The Weekly Wonk: New CountySTATS, child uninsured rate drops, 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

This week, we released newly updated CountySTATS fact sheets for all 77 Oklahoma counties. On the OK Policy Blog, Policy Analyst Carly Putnam shared a recent study showing Oklahoma’s child uninsured rate has dropped significantly. Intern Elizabeth Armstrong discussed food insecurity among military families.  

In his Capitol Update, Steve Lewis explained a recent proposal to give the governor more authority to appoint agency directors. Chris Powell, former chair of the Oklahoma Libertarian Party, advocated for ballot access reform to improve voter turnout. In his Journal Record column, Executive Director David Blatt discussed research on why tax cuts are the wrong strategy for economic growth. 

OK Policy in the News

The Oklahoman quoted Blatt in a piece on an OCPA challenge to a proposed $0.01 sales tax increase to fund education. Perry spoke to Oklahoma Watch about review of state business incentives. The Oklahoman’s Editorial Board cited OK Policy data while discussing the impact of term limits. The original blog post on the topic is available here

Weekly What’s That

Ad valorum manufacturing exemption

In 1985, Oklahoma voters approved State Question 588 by a 69.7 percent majority. This created the ad valorem manufacturing exemption. Under Article X, Section 6B of the Oklahoma Constitution, all real and personal property that is necessary for the manufacturing of a product and facilities engaged in research and development, which meet certain requirements, receive a five-year exemption from ad valorem (property) taxes. Read more.

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

Quote of the Week

“The effect is that the press and public don’t know how and why their leaders are making these decisions until well after the decision is already made, and the consequences are already realized.”

Joe Wertz, a reporter for StateImpact Oklahoma, speaking about how Oklahomans often wait longer than six months for routine open records requests to be filled by the governor and Attorney General’s office (Source).

Editorial of the Week

Editorial Board, The Kansas City Star

As he ran for re-election last year, Gov. Sam Brownback brushed aside critics of his fiscal policies and proclaimed “the sun is shining in Kansas.”

On Friday, the latest full eclipse of that sun occurred when state officials slashed revenue projections by a total of $350 million over the next two years and cut $120 million in spending this year.

Numbers of the Day

  • 479,750 – Acres of irrigated farmland in Oklahoma in 2012, down from 534,768 acres in 2007
  • $4,457 – Estimated annual cost of food for a household consisting of one adult and one child in Oklahoma

See previous Numbers of the Day and sources here.

What We’re Reading

  • Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax policies are causing the sun to sink on Kansas’ future [Kansas City Star].
  • Police are searching black drivers more often, but finding more illegal stuff with white drivers [Washington Post].


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.

Leave a Reply

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