The Weekly Wonk: Open enrollment, renewed calls to end the income tax, and more…

the_weekly_wonkWhat’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly W onk 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

On the OK Policy Blog, Policy Director Gene Perry discussed a recent resurgence in calls to eliminate the income tax. Policy Analyst Carly Putnam described what you need to know about the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment. Steve Lewis’s Capitol Update explained Oklahoma’s rising Medicaid costs

In his Journal Record column, Executive Director David Blatt explained why the lottery hasn’t fixed the state’s education funding problems. Outreach and Operations Associate Tyler Parette shared information about an early childhood education lecture.

Weekly What’s That

Open Meetings Act

Oklahoma’s Open Meetings Act (25 O.S. s. 304) requires all public bodies to file advance notice of regularly scheduled and special meetings with the Secretary of State, as well as advance notice of changes in date, time, or location of regularly scheduled meetings. Read more.

Look up more key terms to understand Oklahoma politics and government here.

Quote of the Week

“When we got on the waiting list, they said it would be several years, so I knew going into it. Hopefully, we’re getting close, because we’re seven years in.”

– Broken Arrow resident Olivia Morgan, whose nine year-old son is one of more than 7,200 Oklahomans on a DHS waiting list for services for people with developmental disabilities (Source)

See previous Quotes of the Day here.

Editorial of the Week

The Journal Record

The nation has endured decades of school shooting after school shooting. Besides the headline-generating mass attacks, some neighborhoods suffer violence that bleeds into the schoolyard on a regular basis.

So it makes sense that trained officers would be stationed alongside educators to provide safety. But the situation has turned the wrong direction when the role switches from protecting students to policing them.

Numbers of the Day

  • $9.49 – Hourly living wage needed to support 1 adult in Oklahoma, which is 31 percent more than the current minimum wage of $7.25.
  • 86,894 – Pounds of honey collected in Oklahoma in 2012.
  • $76,494,000 – State and local taxes paid by unauthorized migrants in Oklahoma in 2012.
  • 37.40% – Percentage of occupied housing in Oklahoma with electric heating in 2014.
  • 10.3% – Preterm birth rate in Oklahoma in 2014. The US average was 9.6%.

See previous Numbers of the Day and sources here.

What We’re Reading

  • This is where police don’t mirror communities and why it matters [Governing].
  • Do cuts to income taxes really spur economic growth? [Governing]
  • The tax bracket chart you never knew you always wanted [Vox].
  • The Obama Administration is calling for limits on tests in schools [The New York Times]. 
  • White children benefit from integrated schools [NPR].


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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