The Weekly Wonk July 27, 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, we debunked some myths about who the migrant children at Fort Sill are, why they came to the US, and what’s being done about them. A new issue brief examines Oklahoma’s Quality Jobs Program and makes recommendations going forward. We’ve written about some problems with the program before.

OK Policy Southern Education Fellow Rebecca Hollis described IMPACT!Tulsa, a new initiative designed to coordinate efforts to improve schools achievement and compile outcome data to ensure that reforms achieve the desired outcomes. We announced an upcoming event to honor Gov. Henry Bellmon with the 2014 Good Sense/Good Cents award on Aug. 4th. The event is free and open to the public.

We’re thrilled to introduce a new weekly podcast from OK Policy! The In The Know podcast will feature some of the most important Oklahoma headlines and feature interviews with OK Policy researchers regarding their work that week. On this week’s edition, Kate Richey and Carly Putnam bust some myths surrounding the migrant children at Fort Sill, and Gene Perry discusses one of the largest business subsidies in Oklahoma.

In his journal record column this week, Executive Director David Blatt shared the complicated reality of the effects of term limits on the Oklahoma legislature. This blog post discusses the topic in greater depth.  Blatt was quoted in the Tulsa World discussing recent court rulings on the Affordable Care Act.

NewsOK cited OK Policy data while reporting on Oklahomans with mental illnesses that go untreated because of the state government’s decision not to accept federal funds to expand health coverage. In our Editorial of the Week, The Oklahoman wrote that Oklahoma still has a long way to go on corrections reform. Policy Director Gene Perry is quoted in the piece.

Quote of the Week:

“According to the Affordable Care Act’s (marketplace), I signed up and went through that process, and they said I would qualify for state Medicaid. When you go to the state Medicaid website, due to Governor Fallin’s unwillingness to expand it, I don’t qualify.”

– Joshua Kraft, a 26-year old Oklahoman with chronic depression and anxiety. Because the state has refused to accept federal funds to expand health coverage to low-income Oklahomans, Kraft’s illness largely goes untreated (Source:

See previous Quotes of the Day here.

Numbers of the Day

  • 19,873 – Number of beginning farmers in Oklahoma in 2012, down from 26,880 in 2002.
  • 20 – Number of women in the Oklahoma legislature out of 149 legislators, the 3rd lowest percentage in the nation.
  • 85 – Number of laboratory-confirmed cases of rabies in Oklahoma during 2013.
  • $36,300 – Average teacher base salary for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree and ten years of teaching experience in Oklahoma.
  • 7.5% – Percentage of wage and salary workers in Oklahoma that were members of a union in 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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