In The Know: State closes out fiscal year with another drop in gross revenue collections

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Today In The News

State closes out fiscal year with another drop in gross revenue collections: State Treasurer Ken Miller said Wednesday that Oklahoma is showing no signs of making a marked recovery from the recession that began in the spring of last year. Miller served up more bad news with a report showing gross revenue collections for June were down 7.4 percent from the prior year. During fiscal year 2016, which ended June 30, gross revenue brought in $11.1 billion, or 7.2 percent below collections for the prior 12-month period, a drop of nearly $863 million from the previous year [Tulsa World].

Cracks in the law: Oklahoma Supreme Court rules on parking lot workers’ comp claims: Workers’ compensation covers employees who are in the parking lot walking into work in some cases, according to a state Supreme Court ruling. The decision added a wrinkle to the 2013 change in workers’ comp that narrowed the definition of when an employee is working. In a 6-3 decision last week, the court ruled that Oklahoma State University employee Annette Legarde-Bober should get benefits after she slipped on an icy parking lot at the school’s Oklahoma City campus in 2014 [Journal Record].

Selling the farm: Coming to us now—in what seems like another float in the annual parade of perplexing, often unconstitutional proposed amendments to the Oklahoma Constitution—State Question 777, also known as the Right to Farm Bill. If approved by voters in November, it will fundamentally change the scope of state regulations on farming practices … by removing them. Entirely. Forever [Tulsa Voice].

Administrative pay raises at TPS climb to $295,000 as part of reorganization: Pay increases for existing Tulsa Public Schools employees rose to more than $295,000 on Tuesday as part of an ongoing administrative reorganization that leaders say will ultimately reduce the overall budget by $2.7 million. On Sunday, a Tulsa World data analysis showed that 30 administrators had received increases totaling $243,100, with 35 positions still unfilled. Seven administrators who were shifted into new roles saw no change in pay, while three other administrators saw their salaries significantly reduced in the reorganization [Tulsa World].

Tulsa-area researchers land $11.3 million federal grant to study youth health inequities: The National Institutes of Health has awarded an $11.3 million Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence grant to Tulsa-area researchers studying health inequities in youth. The funding will be used to establish the Children’s Health Equity Solutions Center, a partnership between researchers at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences and University of Oklahoma-Tulsa with the long-term goal of eliminating unjust differences in children’s health by race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status through effective translational science [Tulsa World].

Prosperity Policy: A welcome thaw: Last week the Oklahoma Department of Human Services announced its freeze on enrollment in the child care subsidy program would be lifted Aug. 1. That’s welcome news – but even with the thaw, the children of too few moms and dads working for low pay will likely get the quality care they need. For many families, child care is both an absolute necessity and an arduous expense. Often it matches or exceeds the cost of college. Families struggling to make ends meet can catch a break through subsidies that pay all of a child’s care expenses while parents are at work [David Blatt / Journal Record]. Even before the freeze, child care was getting less accessible for Oklahoma’s working families [OK Policy].

ICYMI: “How Money Walks” has no leg to stand on: Now that Kevin Durant has opted to leave the Thunder for the Golden State Warriors, at least half his income will be subject to California income tax, which assesses a top income tax rate of 13.30 percent. Whatever the merits from a basketball perspective, KD’s decision deals a further blow to conservative gospel claiming that Americans’ migration patterns are based on state personal income tax rate. Here is a blog post we originally ran in 2013 debunking the oft-cited claims to this effect [OK Policy].

Oklahoma tribe prepares for earthquakes: Public and tribal officials in and around this Oklahoma town have been forced to plan for a risk they had never conceived — a damaging earthquake. A town of a little more than 2,000 people, Pawnee is home to roaming buffalo and historic buildings. An unmistakable sign welcomes visitors to the Wild West as they enter Pawnee city limits. …Pawnee County also is home to dozens of wastewater disposal wells, which have been linked to Oklahoma’s frequent earthquakes [NewsOK].

Drug cartels targeting Indian communities, study finds: In one case, a 14-year-old boy, high on methamphetamine, climbed through a bedroom window with two of his friends to rape his 13-year-old sister before hitting her in the head with a hatchet. She survived but was left with the wobbly motor skills of a toddler. …“The stories are shocking,” said Amy Proctor, a criminal justice instructor at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. …Proctor concluded that drug cartels are specifically targeting Indian communities, singling them out as relatively easy places to do business [Tulsa World].

Department of Corrections Begins Restructuring With State-Run Private Facility: Oklahoma’s Department of Corrections begins moving inmates Tuesday to a newly leased private facility in far western Oklahoma, where state employees will run the prison. The agreement between the state and Corrections Corporation of America is a first in Oklahoma’s prison system. Inmates from the 107-year-old Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite are moving to the 18-year-old North Fork Correctional Facility, owned by the Corrections Corporation of America, in Sayre [KGOU]. The effects of budget cuts on Oklahoma prisons are hidden but dangerous [OK Policy].

Questions aim to reduce prison numbers: Oklahomans suffering from addiction should not be charged with felonies and should not be sent to prison for it, according to former Republican Oklahoma House Speaker Kris Steele and the organization “Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform.” The group is asking Oklahoma voters to vote “Yes” on State Questions 780 and 781 this November. State Question 780 would reclassify possession of controlled dangerous substances and property crimes under $1,000 from felony charges to misdemeanors [Woodward News]. Significant reductions in incarceration will require a smarter approach to both non-violent and more serious crimes [OK Policy].

Wildfire in Kansas, Oklahoma called ‘ecological cleansing’: The wildfire that scorched nearly 600 square miles of land in Oklahoma and Kansas in March cleared out more eastern red cedars in a week than local efforts to eradicate the invasive species could have accomplished in decades, conservation experts say. “This was an ecological cleansing for the environment,” said Ken Brunson, wildlife diversity coordinator with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. “That’s mixed-grass prairie down there. Prairie survives with fire.” Dubbed the Anderson Creek fire, the blaze began near the Kansas-Oklahoma state line on March 22 and consumed 367,620 acres, or 574 square miles [Kansas Agland].

Quote of the Day

“Hopefully, we have hit bottom and the numbers will not go back there. And if that is the case, I think we won’t see the budget gap next year that we saw this year. There may still be one, of course. And it is way too early to try to predict those numbers, but I hope the worse is behind us and the budget has recovered somewhat.”

– State Treasurer Ken Miller, announcing that gross revenue collections for FY 2016, which ended on June 30, were down 7.2 percent ($863 million) from the previous year (Source).

Number of the Day


Percentage of Oklahoma children who experienced food insecurity in 2013

Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Why TANF Is Not a Model for Other Safety Net Programs: House Speaker Paul Ryan, other House Republican leaders, and some conservative commentators have cited Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) as a model for reshaping federal-state funding relationships in other programs for low-income families. The forthcoming proposal from the House Republican Task Force on Poverty, Opportunity, and Upward Mobility, to be released June 7, is likely to reflect that view. It’s thus important to examine how TANF has performed, in both good times and bad, in helping poor families with children meet basic needs and improve their employment prospects and their lives. Such an examination indicates that TANF is not a useful or applicable model for other safety net programs [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities].

You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.


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.

2 thoughts on “In The Know: State closes out fiscal year with another drop in gross revenue collections

  1. Typical corrections journalism. Not a word about contract conditions. Guaranteed occupancy levels?? Guaranteed dollars per day per inmate?? Requirements for recidivism rates, treatment successes, etc., like PA has been doing?? No. Shiny, shiny. When/if the reforms have any prison population reductions at all, this facility will undoubtedly be the last to be affected, but no discussion of what that will mean or whether it’s a foot in the door for the entire eventual system, the long-term goal of CCA and the other private vendors since they started contributing to the right governors and legislators and finally got a DOC head who claims to hate what he’s been brought in to do. But, you know, touch screens.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.