The Weekly Wonk October 26, 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 KnowClick here to subscribe to In The Know.

This week on the OK Policy Blog, the executive director of The Oklahoma Innocence Project wrote that exonerating wrongly-prisoners should be a shared priority. We found the state agency workforces are still well below pre-recession levels, and argued in favor of the Postal Service entering the financial services market. In his weekly Capitol Update, Steve Lewis notes that a recent report finding Oklahoma has not been making a good faith effort to institute reforms to the child welfare system has to be discouraging to everyone involved.

In a new issue brief, we examine the experiences of other states and conclude that accepting federal funds to expand health coverage to low-income Oklahomans is a good deal for the state. The brief was also the topic of discussion on this week’s OK PolicyCast. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunesStitcher, or RSS.

David Blatt’s Journal Record column points out that lawmakers have taken away far more revenue by passing tax cuts and growing tax breaks than have been added by the lottery, Indian gaming, and tobacco taxes. Blatt is recognized as a Local Social Justice Champion by the inaugural Dan Allen Awards, sponsored by the Dan Allen Center for Social Justice, one of five local leaders honored.

The Edmond Sun cited OK Policy data in an examination of mental health in Oklahoma. The Lawton Constitution shared information about Together Oklahoma’s Together Tuesdays Tour. Learn more about Together Oklahoma and Together Tuesdays here. In our Editorial of the Week, Tulsa World columnist Ginnie Graham suggested that legislators ought to have their session in classrooms to see the effect their decisions have had on public schools.

 On November 10th, OK Policy will host Dr. Lawrence R. Jacobs, a leading expert on health care policy, for his lunchtime talk “The 2014 Elections and the Future of Health Reform.” Click here to purchase tickets. Want to know more about what’s on the ballot Nov. 4? Check out OK Policy’s 2014 Oklahoma Elections page, with information on voting times, state questions, judicial elections, and more.

Quote of the week:

“Maybe instead of the next Legislative session being held at the Capitol, it should be held at various public schools. This goes for all statewide elected officials. Perhaps lawmakers will act quicker if they sit in a room with 32 colleagues in 75-degree heat and no fan. Bring a coat for winter because boilers in those old schoolhouses are testy. Instead of an office, they have to push a cart with their supplies from room to room, as teachers did in Oklahoma City. Or have them split time at one school then go to another the second part of day. No travel reimbursement is allowed. Just like teachers, officials must give wish lists to constituents for supplies like pencils, paper and hand sanitizer. When things really get tight and janitorial service is cut, they should be ready to mop at the end of the day.”

-Tulsa World columnist Ginnie Graham, writing about Oklahoma legislators who claim to support education while make the largest cuts to school funding in the nation (Source:

See prior Quotes of the Day here.

Numbers of the day:

  • 764 – The number of new foster homes approved by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, 27 fewer than the previous fiscal year and nowhere near their goal of 1,197 new homes.
  • 4,667 – Estimated number of unmarried, same-sex couples living together in Oklahoma before same-sex marriage was legalized.
  • 144,565 – The number of children under the age of six who live in counties classified as high risk for poor school readiness.
  • 40 percent – Percentage of women in Oklahoma who report having at least one poor mental health day each month, compared to 30 percent of men.
  • 11,131 – Number of motor vehicle thefts reported in Oklahoma in 2013.

See prior Numbers of the Day and sources here.

What we’re reading:


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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.