Introducing our new class of Research Fellows and interns

by | September 23rd, 2014 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy | Comments (1)

graduation-cap-10Oklahoma Policy Institute is very pleased to announce the selection of four Oklahoma graduate students as our second class of OK Policy Research Fellows.

The 2014-15 Research Fellows are all distinguished by a combination of strong research interests and an active personal commitment to improving the well-being of disadvantaged Oklahomans:

continue reading Introducing our new class of Research Fellows and interns

The Weekly Wonk September 7, 2014

by | September 7th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy | Comments (0)

the_weekly_wonkThe Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage. Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The KnowClick here to subscribe to In The Know. Because The Weekly Wonk was on break for the holiday weekend, this edition contains links from the past two weeks.

On the OK Policy Blog, we made the case for ending runoff elections. Executive Director David Blatt reiterated the point in his Journal Record column this week. A post in our Neglected Oklahoma series examined the impact of the school-to-prison pipeline, and a blog post by intern Tyler Parette called for long-term solutions for homelessness in Oklahoma. 

A guest blog post argued that with Oklahoma slashing funding for regulation of horse races, it may not be long before we see a doping or race-fixing scandal. Policy Director Gene Perry and former inner-city teacher John Thompson reviewed Amanda Ripley’s book, “The Smartest Kids in the World: and How They Got That Way.”

Last week’s OK PolicyCast featured discussion of “The Smartest Kids in the World,” as well as the loss of Oklahoma’s No Child Left Behind Waiver and new details on the botched execution. This week, the OK PolicyCast examines a pair of lawsuits that could dramatically change tax politics in Oklahoma, one state lawmaker’s comments that have upset Oklahoma Muslims, and more. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunesStitcher, or RSS.

In his Journal Record column last week, Blatt discussed misperceptions about welfare in Oklahoma. Blatt spoke Thursday night at a panel on segregation in Tulsa’s public schools, where he noted that economic segregation has supplanted its racial predecessor. In our editorial of the week, The Oklahoman’s Editorial Board calls for greater scrutiny in issuing tax credits. We’ve written about tax credit reform before. 

Quote of the week:

“We made the point that if we don’t do anything about this problem in some manner, shape or form there will be cities that will not be able to afford a police department or a fire department.”

- Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett, who is launching a campaign with Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett to get the state legislature to allow cities to diversify their source of revenue. Oklahoma municipalities are currently funded almost entirely by sales tax (Source: http://bit.ly/1uCGJlS).

See previous Quotes of the Day here.

Numbers of the day:

  • $5,168 – Oklahomans’ per capita spending on energy in 2012, 12th highest in the nation.
  • 11.5% – Percentage of people with diabetes in Oklahoma. The national average is 9.7%.
  • $6.3 million – Direct spending by out-of-state and international travelers in Oklahoma in 2010.
  • 2049 – Year at which the Garber-Wellington aquifer, which supplies water to Oklahoma City, Moore, Norman, Sherman, and other towns, will be 50 percent depleted if usage continues at current rates.
  • 1st – Oklahoma’s ranking nationwide for the rate of African-Americans killed by law enforcement, 1999-2011.
  • $13.1 million – Earthquake insurance premiums paid by Oklahomans in 2013, almost triple the $4.8 million paid by Oklahomans in 2009.
  • -4.1% – Drop in Oklahoma’s voter registration rate, from 81.1% 2008 to 77.0% 2012.
  • 7.6% – How much real tax revenue in Oklahoma remains below the pre-recession peak.

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

What we’re reading:

Two great OK Policy opportunities for Oklahoma college students

by | August 12th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy | Comments (0)

OfficeDoor

OK Policy is pleased to announced two exciting opportunities for Oklahoma college students. We are currently accepting applications for our fall internship and for our 2014-2015 research fellowship. Students working with OK Policy have a wide range of opportunities to conduct research, write blog posts, and contribute to OK Policy projects and events. We invite all interested candidates to apply.

continue reading Two great OK Policy opportunities for Oklahoma college students

Upcoming Event: The Legacy of Gov. Henry Bellmon

BellmonHLOklahoma Policy Institute will honor Governor Henry Bellmon with the 2014 Good Sense/Good Cents Award, followed by a panel discussion on the Bellmon legacy, on Monday August 4th from 1:00 – 3:00 pm at the Lorton Performance Center on the University of Tulsa Campus. The events are free and open to the public.

The Good Sense/Good Cents award will be presented to Gov. Bellmon’s daughters Ann Denney and Pat Hoerth by Tulsa Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett Jr., whose father, Dewey F. Bartlett Sr., succeeded Henry Bellmon as Governor and served concurrently with him in the United States Senate. The  annual award honors political leaders whose political service is distinguished by a commitment to respectful political dialogue, sound fiscal stewardship, and concern for the less fortunate. The inaugural recipients of the award in 2013 were Mayors Robert LaFortune of Tulsa and Melvin Moran of Seminole.

continue reading Upcoming Event: The Legacy of Gov. Henry Bellmon

Banker, education leader join OK Policy Board

by | June 5th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy | Comments (0)

Oklahoma Policy Institute is pleased to announce that NBC Oklahoma Chairman Ken Fergeson and Edmond Public School Superintendent David Goin have joined the organization’s Board of Directors.

“We are delighted to be adding two outstanding individuals, Ken Fergeson and David Goin, who have made great contributions to the state through their professional careers and community service,” said Vince LoVoi, OK Policy’s Board Chair. “David and Ken will add to our tradition of building a strong board that reflects the political, geographic, and professional diversity of our state.”

continue reading Banker, education leader join OK Policy Board

Attention, college students: OK Policy summer internship and Summer Policy Institute

by | April 21st, 2014 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy | Comments (0)

Logo-SquareCalling all college students! This summer, we are pleased to offer two exciting opportunities for undergraduates and graduate students interested in Oklahoma public policy. We are accepting applications for our summer internship, as well as for our Summer Policy Institute, a three-day intensive workshop featuring speakers and panels on a wide range of state policy issues.

Summer Internship

OK Policy is looking for students for a paid part-time or full-time internship during the summer of 2014. Interns will be expected to work between 15 and 40 hours per week, depending on their schedules and availability. The position will be based primarily in our Tulsa office, with occasional opportunities to work from home or school.

continue reading Attention, college students: OK Policy summer internship and Summer Policy Institute

Calling all college students! Apply for the 2014 Summer Policy Institute (SPI)

by | April 4th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy | Comments (0)

Oklahoma Policy Institute is excited to announce our second annual Summer Policy Institute (SPI) from August 3-6, 2014.

The SPI brings together over 50 highly-qualified undergraduate and graduate students for an exciting and in-depth learning experience. SPI will offer participants a unique opportunity to become better informed about vital Oklahoma policy issues, network with fellow students and leaders in the policy process, and prepare for their future studies and work in public policy-related fields.

The Institute is hosted and led by the staff of OK Policy and involves leading policy experts from government, academia and community organizations throughout Oklahoma. Keynote presentations and panel discussions will provide a chance to hear from Oklahoma’s top practitioners and observers on:

    • Budget and Taxes
    • Campaigns and Elections
    • Reporting on State Government
    • Healthcare
    • Poverty & Opportunity
    • Criminal Justice
    • Race & Gender
    • Energy & Environment
    • Careers in Public Policy
    • Common & Higher Education

For more information about the Summer Policy Institute, go to http://okpolicy.org/summer-policy-institute. The application deadline is May 30th, 2014.

Click here to apply for the 2014 Summer Policy Institute (SPI)

Please share this announcement with any students, classmates, or other interested parties.

Weekly Wonk March 23, 2014

by | March 23rd, 2014 | Posted in OK Policy | Comments (0)

the_weekly_wonkThe Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage. Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know. Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

This week OK Policy released the results of a new poll that shows support for cutting Oklahoma’s personal income tax has dropped significantly among voters, and less than half now support a plan to reduce the state’s top tax rate.  The poll was covered on Public Radio Tulsa and discussed by The Norman Transcript.

The OK Policy Blog shared three trends to watch from Oklahoma’s Annual Report — Oklahoma’s reliance on federal funds has dropped significantly since 2011, the size of state government continues to shrink, and education spending is down $50 million since 2012 and $610 million from 2009.  

Ryan Gentzler wrote a guest post about efforts by lawmakers to stop the development of wind energy in Eastern Oklahoma.  We shared a graph showing that taxation does not deter drilling for oil and natural gas – in fact the biggest growth in horizontal drilling occurred in the state with the highest effective tax rate.  

David Blatt’s Journal Record column discussed how lawmakers’ proposal to move new state employees to a 401(k) style retirement plan could endanger existing pensions and increase the state’s unfunded liabilities.

continue reading Weekly Wonk March 23, 2014

Introducing our new bill tracking tool

by | February 11th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, Capitol Matters, OK Policy | Comments (0)

capitol

Today we launched a new resource designed to help you keep an eye on what’s happening with specific bills in the Legislature. The Oklahoma Legislation Tracker identifies key pieces of legislation in several categories. 

With each bill, we have provided a description of the proposed law and why it matters. You’ll also find the latest actions, co-sponsors, and links to additional resources and news updates. We will add bills to the tracker as the session continues, as well as continue to update news and resources about important bills.

The bill tracker is powered by software originally developed by MinnPost, a non-profit online newspaper in Minnesota. We customized it for OK Policy using the open source code available here. The bill information comes from the Oklahoma Legislature via the Open States API by the Sunlight Foundation. It uses icons from The Noun Project.

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Weekly Wonk January 26, 2014

by | January 26th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy | Comments (0)

the_weekly_wonkThe Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage. Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know. Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

This week, we discussed misconceptions about prescription drug abuse in Oklahoma, which has overtaken car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death.  OK Policy legislative liaison Damario Solomon-Simmons explored how the legacy of Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher lives on today,  sixty-six years after she integrated the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

David Blatt’s Journal Record column revealed that 25 years after Oklahoma committed to “never be last again” in education, we’ve fallen back to near last.  The OK Policy Blog posted an upcoming lecture on ‘dual status’ youth, or youth who have contact with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, sponsored by OKDHS.  

Research fellow Breanca Thomas blogged about the most effective strategies for tackling diabetes, one of Oklahoma’s most serious health epidemics.  Our work was cited in an Oklahoma Watch article on the state’s ongoing debate over oil and gas subsidies.  Excerpts from our statewide budget summit were included in a Public Radio Tulsa piece.

continue reading Weekly Wonk January 26, 2014

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