In The Know: 1 in 10 Oklahoma babies born preterm

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today In The News

Too many Oklahoma babies born too soon, report shows: One out of every 10 babies born in Oklahoma in 2014 were born preterm, putting them at a higher risk for developing serious health complications and dying before their first birthday, a report released Thursday shows. Oklahoma received a “C” from the March of Dimes in the the organization’s annual report about preterm birth rate [NewsOK]. The full report can be found here.

Oklahoma Democrats call for investigation into Fallin’s intervention into doctor’s discipline issues: The Oklahoma Democratic Party on Thursday called for an investigation of Republican Gov. Mary Fallin. The action came a day after the Dallas Morning News and Tulsa-based The Frontier reported that Fallin’s general counsel, Steve Mullins, intervened in an Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision investigation of Tulsa spine surgeon Dr. Steven Constantine Anagnost [Tulsa World].

Lt. Gov. Lamb OK With Budget-Only Sessions, Not OK With Tax Increases: A proposal to have Oklahoma legislative sessions focused solely on the budget is picking up support outside the House and Senate chambers. Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb said he’s on board. After a budget shortfall of more than $600 million for the current fiscal year, state officials are anticipating one approaching $1 billion next year [KWGS].

Council tax discussion turns to criticism of David Boren’s education proposal: A Tulsa City Council discussion on Thursday about the city’s reliance on sales tax revenue turned to criticism of an education proposal by University of Oklahoma President David Boren that would raise sales taxes statewide by 1 percent. “Just because something is a major, pressing need doesn’t mean that we come up with ridiculous, half-cocked solutions to solve problems because our state legislators are too inept to solve it themselves,” Councilor Blake Ewing said as a final statement in the meeting [Tulsa World].

Oklahoma, U.S. economies headed in opposite directions, expert says: If it wasn’t for lower oil prices, the Oklahoma and national economies would be in sync and not heading in different directions, an economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said Thursday. Oklahoma’s booming energy industry in the last decade insulated the state from both the last major recession and when oil first began its decline in the second half of 2014. But persistently low oil prices are now showing up in a markedly weaker state economy, said economist Chad Wilkerson [NewsOK].

 Pruitt asks Oklahoma Supreme Court to uphold abortion law: Attorney General Scott Pruitt is asking Oklahoma’s highest court to uphold a state law that restricts the use of abortion-inducing drugs. Pruitt filed a brief Wednesday asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to overturn a district court judge’s ruling that overturned the law [WKRG].

Water Redistribution and Wild New Ideas Dominate Legislative Study Discussion: This spring, Oklahoma faced a problem it hadn’t in a while: too much water. Much of that floodwater flowed into rivers and out of Oklahoma — and that’s sparking big new ideas at the state capitol, and rousing an old fight [StateImpact Oklahoma].

A place for dignity: Homeless Alliance builds apartments for vulnerable population: Living in a 275-square-foot apartment unit may not sound glamorous. But to the city’s most vulnerable population, that space is the first step toward transforming their life. The Homeless Alliance’s WestTown Apartments provide housing within walking distance of services a chronically homeless person needs to get his or her life on a better path [Journal Record].

Edmond city planners eye solutions for dwindling commercial space: The city has only about 1,000 acres of land projected for commercial use left to be developed, and Edmond officials are concerned because the city operates primarily on sales tax revenue. City Manager Larry Stevens has repeatedly said it worries him that Edmond is so reliant on sales tax revenues [NewsOK].

Chickasaw Nation Partners with Rosetta Stone to Revitalize Native Language: The Chickasaw Nation has joined forces with Rosetta Stone Inc.  to help preserve the tribes native language. Rosetta Stone will help to create a new customized program to allow the more than the nation’s 60,000 global citizens to be introduced to the language [KWGS].

Tulsa Christmas Parade will combine two events for one celebration downtown: Tulsa’s Christmas parade wars are over. The city has had two major parades each Christmas season since 2011 — one downtown and one at the Tulsa Hills shopping center — in response to a controversy over whether to include the name Christmas in the parade title. But organizers of both parades announced in a news conference Thursday morning that the parades will be combined in one downtown parade at 6 p.m. Dec. 12 [Tulsa World].


Quote of the Day

“It looks like we’re going to be in this for a little while.”

– Chad Wilkerson, vice president and Oklahoma City branch executive at the Federal Reserve in Kansas City, on Oklahoma’s economic downturn (Source)

Number of the Day


Preterm birth rate in Oklahoma in 2014. The US average was 9.6%.

Source: March of Dimes.

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

The Evidence That White Children Benefit From Integrated Schools: Recently a neighborhood in Brooklyn made national headlines for a fight over public schools. Lots of affluent, mainly white families have been moving into new condos in the waterfront area called DUMBO, and the local elementary school is getting overcrowded. The city wants to redraw the zones in a way that would send kids from this predominantly white school to a nearby school where enrollment is over 90 percent black and Hispanic and which draws many of its students from a public housing project. Some parents on both sides of the line balked. [NPR].

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Carly Putnam joined OK Policy in 2013. As Policy Director, she supervises policy research and strategy. She previously worked as an OK Policy intern, and she was OK Policy's health care policy analyst through July 2020. She graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2013. As a student, she was a participant in the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute and interned with Planned Parenthood. Carly is a graduate of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Nonprofit Management Certification; the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council’s Partners in Policymaking; The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship in Tulsa; and Leadership Tulsa Class 62. She currently serves on the boards of Restore Hope Ministries and The Arc of Oklahoma. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and doing battle with her hundred year-old house.

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