The Weekly Wonk: OKPolicyCast with Sabine Brown; thoughts on new Census data; shift in the election

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

In this week’s episode of the OKPolicyCast, we spoke with our Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator, Sabine Brown, who heads up Together Oklahoma, a grassroots coalition of advocates for better public policy. 

In his Journal Record column, Executive Director David Blatt reflected on new Census data which had mostly discouraging news for Oklahoma families, and especially children. Steve Lewis’s Capitol Update referenced the same data and pointed to a shift in this election toward candidates who want to work for solutions to these problems.

OK Policy in the News

Blatt spoke with the Tulsa World about new Census data that ranks Oklahoma second in the nation for percentage of population without health insurance. The Tulsa World cited OK Policy data on eviction rates in Tulsa. NonDoc included the OKPolicyCast in its list of Oklahoma podcasts. 

Upcoming Opportunities

Deadline for public comments one week away: Time is running out to make your voice heard. At the direction of Governor Fallin and the state legislature, the state Medicaid agency has put together a plan to cut vital health coverage for low-income parents who don’t report working or volunteering enough. The deadline to submit a public comment on OHCA’s Medicaid proposal is September 30th. You can use this question survey or this quick form to send your public comment.

Weekly What’s That

Revenue Stabilization Fund, What’s That?

In 2016, the Legislature created a new budget reserve fund, the Revenue Stabilization Fund (RSF), which is designed to grow in years when collections from the state’s most volatile revenue sources are coming in above recent averages. Under the new law,  every February the Board of Equalization compares the amount of money to be apportioned to the General Revenue Fund (GR) for the upcoming year with the average collection of the last five years for the gross production tax on oil and gas and the corporate income tax. Once actual General Revenue collections for the preceding fiscal year exceeded a threshold, if collections for the upcoming year for each of the three taxes are projected to be above the five-year average, 100 percent of the difference from each tax is to be deposited in reserve funds. Click here to read more

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

Quote of the Week

“None of us know just how much creativity and talent we are squandering by choosing not to invest more in public education in Oklahoma. How many children invisible in the back of the class, coming to school hungry, and not having needs met in any aspect of their lives, could be world-changers? More than we think.”

-Scott Meacham, president and CEO of i2E Inc., on the need to invest in public education. [NewsOK]

Editorial of the Week

Plan for welcoming new Tulsans embraces the city’s future

Tulsa is expected to have a majority Hispanic population in 30 years, mostly due to immigrant trends that began more than two decades ago.Mayor G.T. Bynum’s New Tulsans welcoming plan embraces the inevitable change as a positive force in all city life. The plan has a vision and goals for economic development, education, civic engagement, health and public safety. It is an optimistic and ambitious map for creating a robust and vibrant Tulsa for future generations. [Tulsa World]

Numbers of the Day

  • $888 million – Value of food items purchased through SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) in Oklahoma at retail grocery outlets, farmers markets and direct-to-market farmers in FY 2017
  • 11th – Oklahoma’s ranking for percentage of our state’s population under age 18. In 2016, 24.8% of Oklahomans were under 18.
  • 3.8% – Oklahoma’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate, July 2018
  • 35 – Days of lost instruction due to out-of-school suspension of Latino students in Oklahoma, per 100 students (2015-16). The national average for Latino students was 17 days
  • 455,000 – Barrels of crude oil produced per day in Oklahoma in 2017, up from 425,000 barrels per day in 2016

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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