The Weekly Wonk: Revenues in HB 1010xx are a great start, but there’s more work to be done

the_weekly_wonk_logoWhat’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

OK Policy was joined by two dozen other organizations for a press conference presenting multiple revenue options that the state could adopt to fund core services and prevent a teacher walkout. We also issued a statement on the passage of HB 1010xx – the revenues in this package are a great start, but more work must be done to fix Oklahoman’s structural budget deficit.

Executive Director David Blatt’s Journal Record column explained why the passage of HB 1010xx was a big deal. A guest post by Brent Sadler of the Tulsa Area United Way shared resources that will be available for families in case of a teacher walkout.

Our Bill Watch post laid out what we’ll be paying attention to in the legislature next week. A guest post by Amy Smith told us about the importance of Oklahoma STABLE accounts that will be available for individuals with disabilities this spring. Policy Analyst Ryan Gentzler warned about legislative efforts to rewrite SQ 788 before voters have a chance to approve it.

OK Policy in the News

OK Policy data made a appearance in the Washington Post for a story about recent Republican pushes for increased education funding. Blatt had a busy week – he spoke with CNHI about the potential teacher walkout, Public Radio Tulsa about the passage of HB 1010xx, KTUL about Oklahoman’s comparatively low tax burden, and the News on 6 about the lottery.

Weekly What’s That

Rainy Day Fund

The Rainy Day Fund (formally known as the Constitutional Reserve Fund) was created in 1985 in response to a dramatic revenue downturn. It is designed to collect extra funds when times are good and to spend those funds when revenues cannot support ongoing state operations. The Constitution (Article X, Section 23) allows the Fund to be spent in four instances. Click here to read more.

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

Quote of the Week

“My thought has always been if you want to try to reform Medicaid, then you really truly have to help people break the cycle of poverty. Instead of throwing people off the program because you can no longer afford them, how about you help them through education, job training and job opportunity so they no longer qualify? That’s the best Medicaid reform.”

– Nico Gomez, president and CEO of Care Providers Oklahoma, speaking about lawmakers’ attempts to reduce eligibility for Medicaid [Source]

Editorial of the Week

Mara Pellittieri, Talk Poverty

Teaching has always been difficult, but years of funding cuts are making it impossible. After pleading with lawmakers for support, striking is the only thing left that makes sense. That’s why West Virginia closed down every school in the state for 12 days, and it’s why Oklahoma might follow suit.

Numbers of the Day

  • 28.5% – Share of Oklahoma adults without a high school diploma or equivalency who report going without medical care due to cost, versus just 6.6% of Oklahomans with a bachelor’s degree or greater
  • 79 – Votes in favor of a $447 million revenue package to fund teacher pay raises and other priorities in the Oklahoma House of Representatives on Monday night. This is the first time the House has reached the three-fourths majority to raise taxes since that requirement was added to the Oklahoma Constitution in 1992.
  • 5.9 – Number of days Oklahoma could run on only Rainy Day Funds. The national average is 19.8
  • 67% – Percentage of Oklahoma likely voters who support raising income taxes on wealthy individuals.

See previous Numbers of the Day and sources here.

What We’re Reading


Courtney Cullison worked for OK Policy from 2017 to 2020 as a policy analyst focused on issues of economic opportunity and financial security. Before coming to OK Policy, Courtney worked in higher education, holding faculty positions at the University of Texas at Tyler and at Connors State College in eastern Oklahoma. A native Oklahoman, she received an Honors B.A. in Political Science from Oklahoma State University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. with emphasis in congressional politics and public policy from the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, Courtney was a fellow at the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center. As a professor she taught classes in American politics, public policy, and research methods and conducted original research with a focus on the relationship between representatives and the constituents they serve.

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