Weekly Wonk January 19, 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.

The Tulsa World reported that Oklahoma’s revenue crunch colored discussion at our our statewide budget summit on Thursday. Public Radio Tulsa said that the summit gave the state budget a bleak outlook, while the Associated Press noted that Governor Fallin and House Speaker T.W. Shannon disagree on state budget ideas. Capital City OK discussed five takeaways from the summit. Presentations featured at the summit are available here.

On our blog, OK Policy Executive Director David Blatt argued that a recent study from the State Chamber of Oklahoma fails to adequately justify maintaining oil and gas tax breaks. Policy Director Gene Perry suggested that Oklahoma’s gas tax system needs reform. In a guest post, OK Policy Research Fellow Bailey Perkins made the case for better funding Oklahoma’s education system. We published a graph showing that staff levels in Oklahoma correctional institutions are way down, while inmate populations have continued to rise. 

In an editorial published by Oklahoma Watch, Perry argued for continuing commitment to the ‘War on Poverty,’ and in his Journal Record column, Blatt wrote that  it has improved conditions for low-wage workers and their families. Capital City OK referenced Blatt’s discussion of oil and gas tax breaks, and Blatt was quoted in a NewsOK article, as well as in NewsOK’s online Q&A on the topic. 

Numbers of the Day

  • 937 – 

    The number of pedestrians and bicyclists involved in crashes with automobiles in 2012 in Oklahoma’s cities (pop. > 5,000)

  • 31 percent – Share of Oklahoma’s TANF or ‘welfare’ budget spent on child care assistance, versus 16 percent nationally
  • 44,423 – 

    Number of eligible Oklahomans that have completed a Healthcare.gov application – over 1/3 of those have enrolled in a new health plan as of December 2013

  • 10.1 percent – 

    Oklahoma’s unemployment rate with ‘marginally attached’ workers included (part-time workers who need a full-time job, temporary workers, and discouraged job seekers), up from 9.9 percent a year ago

  • 41 million – The number of Americans kept out of poverty in 2012 by safety net programs, according to the Supplemental Poverty Measure

Policy Notes

  • The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities writes that safety net programs that have helped reduce child poverty in the short term are also opening doors of opportunity for those children in the long run.
  • A major report from Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress assesses the financial vulnerability of women in America.
  • Wonkblog gives seven reasons why Congress’s failure to extended unemployment insurance matters.
  • Equal pay for working women would reduce poverty and grow the American economy, according to the Institute for Women’s Poverty Research.
  • Economix debunks the myth of the Affordable Care Act’s ‘war on men.’


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.