The Weekly Wonk December 21, 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 KnowClick here to subscribe to In The Know.

This week, we released a new report examining why Oklahoma’s democracy is broken and how we can fix it. You can download the full report here, download an executive summary, or watch an animated video summarizing the report. In this week’s episode of the OK PolicyCast, we interviewed Executive Director David Blatt about the report and reviewed the major headlines of the week. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunesStitcher, or RSS.

More of our work on elections in Oklahoma is available here. A guest blog post from OK Policy research fellow Ryan Gentzler explains why the school funding problem is even worse than we thought. A new blog post discusses how Oklahoma lawmakers passed a “work requirement” for food assistance that imposed no actual new requirements, while stripping out funds for job training and education that could have actually helped the unemployed find work. In his weekly Capitol Update, Steve Lewis shares how committee appointments reveal who the most influential legislators will be next year.

On January 29th, OK Policy will host our second annual State Budget Summit, titled “Mind the Gap: Sensible Budget Policy in Challenging Times.” The keynote address will be delivered by columnist E.J. Dionne, whose work appears in the Washington Post, NPR and other publications. Tickets may be purchased here.

Writing in this week’s Journal Record column, Executive Director David Blatt discussed increasing calls for wind industry tax credit reforms. Oklahoma Watch quoted OK Policy in a discussion of an Affordable Care Act grant won by the state. KFOR included OK Policy’s statement in their coverage of the triggered tax break for the wealthy. Ballot Access News shared our report on repairing Oklahoma’s broken democracy. In our Editorial of the Week, the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs’ Michael Carnuccio argued in favor of sensible criminal justice reform.

Quote of the week:

“The current and hopefully short-term price of oil, and the ongoing drought that continues to impact the agriculture sector of our economy, are reminders to us that the additional funds typically used to supplement the general revenue fund may not always be there at the levels seen in recent years.”

-House Speaker Jeff Hickman, warning that Oklahoma should expect further budget cuts to state services next year (Source:

See previous Quotes of the Week here.

Numbers of the day

  • 42 percent – Percentage of all arrests made in Oklahoma in 2013 that were related to drugs or alcohol.
  • 13 – Number of cases of malaria reported in Oklahoma in 2013
  • 61.10% – Percentage of women who entered the state correctional system in 2013 with a moderate to high need for substance abuse treatment.
  • 269% – Average premium increase of health insurance plans purchased on in Oklahoma if Attorney General Pruitt’s lawsuit against the health care law is successful ($75/month to $277/month).
  • $101 – Cost of a bear hunting license for Oklahoma residents in the 2014-2015 hunting season. (The cost is $506 for non-residents.)

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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.