The Weekly Wonk: Sales tax holiday is poor policy, rethinking suspensions, & more

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.

This Week from OK Policy

This week, Executive Director David Blatt wrote in his Journal Record column that sales tax holidays are poor public policy. He went into greater detail on the subject on the OK Policy Blog. Intern Tara Grigson argued that Oklahoma needs to rethink school suspensions. In his Capitol Update, Steve Lewis explained why a special legislative challenge likely wouldn’t accomplish much

In The Know took a break during our fourth annual Summer Policy Institute for much of this week. Check it out on Twitter here.

OK Policy in the News

Blatt  spoke to KOCO about oil industry objections to our Oklahoma Agenda for Broad-Based Prosperity. Blatt also spoke to the Norman Transcript about objections to sales tax holidays. Policy analyst Ryan Gentzler was quoted in the Enid News on criminal justice reforms

Weekly What’s That

Supplemental appropriation

A supplemental appropriation is funding approved by the Legislature in the middle of a fiscal year, in addition to funds already provided in that year’s initial state budget. Supplemental appropriations generally are made to cover emergencies or unanticipated mid-year budget shortfalls within an agency or other government entity.

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

Quote of the Week

“That may surprise some people, but it shouldn’t because we have seen in polling for some time that people want teachers to make more money, so it’s not too surprising that (SQ 779) has support. I think people see this as a need that has gone long overlooked by the Legislature, and I think this state question is basically the people saying ‘If you aren’t going to do something about it, we will.’ ”

– SoonerPoll CEO Bill Shapard, on polling that shows 62 percent of voters support the ballot question that would create a penny sales tax for education (Source). Read our statement on the proposal here.

Editorial of the Week

Editorial Board, Tulsa World

The problem at DHS, the school funding problem and similar crises in mental health, corrections, public safety and elsewhere in state government reflect the same underlying issue: The Oklahoma Legislature has cut taxes so drastically that the state doesn’t have enough money to do what must be done.

The answer isn’t to nibble around the edges of the funding pie. The answer is to get a bigger pie.

Numbers of the Day

  • 61.1% – Percent of Oklahoma adults in 2014 who were eligible for voter registration who were registered, 43rd in the US
  • 10% – Percent of Oklahoma children who had had a parent incarcerated at some point in their childhood as of 2011-2012.

See previous 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.