Weekly Wonk March 16, 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.

On the OK Policy blog, we examined proposed revisions the third-grade reading retention law.  We’ve written about the law before. We shared the story of a Norman insurance agent who works to educate people about the opportunities available to them because of theAffordable Care Act.

A new fact sheet provided an overview of prescription drug abuse in Oklahoma. A previous blog post described why Oklahoma’s biggest drug problem probably isn’t what you think. 

In his Journal Record column, Executive Director David Blatt suggested alternate income tax triggers. A joint op-ed by Policy Director Gene Perry and Liz McNichol from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities advocated for more responsible state budget planning. Perry was also interviewed about raising Oklahoma’s minimum wage. Oklahoma Assets Network coordinate Kate Richey was featured in an OETA segment on financial insecurity in Oklahoma. Richey has written about the topic before

Number of the Day

  • 14.5 – The infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births for African-Americans in Oklahoma, more than twice the rate for white Oklahomans (6.5).
  • 23 percent – Percentage of Oklahoma high school students who meet all four ACT benchmarks (math, reading, science, English) for college readiness, compared to a 26% national average.
  • 32,882 – Number of Oklahomans who have selected plans on on the Affordable Care Act marketplace as of March 1, 2014.
  • 90 percent – Percentage of adult members surveyed who considered themselves satisfied with SoonerCare customer services. SoonerCare is Oklahoma’s Medicaid program.
  • 50 percent – The staffing levels at the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center, a minimum-security prison where a staff member was taken hostage at knifepoint. The facility is authorized to employ 196 officers, but it has only 98 on staff.

Policy Notes


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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