Weekly Wonk November 3, 2013

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. As the Weekly Wonk was on hiatus last weekend, this post features links from the past two weeks. 

OK Policy Director David Blatt wrote on our blog that Oklahoma’s Medicaid system is an indispensable part of the state’s health care system; we released an issue brief on the topic in March. He also argued that Oklahoma’s poor revenue collections could mean serious challenges to the state budget going forward.

OK Policy research fellow Ryan Miskell writes that an A-F grading system for schools won’t help to improve Oklahoma’s educational system. You can read more about our inaugural class of research fellows here. A guest post reported that the Quality Jobs Program, designed to induce companies to bring jobs to Oklahoma, is rewarding companies that haven’t done so.  We discussed the impact of recent SNAP cuts on Oklahomans. In an upcoming event, photographer Yousef Khanfar presents his portraits of incarcerated women in Oklahoma. 

In his Journal Record columns, Blatt discusses a recent screening of the documentary Inequality for All and a push to bring the state’s Medicaid population back into managed care plans, an experiment that has already failed in Oklahoma. Blatt was quoted in a Tulsa World article on shale gas production, and our 2012 Oklahoma Poverty Profile was cited in an article on local soup kitchens and food pantries. You can read our 2012 Poverty Profile here.

KJOU has posted the audio from our Summer Policy Institute’s panel on economic development. We’ve linked to previously-released SPI panel recordings here

Numbers of the Day

  • $18,467 – The average annual cost to incarcerate one person in Oklahoma, 2010
  • 75.9 years Average life expectancy of someone born in Oklahoma — 5.4 years less than someone born in Hawaii (81.3 years) and higher only to Louisiana (75.7), Alabama (75.4), West Virginia (75.4) and Mississippi (75.0).
  • 30th – Oklahoma’s ranking in number of children with one or more emotional, behavioral, or developmental condition — 19 percent compared to U.S. average of 17 percent.
  • 98 percent – The share of private prison beds that Oklahoma guarantees will be filled – the second highest ‘lock up quota’ among the few states that permit such provisions.
  • 22.5 percent – The poverty rate for Native American women in Oklahoma, compared to 34.4 percent nationally and 10th lowest among the 45 states ranked
  • 1,361 – The number of primary care physicians (PCPs) the state would need to add in one year to meet the current national average
  • 3.7 percent – The unemployment rate for Hispanic Oklahomans, 2nd lowest in the U.S. behind Virginia in 2012

Policy Notes

  • The forthcoming SCOTUS review of cases concerning federal regulation of greenhouse gases concerns Oklahoma’s state electrical utilities and state political leadership, according to StateImpactOK. 
  • Governing argues that efforts to reduce inequality need to focus on wealth – not jobs.
  • According to the Center for American Progress, the American public is far more open to diversity and welcoming of the opportunities growing diversity presents than popular media would suggest. 
  • A new report from Demos highlights the factors holding the lower class in poverty and keeping middle class growth stagnant. 
  • Time Magazine presents the likely impact of Texas’s new voter ID laws on women voters. 
  • Federal efforts to assist with home ownership may be harming first-time homebuyers, particularly people of color, according to Forbes. 
  • StateImpactOK explicates the history and politics of water resource management in Oklahoma City.


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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