The Weekly Wonk: Revenue shortfall, uninsured drivers and more

the_weekly_wonkWhat’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

On the OK Policy Blog, Executive Director David Blatt discussed whether we could expect a revenue shortfall yet this year. His Journal Record column examined new data on uneven health insurance gains in Oklahoma. Steve Lewis’s column shared two approaches to dealing with uninsured drivers. 

An upcoming summit will discuss food insecurity in Oklahoma. We’re pleased to welcome our new Research Fellows and fall interns. 

Fall Policy Institute – Register Now

Tuesday is the last day to register for our Fall Policy Institute (FallPol), which will be on Saturday, October 3rd, at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond! This one-day training will deliver a solid overview of significant policy issues in Oklahoma for those with a range of interests and experiences. Click here to learn more.

OK Policy in the News

The Red Dirt Report quoted Blatt in a piece on civil asset forfeiture reform, and Policy Director Gene Perry spoke about the topic on a recent panel. Blatt was also quoted in a NewsOK article on the Senate’s office fund. NewsOK quoted Perry and cited this report while discussing superintendents’ salaries and the teacher pay debate. The Tulsa World noted OK Policy’s work on recent Census Bureau poverty data

Weekly What’s That

Fiscal year

A fiscal year (usually abbreviated ‘FY’) is the period used for calculating annual budgets. The state of Oklahoma’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. Read more

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

Quote of the Week

While [Affordable Care Act] taxes are being enforced in Oklahoma, the state has refused billions of dollars in ACA funding to extend Medicaid coverage to the state’s poorest people. Some 127,000 insured Oklahomans — enough to knock the state’s uninsured percentage down near 12 percent — could be eligible for expanded Medicaid. …Refusing the federal funding is foolish. It keeps Oklahoma physically and economically sick in defiance of a political battle that was lost long ago.

-Tulsa World Editorial Board (Source)

See previous Quotes of the Day here.

Editorial of the Week

Judy Kishner, The Tulsa World

When will we demand results from our Legislature, so that they are making decisions that would actually improve the quality of life of everyday Oklahomans instead of investing our resources in causes that benefit only the wealthy few? It’s time to stand up and communicate with those who represent us that we need real support for health care, education, and mental health services, just to name a few of the most urgent needs.

Private philanthropy invests millions in our state each year to improve the lives of the disadvantaged, and improve our quality of life. There is no way philanthropy can take the place of our tax dollars to meet the challenges we face. Our elected officials must make responsible investments of our tax dollars in critical programs to help those most vulnerable.

Numbers of the Day

  • 15.1% – Percentage of Oklahomans with a disability in 2012, 8th highest among all fifty states.
  • 33.0% – The rate of obesity in Oklahoma in 2014, sixth highest in the nation.
  • 71 – Teen (age 15-19) death rate per 100,000 in Oklahoma in 2011, the 5th-highest in the US.
  • 355,920 – Estimated number of households in Oklahoma with no Internet access, 24.4% of all households in the state.
  • 26% – Families with children ages 0 to 8 where no available parent had full-time, year-round employment in Oklahoma in 2012

See previous Numbers of the Day and sources here.

What We’re Reading

  • Medical insurance is good for financial health, too [New York Times]. 
  • The good news is that Americans on food stamps are getting roughly the same number of calories as everyone else. The bad news is that those calories come from less healthy sources [Washington Post]. 
  • A survey of families that have an incarcerated family member found that nearly two-thirds struggle to meet their basic needs, including 50 percent that are unable to afford sufficient food and adequate housing [New York Times].
  • States’ increasing reliance on sales tax is risky [Governing]. 
  • These kids were geniuses — they were just too poor for anyone to discover them [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.

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