The Weekly Wonk: August 24, 2012

What’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk is dedicated to this week’s events, publications, and blog posts.

This week OK Policy examined the results of chronic underfunding of the agency tasked with investigating violent deaths in Oklahoma. The sixth annual Indian Country Business Summit is taking place August 26th-28th in Norman. Multiple polls show that Oklahoma voters aren’t happy about the Legislature’s lack of support for education.

Also this week, we re-ran a post on why businesses will be better off providing their workers’ coverage under the new health care law. OK Policy Director David Blatt’s Journal Record column shared a personal story about what it means to need medical care and not have health insurance.

The Oklahoman published an op-ed responding to our blog post about transportation funding. The Oklahoman also spoke with our director about the need for more openness in the state budget process.

Policy Notes

Quotes of the Week

  • We’re not against the state question passing, but there was no measure there to make up the shortfall if this thing passes. It becomes an unfunded mandate instantly. –Garfield County assessor Wade Patterson on SQ 766. This state question on the November ballot would exempt all intangible property from property taxes, costing Oklahoma counties and schools as much as $50 million in 2013
  • It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen. It’s trying to use older equipment to fight things that are outrageous. We went to suppress it with our engine, and our engine went down right in the middle of it and shut the pump off. –Jason Bradley, Assistant Chief of the  Silver City Volunteer Fire Dept., which has struggled with inadequate and unreliable equipment when fighting wildfires due to a lack of funding
  • Oklahoma kids aren’t just going to compete with Oklahoma kids for jobs and careers. They have to be able to compete nationally and internationally. The gaps remain and we’ve got to close those gaps. –State Superintendent Janet Barresi, on a new report showing Oklahoma high school students scored lower than the national average on science and math ACT scores
  • I think that’s fantastic. I think that’s the only way we were going to be able to recover. At least these people will have some hope that they have something to live in. –Mannford Town Administrator Mike Nunneley, on the announcement that federal aid will be provided to wildfire victims in Creek County
  • I am extremely disappointed in FEMA’s decision to deny disaster assistance to all Oklahomans who have been tragically impacted by these fires. It seems ridiculous to me that houses lost in fires occurring within the same period, on the same day in some cases, would arbitrarily qualify for aid in some counties while not in others. –Governor Mary Fallin, on a decision by FEMA to provide federal assistance to wildfire victims in Creek County but not Cleveland, Oklahoma and Payne counties

Click here for this week’s Numbers of the Day


Gene Perry worked for OK Policy from 2011 to 2019. He is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism.

2 thoughts on “The Weekly Wonk: August 24, 2012

  1. on Tue we vote-question, why is my city willing to pay 10% on Bond money when I can finance my home for less than 3% ?

Leave a Reply

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