The Weekly Wonk: Our 2015 Poverty Profile, six election takeaways, back on the hook, and more

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

This week, we released our 2015 Poverty Profile, where Policy Analyst Carly Putnam and Policy Director Gene Perry break down Census Bureau poverty data for Oklahoma. Executive Director David Blatt shared six takeaways from last Tuesday’s elections. Blatt’s Journal Record column discussed the Constitutional amendment requiring supermajorities in both Legislative houses to pass revenue-raising measures. 

Outreach and Operations Associate Tyler Parette explained how credit scoring is linked to auto insurance premiums. In his Capitol Update, Steve Lewis argued that the success of SQ 780, which reformed penalties for some drug and minor property crimes, points Oklahoma to a better response to drug addiction

OK Policy in the News

Oklahoma Watch spoke to Perry about what a Trump presidency could mean for Oklahoma. A Nondoc discussion of the future of education funding quoted an OK Policy blog post. The Tulsa World noted that OK Policy was one of 55 organizations recently honored as inclusive workplaces by Mosaic, the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s diversity business council. 

Weekly What’s That

Child Care/Child Tax Credit

The Child Tax/Child Care Tax Credit is an Oklahoma tax credit that can be claimed by parents of dependent children. Taxpayers can claim the greater of five percent of the federal Child Tax Credit or twenty percent of the federal Child Care Tax Credit. In both cases, federal adjusted gross income cannot exceed $100,000. Read more

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

Quote of the Week

“I think that there is going to have to be recognition that there has to be new recurring revenue put on the table.”

– Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger, saying that proposals to provide teacher pay raises in the next legislative session will require increasing revenue collections (Source)

Editorial of the Week

Editorial Board, The Tulsa World

The other day, Gov. Mary Fallin said having students attend public schools only four days a week is “unacceptable.” We agree. Then we heard Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, say that Oklahoma teachers deserve a $10,000-a-year raise. That’s a very big number, but there’s no doubt teachers deserve a lot more than they’re getting. If the state doesn’t do something dramatic, the drain of public school teachers to bordering states that offer substantially higher salaries will accelerate. Of course, the critical question that follows both proposals is: How will we pay for it?

Numbers of the Day

  • 20.48% – Percentage of Oklahoma adults with any mental illness
  • -18.5% – Percent change in number of breakfasts served through the Summer Food Service Program between August 2014 and August 2015
  • $154.3 million – How much Oklahoma’s general revenue in the first four months of FY 2017 is below this same time last fiscal year
  • 29,000 – Number of Oklahoma workers who made the federal minimum wage or lower in 2015
  • 43rd – Oklahoma’s national rank in district student-to-administrator ratio

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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