Weekly Wonk October 20, 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.

OK Policy has released an Education Action Items brief detailing the state of education in Oklahoma and including several policy recommendations going forward; you can download the full brief here. OK Policy analyst Gene Perry was recently interviewed about cuts to education funding on OETA  and we’ve blogged about the topic. Previous Action Items installments made recommendations for tax reformcriminal justice, and health care policies. You can read the full series here.  We’ve added a new page on our website collecting information on resources on public pension issues.

On our blog, we announced two upcoming events of the Oklahoma chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network: a public forum on local development at OU on November 13th and a workshop for scholars on writing op-eds at TU on November 14th.  We are proud to announce our inaugural class of OK Policy research fellows.

In the Journal Record, OK Policy Director David Blatt argues that lawmakers have already made important changes to put our state pension system on a sound and sustainable footing and we should not proceed hastily to radically change pensions due to a crisis mentality. David was one of the guests last week on OETA’s Oklahoma Forum discussing widening income inequality. The Oklahoma Policy Institute is honored to be one of six recipients of the Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Diversity Award during the annual Oklahoma Bar Association Diversity Conference on October 24th. 

Numbers of the Day

  • 2 – The number of states that farm more acres of land today than they did a decade ago – Oklahoma and North Dakota
  • 74.1 percent – The percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in state pre-K in Oklahoma, 2nd most in the country behind Florida
  • 13.4 percent – Percentage of Oklahoma state legislators who are women — lower than every state except Louisiana and South Carolina
  • -7.5 percent – Average change in incomes among the bottom 20 percent of Oklahoma households over the last decade
  • 49.2% – Percentage of eligible voters who voted in Oklahoma in the 2012 election.

Policy Notes

  • Wonkblog reported on a debt ceiling extension proposed by House Republicans that would have incentivized refusal to reach agreement on bills to fund the government.
  • The New York Times’ Economix blog explains the effects of increased income inequality on political institutions.
  • Most fast food corporations and employers offering similarly low wages rely on public assistance to feed their employees, notes the Demos blog. 
  • Quartz discusses the shutdown’s various projected impacts on the US economy. 
  • Visualizations released by the US Census use self-reported data from the 2010 Census to map 22 different Latino populations from Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America across the US


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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