Skip to Content

The Weekly Wonk: Medical cannabis & SQ 788, immigration rhetoric v. facts, and the ongoing battle to reduce incarceration

by | June 17th, 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

In this week’s episode of the OK PolicyCast, Director of Strategy and Communications Gene Perry sat down with Elizabeth Nichols to talk about medical cannabis and State Question 788. Nichols is an attorney who has worked extensively with the emerging cannabis industry in Oklahoma and nearby states. Criminal Justice Policy Analyst Ryan Gentzler cut through the noise on immigration rhetoric and urged us to consider the facts regarding undocumented Oklahomans.

In his Capitol Update, Steve Lewis spoke about Oklahoma’s ongoing battle to reduce incarceration and increase justice, particularly now that a new report shows Oklahoma is number one for incarcerating its citizens. In his Journal Record column, Executive Director David Blatt discussed the increasing suicide rates and the need to fund critical suicide prevention programs, like those administered by Oklahoma’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Continue Reading »

The Weekly Wonk: Judges on the ballot, safety net access, and immigrant drivers licenses

by | June 9th, 2018 | Posted in Weekly Wonk | Comments (1)

the_weekly_wonk_logoWhat’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, 2018 Summer Intern Max West gave us an update on what we need to know about judges on the ballot in Oklahoma. Economic Opportunity Policy Analyst Courtney Cullison described how denying immigrant access to the safety net would have terrible consequences for us all. 2018 Sprint Intern Jacob Tharp pointed out that allowing undocumented Oklahomans to drive legally would improve public safety and insurance rates

On Wednesday, we hosted Black Lives Lost: An Evening with Danielle Allen, where Attorney Damario Soloman Simmons led a fascinating conversation with Danielle Allen, Harvard professor and author of “Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A.” While in Oklahoma, Allen sat down with Public Radio Tulsa to talk about her book “Cuz”.

In this week’s Capitol Update, Steve Lewis described the position of director of child welfare services for DHS as the most difficult job in state government. In his weekly Journal Record column, Executive Director David Blatt detailed the growing momentum for Medicaid expansion, and stated that perhaps Oklahoma may soon be ready to join the growing majority of states committed to expanding health coverage.

Continue Reading »

The Weekly Wonk: OK PolicyCast with DeVon Douglass, new leadership at #okleg, and occupational license reform

by | June 3rd, 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

In a new episode of the OK PolicyCast, Strategy & Communications Director Gene Perry spoke with DeVon Douglass, the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Tulsa, about the work her team is doing to take on Tulsa’s toughest challenges, from teen homelessness to deep inequities in housing, transportation, and education.

In this week’s Capitol Update, Steve Lewis noted that how well the entire Legislature can function for the people will depend on how the new Senate leadership and the House leadership – and their members – can work together.

Policy Analyst Courtney Cullison assessed the progress made in regards to occupational licensing in Oklahoma, noting that although we’ve made some steps in the right direction, there’s still a long way to go in reforming occupational licensing in Oklahoma.

David Blatt’s Journal Record column looked at how Oklahoma’s tax policy discussion has changed dramatically over the past six years.

Continue Reading »

The Weekly Wonk: veto referendum FAQs, many devils in details on work requirements, long ways away on criminal justice reform

by | May 26th, 2018 | Posted in Blog, Weekly Wonk | Comments (0)

the_weekly_wonk_logoWhat’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

Executive Director David Blatt sat down with Together OK Coordinator Sabine Brown to answer a few of the most common questions surrounding the veto referendum and the potential impact on the teacher and state employee raises. Blatt went into further detail in a blog post where he laid out what we know – and don’t know – about the revenue bill veto challenge

Policy Director Carly Putnam expressed concerns with Oklahoma’s movement toward implementing work requirements, cautioning that there are many devils in the details that will directly impact low-income families in the state. Criminal Justice Policy Analyst Ryan Gentzler evaluated progress made in criminal justice reform, noting that although investments in justice reform are a good start, savings are a long ways away.

In this week’s Capitol Update, Steve Lewis discussed the recent multi-county grand jury report on the Oklahoma Health Department and speculated whether the problems would have come to light sooner if Oklahoma whistleblower law were stronger.

OK Policy in the News

Blatt spoke with sociologist Bruce Fuller for an Op-Ed in Education Week on the role of unions in teacher-led funding protests.

Continue Reading »

Weekly Wonk: FY 2019 Budget Highlights, Farm Bill response, and a new OK PolicyCast

by | May 19th, 2018 | Posted in Blog, Weekly Wonk | Comments (0)

the_weekly_wonk_logoWhat’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 released the FY 2019 Budget Highlights, which noted that although next year’s appropriations will be the largest in state history, when adjusted for inflation, it still remains 9.4 percent ($788 million) below the budget of FY 2009. We also re-launched our podcast, OK PolicyCast, where we explored what just happened in one of the most tumultuous legislative years in Oklahoma history. Spring Intern Lydia Lapidus recounted a recent proposal by the Tulsa City Council to fine parents of truant students and explained that Tulsa has better options than punitive responses to truancy and homelessness.

In his weekly Journal Record column, Executive Director David Blatt wrote about Oklahoma’s rapid and unprecedented decline in legislative tenure, which may ultimately leave the Oklahoma legislature with a brand-new House – and Senate! On a related note, Steve Lewis’s Capitol Update described this year’s legislative session as a wild ride for first-term legislators, likening these freshman legislators to “combat-weary veterans” who will be welcoming a new class of forty or fifty members in November.

Policy analyst Courtney Cullison wrote a joint op-ed with Oklahoma anti-hunger advocates about the threat of harsh SNAP cuts in a Farm Bill being considered by the U.S. Congress. OK Policy released a statement following the Farm Bill’s failed vote in the U.S. House that Congress must reverse their attacks on SNAP to get a bill that can pass.

OK Policy in the News

The Tulsa World quoted David Blatt about attempts to understand what happened in the State Department of Health’s financial mess. The Enid News & Eagle quoted Blatt about the Oklahoma gubernatorial candidates taking anti-tax pledges. The Tahlequah Daily Press reported on a meeting of Cherokee County Retired Educators where OK Policy was recommended as a valuable source of information. Sandite Pride News cited OK Policy’s budget data in a story about an Oklahoma House candidate running in Sand Springs.

Continue Reading »

The Weekly Wonk: Five things we already know about the 2018 elections

by | May 10th, 2018 | Posted in Blog, Weekly Wonk | Comments (0)

the_weekly_wonk_logoWhat’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

Want a recap of the recently concluded legislative session? Check out our end of session wrap up. Executive Director David Blatt also recounted some of the measures that showed a tough but ill-advised stance on poor people, crime, same-sex families, and guns – the hot button issues received more than their share of attention. But raising the revenue desperately needed to fund core services was more difficult than it should have been – Steve Lewis’s Capitol Update told us all about it.

Blatt shared five things we know about the 2018 elections based on candidate filings. Policy Analyst Courtney Cullison warned us about the proposed farm bill that will be considered soon by the U.S. House of Representatives – if passed, it will result in more Oklahomans going hungry. Spring Intern Aaron Krusniak explained that internet access still a significant barrier for many Oklahomans, making it difficult (if not impossible) to verify and report hours worked in order to receive public benefits.

OK Policy in the News

Blatt spoke with Vox about the funding package for the recently passed pay raises for teachers and state workers. Blatt was the featured guest on KWGS’ Studio Tulsa and OETA’s News Report discussing the recently completed legislative session. An OK Policy piece about the harm that will result from work requirements for Medicaid recipients was used by The Oklahoman. OK Policy data made an appearance in NonDoc and Oklahoma Watch.

Continue Reading »

The Weekly Wonk: FY 2019 budget is an improvement after several years of shortfalls and cuts, but there’s still work to do

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

the_weekly_wonk_logoWhat’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

Monday was our last Bill Watch post – see what we were looking at during this final week of session. One of those things was, of course, the FY 2019 budget. Executive Director David Blatt mused that, after several straight years of shortfalls and cut, this budget is a step in the right direction. Steve Lewis’s Capitol Update remarked on the return of line-item appropriations in this budget. Our full video series on Oklahomans who are under threat by the push to restrict access to SoonerCare is now available.

Liz Waggoner, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition, wrote a guest post explaining the importance of pay transparency in shrinking the gender pay gap. Policy Analyst Ryan Gentzler lamented the passage of a bill that will allow life without parole sentences for juveniles in Oklahoma. Blatt’s Journal Record column paid tribute to Penny Williams, the longest-serving female lawmaker in Oklahoma history and one of very few women to rise to a position of leadership in the legislature.

OK Policy in the News

OK Policy’s work advocating against increasing barriers to health care was referenced by the Tahlequah Daily Press. And our work on the negative effects of tax cuts on Oklahoma’s budget made an appearance in The Courier in Waterloo, Iowa.

Continue Reading »

The Weekly Wonk: Funding flexibility for school districts will create some tough choices

by | April 28th, 2018 | Posted in Blog, Weekly Wonk | Comments (0)

the_weekly_wonk_logoWhat’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

Strategy & Communications Director Gene Perry argued that a bill purporting to create funding flexibility for school districts will lead to some very tough choices. Executive Director David Blatt’s Journal Record column warned that the effort to overturn the funding package for teacher pay raises and education funding is politically perilous. Steve Lewis’s Capitol Update wondered if the history of SQ 640 is about to repeat itself with the referendum to veto the funding package. Blatt explained what needs to happen next in order to continue the push for increased education funding.

OK Policy in the News

Blatt spoke with The Oklahoman about increased funding for most state agencies in next year’s budget.  OK Policy data and analysis made an appearance in stories from NonDoc, Shareblue Media, the New York City Food Policy Center, and Dan Boyd’s editorial in the Journal Record.  

Continue Reading »

The Weekly Wonk: New reserve fund could siphon new revenue from education

by | April 20th, 2018 | Posted in Blog, Weekly Wonk | Comments (0)

the_weekly_wonk_logoWhat’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.

In last week’s What’s That?, we failed to note that Oklahoma no longer administers End-of-Instruction exams.  We apologize for the outdated information and appreciate those who called the error to our attention.

This Week from OK Policy

The special legislative session has officially concluded – check out our Special Session FAQ’s for a review of what happened. Executive Director David Blatt’s Journal Record column laid out the accomplishments of the recent teacher walkout – though it didn’t yield great gains at the capitol, the walkout did demonstrate the deep public support for teachers and public education. Blatt also cautioned us about a new reserve fund created in 2016 that could siphon some of the new revenue intended for education spending. 

Policy Analyst Ryan Gentzler discussed the potential promise of misdemeanor drug courts, and reminded us that a larger investment in substance abuse service will also be necessary. Steve Lewis’s Capitol Update gave us a preview of next year’s legislature – it will look quite different due to some members voluntarily stepping down and others being forced out by term limits. And don’t forget to check out our Bill Watch post for a rundown of what we’ll be paying attention to next week.

OK Policy in the News

Blatt spoke with the News on 6 about the proposed veto referendum on the funding package for teacher pay raises. Director of Strategy & Communications Gene Perry was quoted by Education Week about the need for those teacher pay raises. And OK Policy data was used by CNHI, the Washington Post, and The Nation in their coverage of the recent education funding package.

Upcoming Opportunities

Just a few days left to apply to join the OK Policy team! We are seeking an experienced and effective operations and development associate to provide support for OK Policy’s day to day operations, donor and grant management, and event coordination. Applications are due on April 23rd – click here for more information or to apply.

Continue Reading »

The Weekly Wonk: Education funding package a good start, but there’s still work to do

by | April 14th, 2018 | Posted in Blog, Weekly Wonk | Comments (0)

the_weekly_wonk_logoWhat’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.

OK Policy is hiring! Click here for more information or to apply to be our new Operations & Development Associate.  Applications are due by April 23rd.

This Week from OK Policy

OK Policy released a new fact sheet on the recent education funding package – the funding approved by lawmakers for education is just a start and doesn’t come close to fully funding education. Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite has said they will lead an initiative to overturn the tax increases in that funding package, and Executive Director David Blatt explained how that might work. Blatt’s Journal Record column reminded us that the education movement we’ve been watching for the last weeks was a long time in the making.

Policy Analyst Ryan Genztler updated us on the progress in criminal justice reform – the now watered down Justice Reform Task Force measured will not be enough to avoid the need for at least one new prison. Blatt pointed out that Oklahoma has made progress on collecting sales tax on online purchases. And don’t forget to check out our Bill Watch post to see what we’ll be following next week.

OK Policy in the News

Genztler spoke with Public Radio International about the dysfunction in Oklahoma’s criminal justice system. Blatt talked with the Washington Post and The Intercept about the connection between years of tax cuts and the recent teacher walkout. Blatt also spoke with CNHI about ending the capital gains deduction in Oklahoma. OK Policy data was used by Vox, Think Progress, the Tulsa World, and KFOR.

Continue Reading »

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 35