Weekly Wonk March 9, 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.

OK Policy released a statement  in response to the House passage of HB 2508. On the OK Policy blog, we explained why leaving budget decisions on autopilot is irresponsible. We presented a modest proposal for states that are heavily reliant on federal funding but don’t want to accept federal funds to expand health care for the uninsured.

A guest post shared the story of an Oklahoma woman who was ripped off by a for-profit college. The rest of our “Neglected Oklahoma” series is available here. An upcoming free public lecture will discuss meeting the needs of infants and toddlers in the child welfare system. 

In his Journal Record column, OK Policy Executive Director David Blatt discussed the state’s notable lack of long-term budget planning. Our prior statement on the topic is available here. Policy Director Gene Perry was quoted in a column examining proposed income tax cuts, as well as in an editorial on popular myths about the social safety net. Perry’s analysis on the topic can be read here.

Numbers of the Day

  • 239 percent – Percentage increase in corporate income tax refunds paid out by Oklahoma through January this fiscal year, compared to the same period last year
  • 5.24 percent – Percentage of Oklahomans aged 18 or older who experienced serious mental illness in 2011-2012, the second highest rate in the nation
  • $267 million – How much a tax cut approved in the Oklahoma Senate could reduce state revenues by 2018
  • 106,000 – Number of Oklahoman lifted out of poverty by the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit
  • 556 – The number of structurally-deficient bridges in Oklahoma, 2012

Policy Notes

  • The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains a new proposal that could make high-poverty schools hunger-free.
  • The Washington Monthly debunks the myth of the “Texas miracle.”
  • A new interactive chart from Wonkblog explores 60 years of budget deficits (and the occasional surplus).
  • The Center for American Progress reviews the House Budget Committee’s new report on social services and education programs. 
  •  Alliance for a Just Society explains how an increasingly popular probation model incentivizes for-profit companies to prey on low-income misdemeanor offenders.



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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