In The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.
Today you should know that the OKC metro area had the lowest unemployment rate among the nation’s largest metropolitan areas for the fifth-straight month. Oklahoma’s Business Conditions Index fell in June as the drought hurt economic growth. David Blatt’s Journal Record column discussed how unregulated payday loans trap Oklahomans on a treadmill of chronic borrowing.
Native American groups are wary of a proposal that would give the state control over federal workforce development funds that currently go to tribes. The U.S. District Court will not stop the Kialegee Tribal Town from operating a restaurant, sports bar or other nongaming businesses on land where there attempts to build a casino have brought resistance.
The OK Policy Blog discusses why any lawmakers or regulators who want to return money to Oklahomans should make energy efficiency a high priority. Lack of funding is slowing research into possible health problems of people living near natural gas drilling. Deaths from work-related accidents in Oklahoma’s oil and gas fields are the highest they’ve been years.
The Oklahoma Gazette examines why Oklahoma is consistently among the unhealthiest states in the nation. Community health centers are working to treat the state’s estimated 625,000 uninsured residents as well as those who don’t regularly go to doctors. A lawyer representing a death row inmate is questioning whether 20 newly acquired doses of a drug used in Oklahoma executions are intended for human use.
The Number of the Day is how many employers that have used Oklahoma’s work-sharing program since it was enacted. In today’s Policy Note, the Brookings Institution shows that Mitt Romney’s tax plan would provide large tax cuts to high-income households and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers.