Skip to Content

Tickets for our 6th Annual State Budget Summit are on sale now! Early-bird pricing available through January 11th.

To help rural Oklahoma families, expand Medicaid

by | November 6th, 2018 | Posted in Healthcare | Comments (2)

Millions of Americans gained access to health coverage in 2014 when big parts of the Affordable Care Act kicked in – but the health law’s effects were always muted in Oklahoma. When Oklahoma policymakers declined to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid to low-income Oklahomans, they stranded thousands of Oklahomans without access to health coverage. The effects of this decision disproportionately harm rural Oklahomans, their families and communities. Fortunately, it’s not too late to reverse course and expand Medicaid, bringing health coverage to the Oklahomans who need it.

Continue Reading »

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 »

Education and health care frustration pushes against political gravity in tomorrow’s elections (Capitol Update)

by | November 5th, 2018 | Posted in Blog, Capitol Updates, Elections | Comments (0)

Steve Lewis served as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1989-1991. He currently practices law in Tulsa and represents clients at the Capitol.

Finally. It’s election week. This is one of those few elections in recent years in Oklahoma when things seem too close to call. Usually the statewide campaigns with money to spare have a good idea of where they are because they are polling pretty much up to the election. This year even the candidates or those close to them (except in secondary, non-competitive races) don’t seem to have much certainty. The consensus seems to be that the races are close enough that the candidates who can get their voters to the polls will be the winners. It’s about turnout. Polls with margins fairly near the margin of error are not sure predictors when the enthusiasm on one side or the other runs high.

Continue Reading »

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 »

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 »

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: 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 »

2017 Oklahoma Poverty Profile

[Download the 2017 Poverty Profile as a PDF Fact Sheet]

621,076 Oklahomans had incomes below the poverty level in 2017.

That’s 15.8 percent of Oklahoma’s population, or about 1 out of every 6 Oklahomans.

The poverty rate in Oklahoma continues to be above the national average

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. In 2013, Oklahoma’s poverty rate was 1 percentage point above the national average. Last year, we were 2.4 points above the national average.

Continue Reading »

In The Know: Legislators act as ‘super-donors’; in prison for what’s now a misdemeanor; teachers have a fighting chance…

by | October 31st, 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.

Deadline to request absentee ballot today at 5 pm: The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the upcoming elections is today, Wednesday, October 31st at 5 pm. Visit the Oklahoma State Election Board page to request an absentee ballot online. Early voting starts tomorrow at 8 am. Visit our #OKvotes page to find more election information, important dates, and other resources.

In The News

Legislators act as ‘super donors,’ sending their own donors’ cash to other candidates: State Rep. Charles McCall holds a unique sway in the Oklahoma House. As House speaker, he has the ability to name committee heads, direct how and when bills are heard, and largely dictate the agenda of the Republican-led chamber. But McCall’s influence isn’t limited to just the legislative process. He is also among the top donors to candidates running for election or re-election in the Legislature. [Oklahoma Watch]

OKPolicyCast 40: In prison for what’s now a misdemeanor (with Damion Shade and Colleen McCarty): In 2016, Oklahomans voted to approve State Question 780, which changed simple drug possession crimes and low-level, non-violent property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. That law went into effect on July 1, 2017 and is already reshaping Oklahoma’s justice system, with many fewer Oklahomans being charged with a felony and sent to prison for drug possession. Yet there are still thousands of Oklahomans serving long prison sentences or living with a felony record and all the serious consequences that come with it for a crime that would now be a misdemeanor. [OK Policy]

The Oklahoma Governor’s race pits teachers against oil and gas—and teachers have a fighting chance: Oklahoma would seem like the least likely of places to be poised for a progressive comeback. The state, which Donald Trump won in 2016 by 36 points, has been under the Republican Party’s thumb for nearly a decade. Home to the Senate’s most outspoken climate-change denier, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), and the former embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, its capitol grounds famously feature an oil rig, a permanent testament to the power that oil tycoons wield in the state. [Mother Jones]

Continue Reading »

Stand against fear. Make an informed vote.

by | October 30th, 2018 | Posted in Elections | Comments (0)

Events of the last week have shaken all of us at Oklahoma Policy Institute, as they have many Oklahomans. Terrible violence based on hatred of another person’s race, religion, or ethnicity has existed throughout our country’s history, but so have courageous people coming together to stand against it.

While we mourn the victims in Pittsburgh and Kentucky and worry for the refugees seeking escape from violence and poverty in other nations, we are also proud to join with all of the Oklahomans, Americans, and human beings working every day to overcome hatred and make a better world.

When such tragedies occur, it is the responsibility of all of us who value diversity and believe in reconciliation to make ourselves heard even louder. In the local, state, and national elections happening next week, we have an opportunity to do this.

Early voting at County Election Boards begins this Thursday and Friday from 8am to 6pm and Saturday from 9am to 2pm. Then all polling places statewide will be open next Tuesday, November 6th from 7am to 7pm.

Besides races for Congress, Governor, other statewide offices, and the Legislature, Oklahomans will vote on several judicial elections, district attorney races, and local offices. There are also five state questions on the ballot on issues ranging from optometry to school funding.

To help you get more information on how to vote and what you need to know about the state questions, we’ve compiled resources on our 2018 State Questions and Elections page. There you will find links to locate your polling place, fact sheets on each of the state questions, information about judicial races and links to much more.

Thank you for being an informed voter and an engaged Oklahoman. Feel free to share this information with anyone who could use it.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8
  10. ...
  11. 435