The 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 Know. Click here to subscribe to In The Know.
OK Policy’s Executive Director, David Blatt’s Journal Record column discusses silver linings in the tax cut debate. OK Policy was also mentioned in an Oklahoman editorial discussing adequate funding for school reforms.
A guest post on the OK Policy blog discussed a new study out of Oregon which shows that extending Medicaid coverage greatly improves economic security and access to preventive care for low-income Americans. The blog also explained how Oklahoma lawmakers are back to being more interested in posturing against criminals than considering even the most moderate criminal justice reforms. Lastly we identified what you need to know about the most recent state budget agreement and explained why the new budget plan continues the trend of underfunding education in Oklahoma.
- 15.7 percent – Percentage of households in communities of color in Oklahoma who don’t have access to a vehicle, compared to 4 percent for predominately white communities, 2009
- 472,400 – Number of households in Oklahoma who rent, about 33 percent of the state’s households
- 84 percent – Percentage of jobs lost in the state’s educational services sector that were held by women – a 5,547 drop in female employment compared to 1,063 for male employment between 2009 and 2011
- 4,600 – The number of homeless Oklahomans, 2012
- $200 million – Amount below five years ago going into Oklahoma’s state aid school funding formula; enrollment has increased by more than 30,000 students.
- The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shares five strategies to smooth out the ups and downs of state tax dollars.
- The Tulsa Initiative Blog discusses a new paper showing that common Payday loan industry practices put consumers at long-term financial risk and often serve as “debt traps.”
- A study by Demos finds that due to low-paying government contractors, U.S. taxpayers employ more low-wage workers than Wal-Mart and McDonald’s combined.
- A new report by the Government Accountability Office forecasts a gloomy outlook for state and local government budgets.
- The Pew Research Center reports on the record share of Hispanic high school graduates enrolling in college in 2012.