Weekly Wonk February 2, 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’ve released the OK Policy 2014 Legislative Primer in preparation for the start of the the Oklahoma legislative session on Monday. KWGS interviewed OK Policy Executive Director David Blatt about the upcoming session. Video of Blatt’s presentation “11 Things You Should Know About Oklahoma Budget and Taxes” from our State Budget Summit is now online.

Oklahoma Assets Network Coordinator Kate Richey wrote that nearly half of Oklahoma households are one misstep away  from financial insecurity. Blatt reported that bold measures will be needed to avoid potentially devastating cuts to vital public health services. He discussed the same topic in his Journal Record column. The newest post in our “Neglected Oklahoma” series profiled an Oklahoma woman struggling with student loan debt. An OK Policy Research Fellow argued that  economic development incentives tend to ‘crowd out’ expenditures on public goods. 

ThinkProgress Climate and Oklahoma Watchdog cited OK Policy in their coverage of House Speaker T.W. Shannon’s proposed permanent horizontal drilling tax breaks . We’ve discussed about those tax breaks before. Public Radio Tulsa quoted Blatt in its discussion of the same topic. Blatt was also quoted in a NewsOK article and a piece from Public Radio Tulsa discussing the income tax cut Governor Fallin is expected to propose in Monday’s State of the State speech. We’ve written about income tax cuts in Oklahoma previously.

Numbers of the Day

  • 226.7 percent – Increase in Oklahoma’s diabetes rate from 1995-2010, the largest relative increase in the nation
  • $1.43 – Average monthly SNAP or ‘food stamp’ benefit per person, per meal in Oklahoma
  • $38,400  – The base salary for members of the Oklahoma Legislature. The President Pro-Tem of the Senate and Speaker of the House receive an additional $17,932.
  • 23.5% – Share of the unemployed in Oklahoma who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more
  • 1,362  – The number of homeless people counted in an overnight Oklahoma City census in 2013
Policy Notes
  • Economix discusses paid family leave.
  • Wonkblog describes the proposed conservative alternative to Obamacare.
  • A new report from the Associated Press illustrates the changing demographics of food stamp recipients in America. 
  • Metrotrends finds that  most job growth has been concentrated in low-wage, low-skill jobs. 
  • The health insurance coverage gap disproportionately impacts low-income women, according to the National Women’s Law Center. 


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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