The Weekly Wonk: Myths about food insecurity, irresistible forces and an immovable object

the_weekly_wonk_logoWhat’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk shares our most recent publications and other resources to help you stay informed about Oklahoma. Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know. Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

Note: Due to an all-staff conference, In The Know will be on break Tuesday through Friday and there will be no Weekly Wonk next Sunday.

This Week from OK Policy

During this short holiday week, we released a video debunking 9 myths about food insecurity in Oklahoma. In his Capitol Update, Steve Lewis looked at the irresistible forces and immovable object that will meet during the 2017 legislative session.

Weekly What’s That

Revolving Funds

A revolving fund is a fund of a specific government agency or entity that collects revenues from fees and other sources and supports expenditures of that agency or entity. In Oklahoma, most revolving funds cannot be spent by the Legislature, and balances of the fund carry over from one year to the next for the same purpose. Most revolving funds are created by laws. Expenditures from revolving funds may be limited to purposes defined by the law. Read more.

Look up more key terms to understand Oklahoma politics and government here.

Quote of the Week

“When new potential employers are raising concerns about our commitment to public education and using it as a reason for not accepting positions here, our local businesses and industries suffer greatly. We all know that perception is reality. Even though we know we have wonderful school districts, with great teachers serving our students every single day, the negative publicity we are receiving now beyond Oklahoma does not help us. It makes the problem even worse.”

-Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce President Wes Smithwick (Source)

Editorial of the Week

Kris Steele, Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform

“Oklahomans voted to reclassify certain nonviolent offenses — like simple drug possession and low-level property offenses — as misdemeanors, freeing up tens of millions of dollars a year to reinvest in more drug and mental health treatment. But the story’s ending is not written yet. The real work has just started. Nothing will change if the improvements voters endorsed are not properly implemented and expanded. As exciting as Tuesday’s victory was, successful implementation will be an even bigger lift than succeeding at the polls.”

Numbers of the Day

  • 21.5% – Poverty rate among Oklahomans with any disability, compared to a 15.1% poverty rate for Oklahomans with no disability
  • 34,200,000 – Number of acres of farmland in Oklahoma in 2015

  • 31% – Percentage of food insecure households in Oklahoma that are above 185 percent of the federal poverty level, making them ineligible for federal nutrition assistance

See previous Numbers of the Day and sources here.

What We’re Reading


Ryan Gentzler worked at OK Policy from January 2016 until November 2022. He last served as the organization's Reserach Director and oversaw Open Justice Oklahoma. He began at OK Policy as an analyst focusing on criminal justice issues, including sentencing, incarceration, court fines and fees, and pretrial detention. Open Justice Oklahoma grew out of Ryan’s groundbreaking analysis of court records, which was used to inform critical policy debates. A native Nebraskan, he holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma and a BA in Institutions and Policy from William Jewell College. He served as an OK Policy Research Fellow in 2014-2015.

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