The Weekly Wonk May 24, 2015

the_weekly_wonkThe Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage. Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The KnowClick here to subscribe to In The Know.

This week, we issued a statement explaining why lawmakers should have rejected the budget deal and demanded a balanced plan with responsible revenue options. We liveblogged a day at the state Capitol as the budget was debated. In his Capitol Update, Steve Lewis described how a lawsuit could upend the budget process. We explained how chronic under-investment by the state is harming Oklahoma families and the economy. OK Policy research fellow Cassidy Hamilton analyzed the arguments around adopting all voting-by-mail elections.

In his Journal Record column, Executive Director David Blatt suggested that wind energy incentives were reined in this legislative session not because they were the largest giveaways but because they were the easiest target. Blatt was quoted in News9 coverage of the budget debate. The City Sentinel, the okeducationtruths, and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy cited OK Policy in their discussions of the budget. KJRH reported on Legislative Liaison Damario Solomon-Simmons’ Manhood 101 Summit for at-risk boys.

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. Under the Act, agendas for regular and special meetings must be posted in a publicly-accessible location for at least 24 hours prior to its meeting… Read more.

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

Quote of the Week:

“Whatever agreement they do come to will not touch one dollar of an irresponsible income tax cut, will not essentially raise any money from any of the billions of dollars of tax credits that are currently out there. Instead they’re going to balance this budget on the backs of county roads and bridges, on the backs of public education teachers, on the backs of nurses and physicians’ assistants around the state.”

– House Minority Leader Scott Inman, speaking about the state of budget negotiations between legislative leaders and Governor Fallin (Source)

See previous Quotes of the Day here.

Editorial of the Week:

Editorial Board, The Tulsa World

With a $611 million funding gap to cover, it was inevitable that next year’s state budget would come with ironies and outrages.

It does.

 After days of closed-door negotiations, the state’s top leaders have unveiled their spending plan for the next fiscal year. It’s $73.2 million lower than the amount spent last year, takes $150 million out of the state’s emergency savings and uses some uncertain assumptions to assure that it is theoretically balanced.

Numbers of the Day:

  • 63.4% – the percentage of managed honeybee colonies lost in Oklahoma from 2014 to 2015. It was the worst loss in the nation.
  • 21% – the percentage of renting households in Oklahoma whose total rent consumes more than half of the household’s income.
  • $74.3M – the overall decrease in funding for state services in Oklahoma’s fiscal year 2016 budget proposal compared to this year.
  • $1,004 – the median annual property taxes paid by Oklahomans in 2013.
  • 62% – the percentage of female inmates at Eddie Warrior Correctional Center who currently have a mental illness.

See previous Numbers of the Day and sources here.

What we’re Reading:



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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