The Weekly Wonk July 20, 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 KnowClick here to subscribe to In The Know.

This week on the OK Policy blog, we explored whether term limits really changed how long Oklahoma legislators served. We explained how despite Governor Fallin’s attempt to shift the blame to President Obama, the real reason behind state Medicaid cuts is Oklahoma leaders’ mismanagement of the state budget.

A guest post warned of the influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a secretive organization that connects corporate lobbyists with state legislators. An upcoming series of Community Meetings in Oklahoma City and Tulsa will explore extending foster care in Oklahoma to age 21.

In his Journal Record column, Executive Director David Blatt explained how tax cuts in Kansas were intended to boost the economy but have had the opposite effect. RH Reality Check linked to OK Policy resources to argue that health care access and accepting federal funds to expand health coverage will be key issues in the state’s gubernatorial race. 

In our Editorial of the Week, an advisory board member for a hospital in Creek County wrote that Oklahoma’s refusal to accept Medicaid funds could force rural hospitals to close their doors.

Quote of the Week

“They start with the mentality of seeing employees as assets to be maximized.”

– Zaynep Ton of MIT’s Sloan School of Management, on retailers such as QuikTrip, Trader Joe’s and Costco Wholesale that are paying workers living wages. Such retailers consistently report better operational efficiency, better customer service, and better sales than their low-wage competitors (Source:

See previous Quotes of the Day here.

Numbers of the Day

  • 57 minutes – Average time patients with broken bones had to wait before receiving pain medication in Oklahoma emergency rooms.
  • 2,700,990 tons – Total tonnage processed by the Port of Catoosa in 2013.
  • 17 – Number of journalists reporting  full-time from the Oklahoma statehouse. Oklahoma ranks 15th nationwide.
  • 6 – Number of Oklahoma high schools with a dropout rate above 40 percent for the Class of 2012.
  • 9 percent – Percentage decline in Oklahoma’s teen birth rate from 2012 to 2013.

See previous Numbers of the Day 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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