The Weekly Wonk: Health care law repeal threatens chaos, budget hearings highlight need, and more

the_weekly_wonk_logoWhat’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk shares our most recent publications and other resources to help you stay informed about Oklahoma. Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know. Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

This Week from OK Policy

This week on the OK Policy Blog, Policy Analyst Carly Putnam described how the process of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act could affect Oklahomans’ health care. In his Capitol Update, Steve Lewis noted that recent budget hearings illuminated agency needs. Executive Director David Blatt argued in his Journal Record column that the time has come for a higher gas tax

As part of the Together OK #betterok Budget Bootcamp, we shared eight key facts about Oklahoma’s budget and eight key facts on education in Oklahoma.

OK Policy in the News

Sequoyah County Times cited OK Policy data in an article on how recent criminal justice reform measures on the ballot affect the county’s sheriff. The education news site The 74 cited OK Policy data in a piece on Tulsa Honor Academy. OK Policy Board member Andrew Tevington was featured in an Oklahoma Gazette article on a partnership between the Oklahoma City-County Health Department and Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma

Upcoming Event

The 2017 State Budget Summit will be held on Thursday, January 26th at the Embassy Suites Oklahoma City Downtown/Medical Center. Click here for the full program or here to go directly to the registration page to purchase tickets.

Weekly What’s That

Administrative Rules

State agencies can make rules to implement laws under procedures set out in the Administrative Procedures Act (75 OS 250). Administrative rules have the effect of law. Before becoming effective, permanent rules are subject to a comprehensive rulemaking process that includes review and approval by the Oklahoma Legislature. Read more.

Look up more key terms to understand Oklahoma politics and government here.

Quote of the Week

“We lost a teacher today to a job in a correctional facility. Let that sink in… #oklaed #DoSomethingOK”

– A tweet from Dr. Rick Cobb, Superintendent of Mid-Del Public Schools and blogger at okeducationtruths (Source)

Editorial of the Week

Dr. John Henning Schumann, The Tulsa World

When we think about achieving good health, it’s natural to think of visits to the doctor for “checkups” and age-appropriate interventions like vaccinations or cancer screening. But here’s something you might not know: The “health care system” as we know it, an American industry on which we collectively spend $3 trillion annually, only accounts for one-fifth of our overall health.

Numbers of the Day

  • 25% – Percentage of Oklahoma students who scored below proficient in the 8th Grade Reading Oklahoma Core Corriculum Test in 2016. Students under the age of 18 must pass this test in order to get a driver’s license
  • 23 – Average jail stay, in days, for men who were admitted into the Oklahoma County Jail in 2015. Women stayed an average of 15 days
  • 18.6% – Percent of Oklahoma high school students who reported being bullied on school property, 2013
  • 61 – Median age of voters in Oklahoma City’s last mayoral election
  • 49% – Percent of new Oklahoma state employee hires that were retained through 36 months as of 2014

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.

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