center for teens struggling with substance abuse. Amid predictions of a steep drop in oil prices, industry leaders are reassuring investors that even at much lower prices they can still return ample profits. Family Builders operates one of several domestic violence intervention programs, which provide court-ordered therapy and rehabilitation to perpetrators of abuse.

OK Policy posted the next in its series on ‘broken democracy’, soliciting ideas from citizen leaders to address lackluster voter participation in local elections. U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe says he’s spending “almost every waking moment” campaigning for other people and yesterday was in Lithuania for the opening of a port facility to handle liquefied natural gas.

In today’s Policy Note, the Legal Action Center highlights the case of a three year old toddler put into official immigration court proceedings on his own, without legal representation to help him explain to the court why he should be granted asylum and not be deported. The Number of the Day is the percentage of Oklahomans who acknowledge that the climate is changing. 

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