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 a new report from the State Chamber Research Foundation showed Oklahoma continuing to lag in education, health care, and the cost of workers’ compensation. The OK Policy Blog took a closer look at Governor Fallin’s FY 2014 Budget. Gov. Fallin and state legislators gathered at a Rose Day ceremony to celebrate Oklahoma’s status as the second-most pro-life state in the nation.
A law enforcement taskforce, organized to combat sexual exploitation in Louisiana in the run-up to the Super Bowl, released two Oklahoma women who were trafficked to New Orleans to prostitute against their will. Sen. Harry Coates petitioned the governor for a performance audit of Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak’s office.
The state’s IT czar says public school districts could save millions by consolidating information technology workers and sharing in services. In today’s Policy Note, Urban Institute examines how federal and state spending on children varies by age. The Number of the Day is the number of registered vehicles in Oklahoma.
In The News
Report details Oklahoma positives, negatives
Oklahoma continues to lag behind other states in the areas of workers’ compensation, education and health care, according to a new report. The recently-released 2013 Accountability for a Competitive Economic (ACE) book, published by the State Chamber Research Foundation, is a snapshot of Oklahoma’s business climate compared to that of other states. It examined business climate and competitiveness, economic development, innovation and technology, workforce development and infrastructure.
A closer look at Governor Fallin’s FY 2014 budget
On Monday, Governor Mary Fallin delivered her State of the State address and presented her FY 2014 Executive Budget. As we noted in our public statement, the Governor has proposed much more modest tax cuts than she did last year and has targeted a portion of growth revenues to worthwhile priorities in the areas of health and human services. Yet by promoting a cut to the tax income rate without identifying any way to pay for it, the Governor’s budget falls far short of addressing many of the state’s urgent priorities. This post looks more closely at the revenue and spending choices contained in the FY 2014 Executive Budget.
Fallin endorses pro-life stance at Rose Day rally
Fallin said pregnancy is not a liability or a disqualification for success. “It may be at times unexpected or it may change our plans that we have in life, not in a bad way,” she said. “But no life is worth destroying for convenience. Life is a gift from God.” The governor said she is happy her administration has been able to sign pro-life protections. The state is ranked the second-most pro-life state in the nation, Fallin said. “I am proud of that,” she said.
Authorities nab 85 in effort to combat Super Bowl sex trafficking
“Any time you have a large influx of tourists in town and they’re spending a lot of money, there’s a criminal element that moves in to take advantage of that,” said Capt. Doug Cain, a State Police spokesman. Authorities booked at least two men on charges of sex trafficking and rescued five women who were allegedly brought to prostitute in New Orleans against their will. Two were trafficked from Oklahoma; two were brought from Georgia, Cain said.
Lawmaker seeks audit of Oklahoma Insurance Department
Sen. Harry Coates on Thursday asked Gov. Mary Fallin to request a performance audit of Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak’s office. Coates has called the purchases by Doak’s office “frivolous spending at the very least.” Doak’s office has used credit cards to pay for chamber memberships, lapel pins, clothing, motivational books, tablecloths and weapons. “I feel this information is necessary in determining if expenditures being made by his office not only conform to the state statue that governs the Insurance Commissioner, but also that they are being used for the manner intended by the Legislature and Ethics Commission,” Coates, R-Seminole, wrote in a letter to Fallin.
Oklahoma schools can save by relying on state IT expertise
Public school districts would save millions of dollars by hooking up with a state agency to consolidate information technology workers and share in services, Oklahoma’s information technology czar told a legislative panel Thursday. Oklahoma has high-speed data transmission lines across the state, which especially would help schools in rural areas where high-speed Internet service is spotty, said Alex Pettit, the state’s chief information officer.
Quote of the Day
“Common education is not the only critical need to fare badly. The Governor’s budget allocates no additional dollars for higher education or vocational education, even though her State of the State stressed the need to increase the number of college graduates and strengthen training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
David Blatt, Director of the Oklahoma Policy Institute
Number of the Day
Number of registered vehicles in Oklahoma – close to one automobile per person in 2009
How Do Public Investments in Children Vary with Age? A Kids’ Share Analysis of Expenditures in 2008 and 2011 by Age Group
Federal, state, and local government investments in children vary by age. This report examines 2011 federal spending and 2008 total government spending on children age 0-2, 3-5, 6-11, and 12-18. We find that state and local governments provide three-quarters of total public investments in children age 6 and older, while the federal government provides three-quarters of investments in children age 0-2 and about half of investments in age 3-5. Total public spending is highest for school-age children, but federal spending is highest for the youngest children.
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