2018 State Budget Summit

2018 State Budget Summit

January 25th, 2018 at the Downtown/Medical Center Embassy Suites, 741 N. Phillips Ave., Oklahoma City.


As Oklahoma’s 2018 legislative session approaches, the state continues to struggle with huge and chronic budget shortfalls and an inability to make the critical investments needed to ensure our prosperity and well-being. We are seeing real and encouraging signs of progress towards the adoption of smarter policies, but obstacles still stand in our way. OK Policy’s 5th Annual State Budget Summit will bring together Oklahomans with an interest in state policy issues to gain a clearer sense of our challenges and how they can be resolved.

Presentation Slides


8:15 – 9:00: Check-In and Light Breakfast

9:00 – 9:10:  Welcome and Introductions: Ann-Clore Duncan, Board Chair, Oklahoma Policy Institute

9:10 – 9:55: Overview Presentation:  “Oklahoma’s Budget: Is There a Light at the End of the Tunnel?” – David Blatt, Executive Director, Oklahoma Policy Institute

9:55 – 10:10: Break

10:10 – 11:40: Panel Discussion:The State Budget Outlook: Plan A, Plan B, or None of the Above

State and tribal leaders and academic experts will join us for a discussion of Oklahoma’s current budget outlook and the opportunities and obstacles to meaningful action that can put state finances on a stable and sustainable path.

Panelists:  Sen. Kim David, Chair, Senate Appropriations Committee; Rep. Emily Virgin; Glenn Coffee, attorney, Glenn Coffee & Associates; Chuck Hoskin, Jr., Secretary of State, Cherokee Nation; Dr. Cynthia Rogers, Department of Economics, University of Oklahoma

Moderator: Bailey Perkins, Legislative Liaison,  Oklahoma Policy Institute

11:40 – 1:05: Lunch

Vanessa Williamson

12:05 – 1:05: Keynote Talk: Why Americans are proud to pay taxes” – Vanessa Williamson, Governance Studies Fellow, Brookings Institute

Vanessa Williamson is a Fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings. She studies the politics of redistribution, with a focus on attitudes about taxation. She is the author of the new book Read My Lips: Why Americans Are Proud to Pay Taxes.

Williamson is also the author, with Harvard professor Theda Skocpol, of The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, which was named one of the ten best political books of the year in the New Yorker. She has testified before Congress and written for a variety of outlets including, The Atlantic, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and her hometown newspaper, the Sacramento Bee.

Williamson previously served as the Policy Director for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She received her Ph.D. in Government and Social Policy from Harvard University. She has a master’s degree from NYU’s Institute of French Studies, and received her B.A. in French language and literature from NYU.

1:05 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 3:00: Panel Discussion: “Imagining a justice system that works for people with mental illness”

State and local policymakers across Oklahoma have begun to recognize that reforming our criminal justice system for the better will require a major shift in how we address issues of mental health. In this panel, experts will discuss the intersection of mental health and criminal justice, innovative local responses to these challenges, and what can be done to make lasting, statewide progress.

Panelists: Sen. AJ Griffin, Chair, Appropriations Subcommittee on Human Services; Melissa Baldwin, Director of Criminal Justice Reform, Mental Health Association Oklahoma; Josh Cantwell, Clinical Director of Special Programs, Grand Lake Mental Health Center; Francie Ekwerekwu, Attorney, TEEM

Moderator: Ryan Gentzler, Policy Analyst, Oklahoma Policy Institute.


 Information on Previous State Budget Summits