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.
This week, we discussed misconceptions about prescription drug abuse in Oklahoma, which has overtaken car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death. OK Policy legislative liaison Damario Solomon-Simmons explored how the legacy of Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher lives on today, sixty-six years after she integrated the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
David Blatt’s Journal Record column revealed that 25 years after Oklahoma committed to “never be last again” in education, we’ve fallen back to near last. The OK Policy Blog posted an upcoming lecture on ‘dual status’ youth, or youth who have contact with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, sponsored by OKDHS.
Research fellow Breanca Thomas blogged about the most effective strategies for tackling diabetes, one of Oklahoma’s most serious health epidemics. Our work was cited in an Oklahoma Watch article on the state’s ongoing debate over oil and gas subsidies. Excerpts from our statewide budget summit were included in a Public Radio Tulsa piece.
33,000 - Number of Oklahomans who work for the state’s largest private employer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
835 - Number of Oklahoma handgun licenses denied in 2013 due to a criminal history or failure to meet eligibility requirements; 60,628 licenses were approved.
1,978,812 - Number of registered voters in Oklahoma, about 68 percent of the adult population.
30 - Number of female students in Oklahoma who took the AP Computer Science exam in 2013, compared to 144 male students.
2,173 - Number of bills filed for Oklahoma’s 2014 Legislative Session, which begins February 3rd.
- Jared Bernstein examines the limits of marriage as a path out of poverty.
- The New York Times examines how an experiment at providing a universal basic income to Cherokees in North Carolina resulted in a dramatic decrease in substance abuse and mental health problems and an improvement in parenting quality.
- The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities examines the growing state cost of not expanding Medicaid.
- Matthew Yglesias discusses how extreme inequality in America is stifling innovation.
- Nicholas Kristof assesses the debate over single-parent households and poverty.