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.
On the OK Policy blog, we examined proposed revisions the third-grade reading retention law. We’ve written about the law before. We shared the story of a Norman insurance agent who works to educate people about the opportunities available to them because of theAffordable Care Act.
In his Journal Record column, Executive Director David Blatt suggested alternate income tax triggers. A joint op-ed by Policy Director Gene Perry and Liz McNichol from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities advocated for more responsible state budget planning. Perry was also interviewed about raising Oklahoma’s minimum wage. Oklahoma Assets Network coordinate Kate Richey was featured in an OETA segment on financial insecurity in Oklahoma. Richey has written about the topic before.
- 14.5 – The infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births for African-Americans in Oklahoma, more than twice the rate for white Oklahomans (6.5).
- 23 percent – Percentage of Oklahoma high school students who meet all four ACT benchmarks (math, reading, science, English) for college readiness, compared to a 26% national average.
- 32,882 – Number of Oklahomans who have selected plans on on the Affordable Care Act marketplace as of March 1, 2014.
- 90 percent – Percentage of adult members surveyed who considered themselves satisfied with SoonerCare customer services. SoonerCare is Oklahoma’s Medicaid program.
- 50 percent – The staffing levels at the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center, a minimum-security prison where a staff member was taken hostage at knifepoint. The facility is authorized to employ 196 officers, but it has only 98 on staff.
- Paul Krugman explained why taking action to reduce extreme inequality in America would likely increase economic growth.
- A Scholars Strategy Network researcher examined how mass imprisonment has dramatically increased homelessness for black children.
- A scientific poll of small business owners found that 57 percent support raising the minimum wage.
- The New Republic revealed that enrollment on the Affordable Care Act exchanges has not slowed down, contrary to media reports.
- The Economix blog suggested ways in which the US could trim down health care spending.