Weekly Wonk April 13, 2014

the_weekly_wonkThe Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage. Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know. Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

We’re accepting applications to our second annual Summer Policy Institute! Over 50  highly qualified undergrads and graduate students from across Oklahoma will become better informed on state policy issues, build relationships with officials, policymakers, and other students, and prepare for future work and study in policy-related fields. The application deadline is May 30th.

This week, we released results of a a poll indicating that Oklahoma voters strongly oppose tax breaks to oil and gas companies for horizontal drilling. OK Policy Executive Director David Blatt called for an end to such tax breaks in The Oklahoman. We’ve written about the topic before.

In a guest post, former Speaker of the House Steve Lewis compared his memories of the 1990 rally for education with what he saw at the recent rally on March 31. We reviewed a 2005 measure ensuring dedicated funding for the state’s road systems by allocating funds directly from income tax collections, and praised a proposal that would build funding for public schools via a similar measure (HB 2642).

We reported that Oklahoma’s Community Health Centers are struggling to stay afloat since the state’s fund covering uncompensated care ran out seven months early. OK Policy intern Haley Stritzel examined the Earned Income Tax Credit and called for its expansion.

The Oklahoman’s editorial board took issue with some of our suggestions for filling the budget hole. In his Journal Record column, Blatt argued that a single test isn’t sufficient in determining whether students should be held back. 

Numbers of the Day

  • 24.6 percent – Percent of African-American children in Oklahoma who have asthma, more than twice the rates for white (7.9), Hispanic (7.5), or American Indian (10.3) children.
  • 109 – Number of earthquakes of magnitude 3 or higher in Oklahoma so far this year, matching the total for all of 2013.
  • 64 percent – Percentage of Oklahoma voters in a recent poll who opposed providing tax breaks to oil and gas companies for using horizontal drilling.
  • 419  – The number of Oklahoma candidates who filed for state or federal office on Wednesday. Filing continues through 5pm on Friday.
  • 113,000 – Number of Oklahomans with a serious mental illness or substance abuse disorder who are uninsured.

Policy Notes


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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