Weekly Wonk March 30, 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.

 This week, OK Policy released our suggestions for a balanced approach to the state budget shortfall. We examined the effects of tax cuts in Kansas, suggesting that their impact in Kansas offered a warning to Oklahoma. An upcoming lecture sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services will discuss responsive practices for adverse childhood experiences.

We shared the story of an Oklahoma man unable to access needed health care because the state has refused federal funds to extend coverage to low-income Oklahomans. We also gave you six good reasons why you should enroll in health insurance

In his Journal Record column, OK Policy Executive Director David Blatt discussed possible reasons for Oklahoma’s chronic budget shortfalls. Blatt will be speaking in Oklahoma City on Monday as part of the rally for public education funding.  

Numbers of the Day

  • 20 percent – Percentage of black male students in Oklahoma who received an out-of-school suspension in 2011-2012, compared with 7 percent of white male students. For females, 13 percent of black students had an out of school suspension in 2011-2012 compared with 3 percent of white students.
  • 36.9 percent – Percentage of office-based physicians in Oklahoma with a basic electronic health record system, significantly lower than the national average of 48.1 percent.
  • $101 million – How much Oklahoma could increase revenues by eliminating the “double deduction” for state income taxes, an unintentional fluke of the fluke of the law that serves no rational purpose.
  • $3.7 billion – Oklahoma’s tribal gaming revenue in 2012, the second highest in the US.
  • 12.2 percent – 2012 unemployment rate in North Tulsa, nearly twice the unemployment rate for the Tulsa Metro as a whole (6.9 percent).

Policy Notes

  • Demos examines how minimum wage hikes have affected job growth in cities and states.
  • The New Republic writes that the Affordable Care Act’s efforts to help the underinsured Americans have been overlooked.
  • SCOTUSblog reviews recent arguments made before the US Supreme Court pertaining to birth control, religious beliefs, and business in the Affordable Care Act.
  • Due the Affordable Care Act, survivors of domestic violence have resources available when applying for health insurance, according to the National Women’s Law Center.
  • Columbia Journalism Review discusses how coverage of debates over whether states should expand Medicaid has been leaving out the stories of the real people who are affected.


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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