Help us do our work – Contribute to our blog

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’ve got opinions and points of view on some of the major policy issues confronting Oklahoma. What impact is the economic downturn and fiscal crisis having on the organizations you’re involved in and the people you care about? What should we be doing to operate government more effectively and fund services more fairly? What program is working that not enough people are hearing about?

This blog aims to be a forum where Oklahomans can share their perspectives, and we encourage you to contribute to  the conversation by submitting a guest blog post. Think of it as an op-ed with links.  We will help publicize pieces we post to our audiences and encourage you to send out the link to your friends, colleagues and networks.

Here are our blog guidelines:

— We will post entries that make an argument on public policy issues of importance to Oklahomans, whether we agree or disagree with the author’s point of view. However, we reserve the right not to post any blog entry submitted to us.

— Contributions addressing OK Policy’s core policy areas of state budget and taxes,  poverty and economic opportunity, health care and social services, education, criminal justice, or the economy will receive strongest consideration.

— Blog entries should be between 500 and 800 words.

— Entries should in most cases be original contributions and not pieces that have been published elsewhere.

—  Please provide links for articles or studies referred to in your piece.

— Blog entries should avoid personal attacks and undue partisanship.

— We may edit your submission for clarity and grammar. In all cases, we will have you review and approve a final draft of the piece before posting.

— We will run a short disclaimer accompanying guest posts stating that the post reflects the opinions of the author and not of OK Policy.

— Please include a title for your post and brief (20 words maximum) biographical or background information that can appear in the introduction to the post.

— Send your submission in an e-mail or Word document to gperry@okpolicy.org.

You can see previous examples of guest blog posts here.

We hope to hear from you!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Blatt helped found OK Policy in 2008 and became the organization's Executive Director in 2010. David previously served as Director of Public Policy for Community Action Project of Tulsa County and as a budget analyst for the Oklahoma State Senate. He has a Ph.D. in political science from Cornell University and a B.A. from the University of Alberta. David has been selected as Political Scientist of the Year by the Oklahoma Political Science Association, Local Social Justice Champion by the Dan Allen Center for Social Justice, and Public Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers. He lives in Tulsa with his wife, Patty Hipsher, a special education teacher in Broken Arrow, and their son, Noah.

32 thoughts on “Help us do our work – Contribute to our blog

  1. i want to vote yes but the lack of info on where the money comes from is going to make me vote no. i hope that the bill authors can rewrite this so that it doesnt look like i am going to pay a huge amount of taxes.

  2. also, where is the money from our lottery going i thought that was the answer for our education funding. or is the lottery making as much money for are schools as the horse racing track.

  3. As a reader of your fine organization’s publications, I’m stunned that you failed to publish information about all the tax breaks and business incentives appropriated by the legislature. Everyone who has been following the budget process already knows most agencies that service the poor and struggling middle class were going to get less funding. Why? because Republicans won’t tax the rich, won’t spend on the poor, and don’t care about those who “can’t afford private health care”. So, while it is greatly appreciated you have made this information public. Let’s inform the people about the truth behind our budget cuts, and budget shortfalls.
    Thanks in advance, in case you will publish such materials.
    Marvin

  4. Health and Education have always been linked-as long as I can remember; they both have failed, but so has our economic system and other critical institutions. NCLB and Race-to-the-Top are all about testing the 3 Rs. Artistic, musical and other intelligences are not measured. We still are educating with a “class”
    mentality. The perennial gap between the low and high achievers continues with no end in sight. I’ve been an advocate for OKC public school children for over 20 years-off and on the Board. The system needs an overhaul from top to bottom. I couldn’t get the four votes necessary.

  5. I read with interest your fact sheet on severance taxes. I learned several new things and found the sheet to be an excellent document. However, I do have a comment on one of the “advantages” listed.

    The bullet says, “Since there is no property tax on minerals, the only tax paid is when they are mined or pumped; the tax system therefore encourages conservation.” Though the first part of the sentence is undoubtedly true, the part about encouraging conservation is, I believe, overstated.

    Handling mineral leases for my mother, I know that there is always someone wanting to lease and pump. Using the mechanism of forced pooling, the State enables that desire by taking the conservation decision away from the individual mineral owners.

    I am in favor of forced pooling because I believe it provides more benefit to individual mineral owners than hurt to them. However, pooling enables (rather than deters) pumping and, therefore, obviates any conservation accrued from a severance tax.

    It would seem that if we really wanted to encourage conservation we would make it harder for folks to consume, rather than easier. Let’s face it, whatever we think of a severance tax, it is a revenue generation tool not a conservation tool.

  6. At least the citizens of Kansas have decided that trickle down economics was not working for them.
    I am seriously afraid Oklahomns will not open their eyes what tax cuts have done to education.
    It doesn’t matter when the Objective is to push “for profit” education or “schools of choice.” Tax cuts have devistated our state’s ability to bring education to all by making it difficult to hire and pay a living wage to all educators. Horace Mann once said democracy exists with an educated electorate. Oklahoma needs good public education that comes with adequate funding.

  7. Unfortunately our Oklahoma State legislature is demonstrating the ignorance of their tax cutting laws they keep passing. Cutting your income source does not produce more income, duh! Had our legislature not been so bent on cutting taxes, public education would not be suffering, DOC would be fully staffed, our infrastructure would be in good shape. The republicans ability to do math would not have been hindered by their lack of mathematical education (tax cutting republican style 1-2=3)fuzzy math is obviously wrong.

  8. The fuel tax in Oklahoma is presently two cents less than the lowest tax of the states bordering Oklahoma. Nationwide, Oklahoma ranked as the 44th cheapest tax in the U. S. Considering the condition of our state transportation infracstructure, that is laughable. I would support not only raising the road fuel tax to equal the tax of our neighboring states, but increasing it by a couple more cents and making that tax permanent.
    Additionally, considering the current price of fuel as a result of low oil prices, it would be the perfect time to add an additonal fuel tax of perhaps ten cents indexed to the price of oil. As a result, as the price of oil increases (presumably) in the future, the additional tax would decrease and eventually disappear at some predetermined level of the price of oil. This would be an out for those legislators who are in the pocket of big oil because it would not have a detrimental effect on the price of oil.
    From the latest data I have found, through the first nine months of 2015, gasoline sales in Oklahoma had reached 1,461,803,740 gallons which would project to nearly 2 billion gallons for a twelve month period. It would appear that road diesel sales would be approximately half that amount. Consider the resulting effect on our transportation infrastructure from a ten cent tax on that number of gallons of road fuel.
    It is my firm belief that until Oklahoma insulates itself from the rags to riches to rags effect of the oil industry on our state’s economy, we will continue the cyclical pattern in years to come. What do I know, I am just a farmer. I live and die by the whims of mother nature. One of the Oklahoma City TV stations has a news segment entitled, “Is this a great state or what?” I suppose my answer would be “Yes, it is a great state,but ……”

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