In The Know: New Census data shows Oklahoma improves on poverty and uninsured rates but still lags behind nation
In The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.
Today In The News
New Census data shows Oklahoma improves on poverty and uninsured rates but still lags behind nation: New Census data shows Oklahoma made some progress in reducing the percentage of families living in poverty in 2015. In 2014, nearly one out of six Oklahomans (16.6 percent) were making less than the poverty line ($24,000 a year for a family of four) before taxes. In 2015, about 13,000 fewer Oklahomans were living below the poverty line, dropping our state’s poverty rate to 16.1 percent. The official poverty rate for the United States as a whole fell even more, from 15.5 percent in 2014 to 14.7 percent in 2015. These improvements widened the gap between the percentage of Oklahomans and the percentage of all Americans living in poverty [OK Policy].
Oil downturn continues to slow Oklahoma’s economy: Low oil prices and the oil industry slowdown continue to create financial challenges in Oklahoma and nine other oil-dependent states, according to a report released Wednesday by Moody’s Investors Service. The report looked at direct revenue effects including production taxes and revenues, indirect revenue effects such as industry spending cutbacks and layoffs, and the ability of the state to adapt to the ongoing challenges. Moody’s rates Oklahoma’s credit as Aa2, which is the company’s third-highest rating. Moody’s gives the state a negative outlook, largely because of the likely effects of oil prices on the state economy [NewsOK].
Oklahoma City Council opposes “right-to-farm”: The Oklahoma City Council declared people should vote against State Question 777, the “right-to-farm” measure on the Nov. 8 ballot. The council voted 6-2 Tuesday for a resolution that asserts passage of SQ 777 could threaten the city’s ability to promote residents’ health, safety and welfare. Ward 8 Councilman Mark Stonecipher said he was concerned the proposed constitutional amendment would adversely affect access to clean, safe drinking water [NewsOK]. Learn more about SQ 777 and the six other questions on Oklahoma ballots this year with OK Policy’s State Question Guide.
Continue Reading »
Continue Reading »