The Weekly Wonk: 2019 Policy Priorities; talk of Medicaid expansion; now hiring communications intern; & more…

What’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk 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

This week we released our 2019 legislative policy priorities focused on providing solutions for Oklahoma’s toughest challenges.

In his weekly Journal Record column, Executive Director David Blatt reminded us that although the government shutdown is over, there are still millions of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck without the savings to handle even routine financial setbacks.

OK Policy in the News

Public Radio Tulsa covered Blatt’s state budget outlook presentation during our 2019 State Budget Summit. They also reported comments made at the Budget Summit by Senate Appropriations Chair Roger Thompson that he is open to talking about Medicaid expansion this year.

Blatt spoke with the Tulsa World about Oklahoma’s lagging tax revenue. Blatt also spoke with The Journal Record about a bill that would boost the minimum wage to $10.50 an hour. Southwest Oklahoma Field Organizer Jacobi Crowley spoke with KSWO about joining the OK Policy team. The Tulsa World cited OK Policy in its 2019 legislative agenda. 

Upcoming Opportunities

Apply now to be a paid communications intern with OK Policy: OK Policy is now accepting applications for a paid, part-time communications internship in our Tulsa office. The internship runs from late-February 2019 through the end of the year. Applications are due no later than 5:00 PM on Wednesday, February 6th. Click here to learn more and to submit your application

Weekly What’s That

Legislative Service Bureau, What’s That?

The Oklahoma Legislative Service Bureau (LSB) is a nonpartisan legislative service agency serving the members and staff of the Oklahoma House of Representatives and Senate.  The LSB is responsible for producing all computer and information processing services for members and staff of the Oklahoma Legislature. Read more about the Oklahoma  Legislative Service Bureau.

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

Quote of the Week

“So, the $600 million to $700 million revenue growth could shrink to $250 million to $400 million. That’s still a decent sum of money but not quite the golden ticket that offers all you can eat at the chocolate factory”

-OK Policy Executive Director David Blatt, speaking about next year’s budget outlook for Oklahoma [Source: Public Radio Tulsa]

Editorial of the Week

Hamilton: A symbolic proposal, 2,815 bills and ‘Inman’s Axiom’

In the Oklahoma Legislature, as in most of life, there are workhorses and show horses – those who get things done and those who, well, mostly make noise.One way to discern the difference is to consider media and social media attention given to the 2,815 bills and resolutions submitted in advance of this year’s session.Unfortunately, most of the focus is on ideological screeds unlikely to get a committee hearing, much less win the approval of both houses and reach the governor’s desk. [Arnold Hamilton / Journal Record]

Numbers of the Day

  • 30% – Percentage increase in the female prison population in Oklahoma from 2011 to 2016.
  • $16,468 – Average salary for paraprofessionals in Oklahoma public schools.
  • 2,815 – Number of bills and joint resolutions filed for this year’s session of the Oklahoma Legislature.
  • More than $200 – How much an Oklahoma parent with two kids working full-time at $10/hour lost last year because Oklahoma’s Earned Income Tax Credit was made nonrefundable.

See previous Numbers of the Day and sources here.

What We’re Reading


Jessica joined OK Policy as a Communications Associate in January 2018. A Mexican immigrant, she was a Clara Luper Scholar at Oklahoma City University where she obtained a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy. Prior to joining OK Policy, Jessica worked at a digital marketing agency in Oklahoma City. She is an alumna of both the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute (2013) and OK Policy's Summer Policy Institute (2015). In addition to her role at OK Policy, Jessica serves as a board member for Dream Action Oklahoma in OKC and communications director for Dream Alliance Oklahoma in Tulsa.

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