Weekly Wonk February 23, 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. 

 OK Policy updated our Budget Trends and Outlook, summarizing key points you should know about the state budget. On our blog, Executive Director David Blatt reiterated that previous income tax cuts did not cause Oklahoma’s revenues to rise. In a guest post, Kansas Center for Economic Growth Executive Director Annie McKay wrote that Kansas’s income tax cuts have left the state struggling. 

Oklahoma Assets Network Coordinator Kate Richey discussed the 2014 farm bill reauthorized early this month. OK Policy intern Haley Stritzel argued that Oklahoma’s marijuana laws are among the harshest in the US.

In his Journal Record column, Blatt discussed the waiting list for home- and community-based services for individuals with developmental disabilities. KGOU quoted a guest post on the OK Policy blog arguing that income tax cuts don’t raise economic growth. Blatt was quoted in a KSOU feature on the state budget. In the Edmond Sun, Busey Group CEO Phil Busey used OK Policy data in an editorial arguing that the proposed tax cuts don’t make sense.

Numbers of the Day

  • 222 – Oklahoma earthquakes of 2.5 magnitude or greater felt or reported in 2013, more than 3 times as many as in 2012
  • $43,950 – Salary for a teacher with a Master’s degree and 25 years of experience in Oklahoma
  • $76 million – Estimated decrease in Oklahoma’s corporate income tax revenue this year compared to FY 2013, a 17 percent drop
  • 3.04 – The average family size in Oklahoma. The national average is 3.14 people per family
  • $746 million – Amount Governor Fallin’s proposed FY 2015 state budget is below the FY 2009 state budget, adjusted for inflation

Policy Notes

  • The Economic Policy Institute argues that efforts to transform Oklahoma’s state pensions into a defined contribution system could actually increase costs.
  • News9 reports that older Americans have so far been the Affordable Care Act’s biggest winners
  • Crime rates continued a historic decline in 2013, according to Sentencing Law and Policy.
  • The Center for American Progress reports that American workers must often a sacrifice traditional family values for the corporate bottom line.
  • The New York Times writes that the Affordable Care Act is enabling more American entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.


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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