What’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk shares our most recent publications and other resources to help you stay informed about Oklahoma. Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know. Click here to subscribe to In The Know.
Note: Due to an all staff conference and the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no Weekly Wonk for the next two weeks. We will return to our regular schedule on December 3rd.
This Week from OK Policy
The legislature voted earlier this week on a comprehensive revenue package – Executive Director David Blatt argued that this was the last chance to make real progress on the structural budget deficit this special session. When that revenue package failed to receive the required 3/4 supermajority in the House, OK Policy issued a statement encouraging lawmakers to reconsider the measure. Blatt recapped the events of the week and explained what might happen now after the failure of the comprehensive revenue package.
Blatt’s Journal Record column offered an analogy for the legislature’s approach to funding core services – promise a sandwich, then report that they’re out of bread. An increase in the gross production tax rate could provide much needed funding, and Policy Director Gene Perry explained that it won’t hurt the economy or reduce drilling activity in Oklahoma. Perry also shared an analysis of the Republican tax plan currently under consideration by Congress – the plan would mean a tax hike on low- and moderate-income Oklahoma families by 2027.
OK Policy announced that there will be a staff change soon – Kara Joy McKee, our Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator, will be leaving us as she formally announces her campaign for public office. KJ will be greatly missed and she leaves enormous shoes to fill. We will soon begin our search for a new grassroots advocacy coordinator and hope to fill the position before the start of the legislative session in February.
OK Policy in the News
A survey measuring support for an increased gross production tax that was commissioned by OK Policy was referenced in two articles – Arnold Hamilton’s Journal Record column about the ballot initiative drive to raise the GPT and and Oklahoma Watch piece about the great sums of money likely to be spent on that effort.
Blatt spoke with Governing Magazine to shed some light on the rash of budget battles in one-party states this year. Perry was interviewed by Public Radio Tulsa about the GOP tax plan and – the plan will benefit wealthier Oklahomans more than the middle class or low-income families.
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