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The Weekly Wonk: Who’s affected by Medicaid restrictions; a frank conversation on criminal justice…

by | August 12th, 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 at OK Policy, we released a report with the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families which found that Oklahoma’s proposed work rule would harm mothers and children, especially in small town and rural Oklahoma. In a guest post, regional director of government affairs for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Dana Bacon expressed his concerns with the Medicaid reporting requirement and warned that the state hasn’t said how many people would become uninsured

Policy Analyst Courtney Cullison explained the SNAP error rate and why the increase in payment error should not be used as an excuse to cut or dismantle the program. For episode 35 of the OKPolicyCast, we featured one of the most popular panels at the Summer Policy Institute: a frank conversation on criminal justice between D’Marria Monday, Jill Webb, Erik Grayless, and Kris Steele. 

In his weekly Journal Record column, Executive Director David Blatt pointed out that despite all the positive headlines, the economic boom is not making it to workers’ paychecks. Steve Lewis’s Capitol Update discussed State Question 801, which would give schools more flexibility, but no new funding sources.

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The Weekly Wonk: Pre-runoff update; OK’s conservative grip loosening; medical marijuana advocates and regulators split

by | August 5th, 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

The OK Policy team spent the week with 62 of Oklahoma’s brightest students for a deep-dive on public policy in Oklahoma at the 2018 Summer Policy Institute. Check out photos from SPI here. For recaps on presentations and panel discussions, you can visit our Twitter page for threads on topics like Criminal Justice, Health Care, Education, Economic Security, and more.

In a pre-runoff update, Executive Director David Blatt listed five things we know about Oklahoma’s 2018 legislative elections. In his Journal Record column, he wrote about increasing signs that conservatism’s grip on Oklahoma politics is loosening. Steve Lewis’s Capitol Update explored several issues that are dividing medical marijuana advocates and regulators

OK Policy in the News

Open Justice Oklahoma provided the data for a Tulsa World piece on eviction court filings in Tulsa County reaching a 10-year peak in 2017. Tulsa World editorial writer Ginnie Graham cited OK Policy’s work on the problems with sales tax holidays. The Stillwater News Press cited OK Policy data on state elections in an article detailing discussions at a Stillwater League of Women Voters Luncheon. The Tahlequah Daily-Press published our announcement on the launch of a new Fellowship program to prepare early-career professionals to become highly competent advocates for impactful policy reform.

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The Weekly Wonk: New mental health policy fellowship; paid Fall internship with OK Policy; No job? No doctor…

by | July 29th, 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

It was another exciting week for the OK Policy team with the launch of a new fellowship program and preparations for our annual Summer Policy Institute. For followers of our daily news brief,  In The Know will go on hiatus next week while we host our annual Summer Policy Institute, but you can follow what’s happening on Twitter with the hashtag #okspi. In The Know will return Thursday, August 2nd.

In response to the critical needs in Oklahoma’s mental health care and addiction services, OK Policy announced a new fellowship program to prepare early-career professionals to become highly competent advocates for impactful policy reform. In addition to the Mental Health Policy Fellowship, OK Policy will add a new Mental Health Policy Analyst and Fellowship Coordinator position. The deadline to apply for both positions is August 13. 

This week we also began accepting applications for paid, part-time internships in our Tulsa office during the Fall 2018 semester. In Episode 34 of the OK PolicyCast, Strategy and Communications Director Gene Perry spoke with Policy Director Carly Putnam and Hannah Katch from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities about the plan to take SoonerCare away from patients who are unable to work or report enough hours a week. 

Executive Director David Blatt’s Journal Record column explored the shifting landscape in Oklahoma politics and asked if Oklahoma was still a conservative state. In his Capitol Update, Seve Lewis lamented the loss of an experienced lawmaker with the resignation of AJ Griffin.

OK Policy in the News

Blatt spoke to the Tulsa World about Oklahoma’s historic deposit in the Rainy Day Fund. 

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The Weekly Wonk: Open Justice Oklahoma; three join OK Policy team; (paper)work requirements

by | July 22nd, 2018 | Posted in Blog, 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

It was an exciting week for the OK Policy team!

Monday marked the launch of Open Justice Oklahoma (OJO), a new project to improve understanding of Oklahoma’s justice system through analysis of public data. The project will be led by Ryan Gentzler, who has been a criminal justice analyst with Oklahoma Policy Institute for the past two years. OK Policy is also hiring a justice data analyst to work with the project, with an application deadline of August 3rd. We also welcomed three new staffers to the team: Education Policy Analyst Rebecca Fine, Criminal Justice Policy Analyst Damion Shade, and Operations and Development Associate Andrea McNeil. 

In his Journal Record column, Executive Director David Blatt wrote about how (paper)work requirements threaten essential health coverage for Oklahoma parents and caregivers under a SoonerCare waiver proposal. To send Oklahoma’s Medicaid agency a public comment on this proposal, you can use this survey. See this advocacy alert to learn more.

OK Policy Intern Anna Rouw argued that to encourage reintegration, we should restore voting rights for people with felonies. Steve Lewis’s Capitol Update speculated that the last minute medical marijuana rule changes were the result of lobbying efforts

OK Policy in the News

Policy Director Carly Putnam helped Tulsa World Editorial Board Director Wayne Green with research for his op-ed on the SoonerCare waiver proposal. She also spoke with KTUL on how this plan would harm parents and families in Oklahoma. The Enid News & Eagle published her piece on why this waiver proposal is a threat for parents and caretakers. 

Blatt spoke with the Enid News & Eagle about the unwillingness of legislators to convene for a medical marijuana special session. The Washington Post cited OK Policy data in a story about Oklahoma Republicans’ changing attitude toward raising taxes. 

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The Weekly Wonk: forces shaking Oklahoma politics; plea deals tip scales; public feedback needed

by | July 15th, 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 released Episode 33 of the OK Policy Cast, where Strategy and Communications Director Gene Perry talked with Keith Gaddie, a political science professor at the University of Oklahoma, about the forces shaking Oklahoma politics. OK Policy Summer Intern Anna Rouw explained how plea deals have unfairly tipped the scales of Oklahoma’s justice system against defendants, and proposed ways judges and lawmakers can reduce the harms of plea deals. 

Steve Lewis’s Capitol Update warned us that with rising revenues, we should be wary of ending the discussion on revenue measures unless we want to slip back to the bottom of the barrel. In his weekly Journal Record column, Executive Director David Blatt responded to a correspondent who lamented our frequent reporting of depressing news and statistics after we released the 2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book that ranked Oklahoma in the bottom ten for child well-being. 

OK Policy in the News

Policy Director Carly Putnam spoke to KFOR about why it is vital that the community participates in the public comment period of the new SoonerCare proposal. You can submit a public comment via our user-friendly form at www.okpolicy.org/SaveSoonerCare. To learn more about the new SoonerCare proposal and how it could hurt families living in deep poverty, visit our advocacy alert page

Criminal Justice Policy Analyst Ryan Gentzler spoke with KTUL about medical marijuana and why it is not a big revenue generator. The Stillwater News-Press wrote about Oklahoma’s disappointing ranking in the 2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book.

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The Weekly Wonk: A threat to health care for parents and caretakers; a strong message to legislators

by | July 7th, 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 the Oklahoma Healthcare Authority released a draft of their Medicaid waiver proposal, and Policy Director Carly Putnam laid out why this waiver proposal is a threat to health care for thousands of Oklahoma parents and caretakers. OK Policy released a statement saying the waiver proposal is severely flawed and called on OHCA to withdraw it. You can use this form to speak out about the proposal.

Steve Lewis’s Capitol Update noted that more people voted during last month’s primaries, and it mattered. David Blatt’s Journal Record column pointed out that Oklahoman voters had a strong and clear message for their legislators.

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The Weekly Wonk: Oklahoma ranks poorly on looking out for kids, how to avoid past mistakes on Medicaid

by | July 1st, 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

OK Policy and the Annie E. Casey Foundation released the 2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book this week, and we learned Oklahoma ranks near the worst in the nation for child well-being. In an op-ed for The Oklahoman, Strategy and Communications Director Gene Perry pointed out that Oklahoma is simply not doing what it takes to give all kids what they need to thrive.

Policy Director Carly Putnam warned us that although federal Medicaid funding is climbing, Oklahoma should avoid repeating past mistakes of cutting state support for health care. Steve Lewis’s Capitol Update argued that the connection between refusal to expand Medicaid and high incarceration is significant. Executive Director David Blatt’s Journal Record column called on U.S. Sens. James Inhofe and James Lankford to protect SNAP for struggling Oklahoma families and vote in favor of the bipartisan Senate farm bill (unfortunately, both senators voted against the measure).  

Did you miss our evening with Danielle Allen? The entire conversation between Danielle Allen and Tulsa civil rights attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons is now available on our podcast

OK Policy in the News

Blatt sat down with The New Yorker to talk about the primaries and the lasting impact of the walkout in Oklahoma. Following Tuesday’s primary, Blatt spoke with New on 6 about the driving forces behind the primary turnout surpassing the 2014 general election turnout. An interview with Blatt on the significant increase in early voting appeared in The Ada News, Claremore Daily Progress, Joplin Globe, Enid News & Eagle, & Stillwater News-Press.

Perry talked to Tulsa World and Public Radio Tulsa about the release of the 2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book and the importance of having an accurate Census count of children living in Oklahoma.

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The Weekly Wonk: OK Policy to host KIDS COUNT, problems with House Farm Bill, the radicals in criminal justice debate

by | June 23rd, 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 announced that OK Policy will be the new host agency in Oklahoma for KIDS COUNT, a premier source of state and national data on children and families.

Economic Opportunity & Financial Security Policy Analyst Courtney Cullison explained the devastating effects of the U.S. House farm bill on working families, and concluded that the Senate’s bipartisan farm bill is a better way forward for families that struggle with food insecurity. Following the House’s approval of their farm bill, OK Policy issued a statement calling on the Senate to reject the deeply flawed House farm bill.

Criminal Justice Policy Analyst Ryan Gentzler noted that our incarceration rate has skewed our sense of normal, and went on to say that the real radicals in the reform debate are those who believe that what has worked to reduce crime and incarceration elsewhere would lead to chaos in Oklahoma. In his Capitol Update, Steve Lewis spoke about the narrowing support for SQ 788 and medical marijuana legalization initiative. In his Journal Record column, Executive Director David Blatt urged Oklahoma’s members of Congress to tell the administration that removing young children from their parents and denying protection to victims of domestic violence is offensive to our traditions, our values, and our laws.

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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.

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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.

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