Weekly Wonk December 22, 2013

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. 

On the OK Policy Blog, we discussed how Oklahoma can help improve school results for  English Language Learners with bilingual education. Policy Director Gene Perry discussed the topic in a recent column for the OK Gazette. Previous action item reports are archived here. We also issued a statement on the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision to strike down HB 2032, the income tax cut and capitol repairs bill; previously, we discussed how the tax cut bill would affect average Oklahomans and issued a statement arguing that the bill’s tax cuts were irresponsible. We’re happy to welcome three new staff members to the OK Policy team.

Also this week, OK Policy Executive Director David Blatt reported that Oklahomans will pay $1.2 billion per year in federal taxes and get nothing in return if Oklahoma continues to opt out of federal Medicaid expansion. Further resources and information about Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act in Oklahoma are available here. We also reviewed a book discussing the effects of scarcity. In his Journal Record column, Blatt argues that deficit reduction is misguided while the economy still struggles to grow and create jobs.

Numbers of the Day

  • $3,935 – Per inmate health care spending in Oklahoma’s correctional facilities, 35th least among the states (FY 2008)
  • 1,673 – 

    The number of Oklahomans who have so far enrolled in a private health insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act exchange online

  • 6.7% – Average annual percentage growth in Oklahoma health care expenditures, 1991-2009
  • 8 – The number of Oklahoma children per 1,000 who reside in foster care, compared to 5 children per 1,000 overall nationally
  • 6.7 percent – The share of their gross income that Oklahoma renters pay on average in energy costs, 9th most in the U.S.
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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