Oklahoma Policy Institute

Oklahoma Policy Institute

Analysts with the Oklahoma Policy Institute told state lawmakers Tuesday that Gov. Kevin Stitt's early termination of enhanced federal unemployment payments meant to help individuals weather the COVID-19 pandemic likely had little, if any, effect on improving workforce participation.

Oklahoma ranks 42nd for child well-being according to the 2021 KIDS COUNT report, up from 45th last year.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual report ranks states on economic well-being, family and community context, education, and health. Oklahoma dropped one spot to 41st in family and community context indicators. The state moved up seven spots to 42nd in health and three spots to 45th in education.

Oklahoma Capitol Restoration

After a week of speculation, Republican state leaders announced Thursday afternoon a high-level agreement on an $8.3 billion budget.

Gov. Kevin Stitt said the plan goes back to goals he laid out in February during his state of the state address.

"No. 1 was to make Oklahoma a top-10 place for business, No. 2 was to deliver Oklahomans more for their money and No. 3 was always to invest in our fellow Oklahomans, and I believe this budget has accomplished all three of those items," Stitt said.

Oklahoma now has fewer than 100 days until voter-approved Medicaid expansion takes effect, and a think tank has recommendations for implementing it. 

Oklahoma Policy Institute Health Policy Fellow Emma Morris said the main recommendation is to start enrollment now. The Oklahoma Health Care Authority currently plans to wait until July 1.

KWGS News

Oklahoma needs more revenue if the state is going to thrive.

That was the theme of Oklahoma Policy Institute Budget and Tax Senior Analyst Paul Shinn’s presentation at the think tank’s annual budget summit on Tuesday. Shinn said Oklahoma’s already lower-than-average tax revenues have plummeted over the past 20 years, taking some of the shine off a projected $8.2 billion budget for fiscal year 2022, half a billion more than this year’s budget.

A new report finds Oklahoma families are experiencing several pain points during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With lost wages, closed schools and lack of child care, the KIDS COUNT report based on Census Bureau data found 40% of Oklahoma adults with kids said they’re having trouble paying for usual household expenses. More than 30% worry about eviction or foreclosure in the coming months.

Nearly 20% are without health insurance, and 13% say they don’t always have enough to eat.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

A former fiscal director for the Oklahoma House of Representatives told state lawmakers in an interim study this week they’ll need to play an active role in a long recovery from the coronavirus-driven economic downturn.

Oklahoma Policy Institute Budget and Tax Senior Policy Analyst Paul Shinn said while corporate income will likely return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022, unemployment numbers may not get there until 2030. Same goes for oil prices.

Oklahoma Voters Narrowly Approve Medicaid Expansion

Jul 1, 2020
Yes on 802

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma voters narrowly decided on Tuesday to expand Medicaid health insurance to tens of thousands low-income residents, becoming the first state to amend its Constitution to do so.

On this edition of ST, we're talking about State Question 802, the Medicaid expansion initiative that Oklahoma voters will cast ballots for or against on Tuesday of next week. This measure, per ballotpedia.org, would "expand Medicaid in Oklahoma under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. It would provide Medicaid coverage for certain low-income adults between 18 and 65 with incomes at or below 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL).

From Flickr, licensed uncer CC BY 2.0.

Governor Kevin Stitt's proposal to retool Oklahoma's Medicaid system closed its 30-day public input period on Wednesday, but some Oklahomans say the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic made that timeframe inadequate for such a consequential policy change.

On this edition of ST, we get to know Ahniwake Rose, the incoming executive director of the nonprofit, non-partisan Oklahoma Policy Institute (a/k/a OK Policy). Rose, originally from Oklahoma, has spent nearly 20 years working at the intersection of public policy and nonprofit management. Previously, she was the Deputy Director of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), a national organization serving the interests of tribal governments and communities.

On this edition of Medical Monday, as the Oklahoma Legislature has just recently completed its annual session, we offer a detailed review of whether and how our state's lawmakers have addressed various medical and healh-related issues. Our guest is Carly Putnam with the non-profit, non-partisan Oklahoma Policy Institute, where she serves as Policy Director and Health Care Policy Analyst.

Unable to attend our March Give & Take on Medicaid expansion? No worries! You can hear the recording of the event here. Our conversation focused on Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma, what exactly this means, what the barriers are to expansion, and current proposed policy changes.