Tip of the hat: Oklahoma Policy Institute tracking useful resource

By Patrick B. McGuigan

Published: 20-May-2010

Consider this a tip of the hat from one policy “wonk” to another.

David Blatt, director of the Oklahoma Policy Institute (www.okpolicy.org) has been maintaining a spreadsheet tracking newspaper articles covering budget cuts enacted or proposed by state agencies, school districts, local governments and non-profits.

The document is now available online as a Shared Google document.

In an email, Blatt said, “The list is not comprehensive but hopefully will provide you with a broad perspective of the range and depth of budget cuts that are impacting public services in Oklahoma.”

Blatt, whose group is based in Tulsa, cautioned the compilation includes only “articles we’ve been able to locate online with our available (i.e. limited) resources. This is not a full inventory of all cuts enacted at all levels of government or of every article that’s appeared in the press. We are especially light on coverage of cuts to school districts and local governments in the non-metro areas.”

He continued, “For each article we’ve provided the source, title and date; a link; and a summary of the action proposed or implemented, including the amount of the cut and the number of jobs or clients affected. The summaries are of varying quality – please do not cite or reproduce our information without first checking the original source.”

As the Legislature approaches possible or probable resolution of this year’s budget challenges, Blatt asked readers to “assist us in this effort by sending me links to stories as they appear, or by e-mailing me PDFs of articles (dblatt@okpolicy.org).” He also plans to highlight the affects of budget cuts, state and local.