Skip to Content

Save the Date: Our 2019 State Budget Summit is January 24, 2019. Tickets will go on sale Monday, December 10th. 

All articles by Jessica Vazquez

In The Know: Big turnover in Legislature; Stitt’s campaign promises; transition to Governor Stitt begins…

by | November 12th, 2018 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

In The News

With big turnover in Legislature, many legislators predict productive session: It’s been a year of change for Oklahoma state government. An apparent shift in the Republican Party. Rare enthusiasm among Democrats. Tax increases achieving the previously thought unattainable three-fourths majorities in both the House and the Senate. A new governor elected. And a whole bunch of new legislators. [Tulsa World]

A checklist of campaign promises: Can Stitt fulfill them? Gov.-elect Kevin Stitt ran on a platform of bringing an outsider’s perspective to Oklahoma government and said he will draw on his business background to push the state into top 10 rankings for education, job growth and other areas. But Stitt will need allies in the Legislature and at key state agencies to make good on those promises. [Oklahoma Watch]

Transition to governor for Kevin Stitt began immediately after election ended: Immediately after the election was called Tuesday night, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol began providing security for Governor-elect Kevin Stitt and his family.Stitt and his family will have a security detail for as long as he is in the governor’s office, as did the governors who served before him.It was the first noticeable indication of Stitt’s new reality. [Tulsa World]

continue reading In The Know: Big turnover in Legislature; Stitt’s campaign promises; transition to Governor Stitt begins…

The Weekly Wonk: Medicaid expansion helps rural families; #CountAllKids in 2020 Census; election takeaways; and more…

by | November 11th, 2018 | Posted in Weekly Wonk | Comments (0)

What’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk shares our most recent publications and other resources to help you stay informed about Oklahoma. 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 from OK Policy

This week, Policy Director Carly Putnam explained how rural families could greatly benefit from expanding Medicaid. Strategy and Communications Director Gene Perry noted that more work must be done to ensure all Oklahoman children are counted in the 2020 census. In his Journal Record column, Executive Director David Blatt shared some takeaways from last Tuesday’s elections. Before the election, Steve Lewis previewed how education and health care frustration were pushing against political gravity in Oklahoma.

OK Policy in the News

The New Yorker spoke with Blatt about the spirit of the teacher walkout and its impact on election results in Oklahoma. Blatt also spoke with NewsOn6 regarding Oklahoma’s high voter turnout during Tuesday’s midterm elections, which was a huge increase from 2014 and 2010. Governing quoted Perry on the impact of State Question 801 on school administrators and boards if it had passed. KOSU cited OK Policy data in an article follow a former inmate’s journey to vote again.

continue reading The Weekly Wonk: Medicaid expansion helps rural families; #CountAllKids in 2020 Census; election takeaways; and more…

In The Know: A ‘D’ for preterm birth rates; more women legislators in 2019; educator caucus to keep pushing for funding…

by | November 9th, 2018 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

In The News

March of Dimes gives Oklahoma a “D” for preterm birth rates: March of Dimes recently gave Oklahoma a grade of “D” on its annual Premature Birth Report Card. Oklahoma’s preterm birth rate in 2017 rose from 10.6 to 11.1 percent and the state remained at a “D” grade, according to the Nov. 1 report. “For the third year in a row, more U.S. babies were born too soon with serious risks to their health,” according to the March of Dimes press release. [Enid News & Eagle]

Oklahoma’s Legislature Will Have More Women in 2019: There won’t be any major partisan shifts in the makeup of the Oklahoma legislature following the 2018 election. But, the gender balance has changed–more women were elected to the Oklahoma House and Senate on Tuesday. Women will make up roughly 21 percent of the state legislature in 2019, an increase from about 14 percent. [KGOU]

‘Educator Caucus’ falls short of election goals, but vows to keep pushing for more school funding: It’s about 9 p.m. in Coweta, a rural town south east of Tulsa. The election results are still trickling in as Cyndi Ralston, a second-grade teacher -turned Democratic political candidate, steps on to the stage in the small event space where she’s having her watch party. [StateImpact Oklahoma] Dozens of teachers were elected to state office. Many more fell short. [Education Week]

continue reading In The Know: A ‘D’ for preterm birth rates; more women legislators in 2019; educator caucus to keep pushing for funding…

In The Know: Clemency for 22 imprisoned for drug possession; how Oklahoma voted by precinct; 16 educators elected…

by | November 8th, 2018 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

In The News

Board recommends clemency for 22 drug possession offenders: Nearly two dozen offenders were recommended for clemency Wednesday, the first wave of hopefuls for early release from lengthy felony prison sentences for simple drug possession two years after voters approved turning that crime into a misdemeanor. State Question 780 isn’t retroactive, so Project Commutation sought deserving prisoners who were considered ideal candidates to have their sentences drastically shortened in line with the sentencing reform measure. [Tulsa World] On the most recent OKPolicyCast, we spoke with Colleen McCarty about the efforts of Project Commutation.

How Oklahoma voted: Precinct-level interactive maps: Republicans continued their dominance of Oklahoma government Tuesday by winning all nine statewide offices on the ballot and four of the five congressional seats. These interactive maps show county- and precinct-level results in four top statewide offices, all five congressional races and the five state questions. [Oklahoma Watch] In Tulsa County, about 65 percent of registered voters cast a ballot. [News On 6]

16 Oklahoma educators elected to office on Tuesday: Oklahoma teachers, fired up over last spring’s state budget battle and massive teacher walkout, put dozens of candidates on the ballot for Tuesday’s midterm election. The Oklahoma Education Association said that 16 members of its education caucus — current or former educators, administrators and support staff — were elected to the state House and Senate. [CNN] Midterms test the durability of the teacher uprising. [Washington Post] More teachers in state legislature than ever before, OEA says. [New On 6]

continue reading In The Know: Clemency for 22 imprisoned for drug possession; how Oklahoma voted by precinct; 16 educators elected…

In The Know: Stitt wins governorship; Horn unseats Russell; ‘Marsy’s Law’ approved, other state questions defeated…

by | November 7th, 2018 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

In The News

Kevin Stitt picks up record number of votes to win Oklahoma governor’s race: Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt, a virtual unknown in state politics just a year ago, rode his campaign as a political outsider to a record-setting victory Tuesday in the Oklahoma governor’s race. [Tulsa World] Stitt beat Democrat Drew Edmondson by nearly 12 percentage points, a wide margin of victory following a race that many polls labeled a close contest. [NewsOK] Stitt show: Oklahoma picks Republican to succeed Fallin [NonDoc]

Hello, congresswoman: Kendra Horn beats Steve Russell: On a night when Democrats across the country are hoping for a blue wave to switch the balance of power in Congress, Democrat Kendra Horn appears to have defeated Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Russell in Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District. [NonDoc] Republican businessman Kevin Hern wins U.S. House seat vacated by Bridenstine. [Public Radio Tulsa] While Hern and three Republican incumbents in Oklahoma’s congressional delegation won by comfortable margins, the 5th District’s Steve Russell lost to Democrat Kendra Horn. [Tulsa World]

‘Victim rights’ initiative wins in landslide, but voters reject other state questions: While rejecting four other state questions, more than 3 out of 4 Oklahoma voters approved an effort to give alleged crime victims more influence on court proceedings.Also known as Marsy’s Law, SQ 794 will give alleged victims more opportunities to be heard in court while also giving them the right to limit contacts with defense attorneys. [Tulsa World]

continue reading In The Know: Stitt wins governorship; Horn unseats Russell; ‘Marsy’s Law’ approved, other state questions defeated…

In The Know: Election Day is today; large turnout expected; governor’s race is a statistical dead heat…

by | November 6th, 2018 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Today is Election Day: All polling places are from 7 am to 7 pm. Visit our #OKvotes page to find more election information, important dates, and other resources.

In The News

Large turnout expected at polls Tuesday: This year’s early voting and mail-in ballots have already more than doubled those cast during midterm elections in 2014, State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said Monday.He said he expects a greater turnout for Tuesday’s election but doesn’t expect it to top the 2016 presidential race.So far, Oklahomans have cast 165,598 mail and in-person early voting ballots, compared to 69,892 in 2014, according to the Oklahoma State Election Board. [Tulsa World] With TPS closed on Election Day, several teachers will drive people to the polls. [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma’s gubernatorial race is a statistical dead heat: The race for the governor’s office is now a statistical dead heat in Oklahoma. The Sooner Poll reports that Republican Kevin Stitt now leads Democrat Drew Edmondson 47 percent to 44.1 percent with 6 percent undecided; however, those numbers come with a 5.33 percent margin of error. Bill Shapard of Sooner Poll said education is the number one issue driving the election numbers. [KTUL]

GOP likely to keep control of Legislature, but Dems could flip seats: Several legislative seats are up for grabs Tuesday, including some in the Oklahoma City area, in an election year that has already seen a dozen incumbents defeated. Politicos from both sides of the aisle have expressed concern that more lawmakers could lose their seats, especially in a year of extraordinary turnover in the Oklahoma House and Senate. [NewsOK]

continue reading In The Know: Election Day is today; large turnout expected; governor’s race is a statistical dead heat…

In The Know: Early voting more than doubles 2014; the legislative candidates raising the most money; questions that shape tomorrow’s election…

by | November 5th, 2018 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Election Day is tomorrow: All polling places will be open tomorrow from 7 am to 7 pm. Visit our #OKvotes page to find more election information, important dates, and other resources.

In The News

Early voting totals in Oklahoma more than double 2014 numbers: Officials at the Carter County election board office said they have been extremely busy over the three days of early voting in Oklahoma, which ended at 2 p.m. on Saturday. According to the Oklahoma State Election Board Twitter account, more than 100,000 Oklahomans voted early in the three day window, compared to only 43,000 early votes in the 2014 midterm elections. [KXII]

Incumbents raise most money in legislative races: Early on, Oklahoma’s political observers made two predictions: Senate races in northwest Oklahoma City would be the ones to watch and education would be the top issue this cycle. Two candidates in those Senate races garnered a higher number of contributions than any lawmakers up for election this year, and one of the other top recipients is a teacher running against one of the walkout’s most vocal opponents. [Journal Record]

Questions that could shape a pivotal election: After months of campaigning and millions of dollars spent, Election Day is almost upon us. The stakes are high: Oklahoma voters will select the state’s first new governor in eight years, decide who occupies what could be a pivotal U.S. House seat and determine how next year’s Legislature will look. [Oklahoma Watch] In One Minute: Tips for voting on Election Day [Oklahoma Watch]

continue reading In The Know: Early voting more than doubles 2014; the legislative candidates raising the most money; questions that shape tomorrow’s election…

The Weekly Wonk: 2017 poverty profile; making justice reform retroactive; spring interships; and more…

by | November 4th, 2018 | Posted in Weekly Wonk | Comments (0)

What’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk shares our most recent publications and other resources to help you stay informed about Oklahoma. 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 from OK Policy

This week, we published the 2017 Oklahoma Poverty Profile showing that Oklahoma’s poverty rate has been higher than the national average for more than a decade. We also released another episode of the OKPolicyCast where we spoke about retroactivity and commutations with our criminal justice policy analyst Damion Shade and Colleen McCarty, a law student and intern with Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform’s commutation campaign. Applications for our paid, part-time spring internships launched this week, and students have until Friday, November 16th at 5:00 pm to submit their applications. 

Following a week of tragedy across the nation, Strategy and Communications Director Gene Perry urged Oklahomans to stand against fear and make an informed vote. Steve Lewis’s Capitol Update discussed three interim studies before the House Committee on Children, Youth and Families regarding changes in foster care, the rising cost of child care, and family reunification. Executive Director David Blatt’s weekly Journal Record column thanked public-spirited Oklahomans for their willingness to make a difference by running for office.

OK Policy in the News

The Sandusky Register and the Springfield News-Sun in Ohio cited OK Policy’s analysis of SQ 780 as Ohio voters decide whether to pass a similar criminal justice reform. NewsOK quoted Policy Director Carly Putnam about Congressional Republicans’ attempts to repeal protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

The Intercept spoke with Executive Director David Blatt about the potential of surprise victories for Democrats in Tuesdays elections. Mother Jones cited OK Policy’s research on Oklahoma’s gross production taxes in a story on confrontations between teachers and the oil and gas industry.

Bloomberg News spoke with David Blatt about SQ 800 to deposit a portion of Oklahoma’s oil and gas revenues in a permanent endowment fund. NonDoc cited OK Policy’s analysis in a story on SQ 800. The OU Daily shared OK Policy’s information on SQ 798 and SQ 794. Rep. Marcus McEntire used OK Policy’s research in a presentation on Oklahoma state questions covered by the Duncan Banner.

Insurance Commissioner candidate Kimberly Fobbs cited OK Policy’s research on Medicaid expansion in a Q&A with the Tahlequah Daily Press. KGOU spoke to Policy Analyst Courtney Cullison about what’s preventing Oklahomans from getting car insurance and why a new program to impose automatic fines with traffic cameras is unlikely to help.

continue reading The Weekly Wonk: 2017 poverty profile; making justice reform retroactive; spring interships; and more…

In The Know: Higher than expected early voting turnout; a lifeline in Medicaid expansion; health care sign-ups begin…

by | November 2nd, 2018 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Early voting continues today from 8 am to 6 pm: Today is the second day of early voting in Oklahoma. Voters can cast their votes at their local county election board from 8 am to 6 pm. Tomorrow, Saturday, November 3rd is the last day of early voting. Visit our #OKvotes page to find more election information, important dates, and other resources.

In The News

As early voting kicks off, turnout numbers much higher than expected, officials say: Pete Messler walked up to the large glass windows at the front of the Tulsa County Election Board on Thursday morning and peered inside.“There’s more people here than there are at the University of Tulsa football games,” he joked, as the rain poured down.No joke was the turnout on the first day of early voting for Tuesday’s statewide election.  [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma’s rural hospitals see a lifeline in Medicaid expansion: As more GOP-led states with vast rural areas consider Medicaid expansion, supporters in Oklahoma are watching. They say it’s the best solution to make sure rural hospitals survive. “Because other states have found ways to accept these federal funds, they are moving forward, their hospitals are in better shape because of it,” said Patti Davis, director of the Oklahoma Hospital Association. [StateImpact Oklahoma] We previously examined how rejecting federal funds is devastating Oklahoma’s rural hospitals here.

Health insurance marketplace sign-ups begin: Oklahomans who want to buy individual health insurance through the exchange have until Dec. 15, but the navigators who help with enrollment recommend an early start. Open enrollment on the exchange starts Thursday. It is open to people who don’t have insurance through a job, Medicare, SoonerCare or another government program. Andrea Chica-Rodriguez, one of two navigators with the Latino Community Development Agency, urged people who want to compare their options not to wait. [NewsOK]

continue reading In The Know: Higher than expected early voting turnout; a lifeline in Medicaid expansion; health care sign-ups begin…

In The Know: Early voting starts today; new laws take effect; a profile of Oklahoma poverty…

by | November 1st, 2018 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (1)

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Early voting starts today: Early voting begins kicks off today with voters able to cast their votes at their local county election board from 8 am to 6 pm. Early voting will continue Friday, November 2nd and Saturday November 3rd. Visit the Oklahoma State Election Board page for a full list of dates and times. Visit our #OKvotes page to find more election information, important dates, and other resources.

In The News

20 new laws that take effect in Oklahoma today: Thursday, Nov. 1, means a slew of new laws taking effect across the state.An important change comes in Senate Bill 1446, which places limits on the number of opioid pills that physicians can prescribe and puts in place safeguards to help curb the potential for opioid abuse.One new law was signed in amid controversy, as SB 1140 will allow private adoption agencies to refuse some child placements based on the agencies’ religious beliefs. [Tulsa World]

2017 Oklahoma Poverty Profile: For more than a decade, Oklahoma’s poverty rate has been higher than the national average, and that didn’t change in 2017.  In fact, the gap between Oklahoma and the nation widened a bit in the most recent years. Unless Oklahoma does the work of tackling the causes of poverty, Oklahoma children and families will continue to face serious barriers to prosperity. [OK Policy]

Tulsa officials hope dinners encouraging dialogue about social inequities lead to understanding, stronger city: The city wants to start a conversation about equity, and you are invited to participate.In fact, more than 200 people have signed up to take part in Equity Dinners so far. The program, part of the city’s Resilient Tulsa strategy, is intended to foster constructive dialogue among diverse groups with the ultimate goal of creating more unity and understanding. [Tulsa World] We previously discussed the Resilient Tulsa strategy with DeVon Douglass on the OK PolicyCast.

continue reading In The Know: Early voting starts today; new laws take effect; a profile of Oklahoma poverty…

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 18