In The Know: Governor Fallin won’t commit to tax cuts next year

In The KnowIn 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 Gov. Fallin said it was too early to tell whether she would push for a tax cut again, citing ‘a lot of other needs in Oklahoma.’  The State Capitol Preservation Commission declared a moratorium on approving any new monuments on the Capitol grounds.

An editorial in The Muskogee Phoenix highlighted the continued need for housing and support services for homeless and mentally ill veterans.  A nitric acid-fueled fire at a Tulsa County chemical plant forced the evacuation of several motels and nearby businesses and residences.

Oklahoma City mayoral candidate Dr. Ed Shadid accused The Oklahoman of using its newspaper to silence political dissent.  The OK Policy Blog reviewed a new book that presents a simple and compelling framework for understanding poverty.

In today’s Policy Note, the Kellogg Foundation released a report on the business case for racial equity, detailing the economic benefits of advancing equity as the demography of our nation rapidly evolves.  The Number of the Day is the share of gross income Oklahoma renters pay on average in energy costs.

In The News

Fallin won’t commit to pushing tax cut next year
After two consecutive years of pushing for an income tax cut for Oklahoma families, Gov. Mary Fallin seemed less enthusiastic about the idea Thursday when she learned the Legislature will have about $170 million less to spend on state programs next year.

Read more from Associated Press

No ‘Spaghetti Monster’ monument yet: Capitol sets moratorium after several unusual requests
Swamped with inquiries about building on Capitol grounds monuments from groups ranging from Satanists to “Flying Spaghetti Monster” advocates, the State Capitol Preservation Commission on Thursday declared a moratorium on approving any new ones. The erection of a privately funded Ten Commandments monument on state Capitol grounds prompted a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union to have it removed.

Read more from Tulsa World

Veterans deserve a place to live
Those who risked their lives defending this country are owed way more than we can repay. But we can begin by helping ensure those veterans do not end up homeless. The Supportive Services for Veterans Families is one of many programs designed to provide housing assistance through the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Read more The Muskogee Phoenix

Chemical spill, fire at Tulsa County’s Sulzer Chemtech forces evacuation of nearby businesses
A nitric acid-fueled fire at a Tulsa County chemical plant was extinguished shortly after 10 p.m., according to Sapulpa police. Multiple agencies responded to the blaze, including Tulsa Hazmat and Kiefer police. Officials cleared the scene around midnight. The fire, which reportedly began around 7:15 p.m. Thursday at Sulzer Chemtech, forced the evacuation of several motels and nearby businesses and residences as a southerly wind pushed potentially hazardous smoke into the area near New Sapulpa Road and the Turner Turnpike.

Read more from KJRH 

Shadid defiant in face of potential divorce doc ruling
Making it crystal clear that he was disgusted by the way he and his family were being treated by the city’s largest newspaper, The Oklahoman, mayoral candidate Dr. Ed Shadid did not mince words in heaping scorn on the metro daily. “When a newspaper suppresses information about its friends and goes to any lengths to politically harm its opponents, the goal is to silence dissent,” Shadid said.

Read more from Red Dirt Report

[Read This] Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much
I had the opportunity recently to hear Princeton psychologist Eldar Shafir talk about the research and principles behind his new book (co-written with Harvard economist Sendhil Mullainathan), “Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much.” The premise of the book is simple and manages to elegantly explain volumes of research on poverty through one compelling idea: scarcity.

Read more from Oklahoma Policy Institute

Quote of the Day

“I think it’s something our legislators need to think about. We have very low bond indebtedness in the state of Oklahoma … and (bond) prices have been very, very good. And by 2018, 85 percent of the state’s debt with bond issues drops off the books.”

Gov. Mary Fallin, encouraging legislators to consider a bond issue to pay for repairs to the crumbling Capitol building

Number of the Day

6.7 percent

The share of their gross income that Oklahoma renters pay on average in energy costs, 9th most in the U.S.

Source:  Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

The Business Case for Racial Equity
When people face barriers to achieving their full potential, the loss of talent, creativity, energy, and productivity is a burden not only for those disadvantaged, but for communities, businesses, governments, and the economy as a whole. Initial research on the magnitude of this burden in the United States (U.S.), as highlighted in this brief, reveals impacts in the trillions of dollars in lost earnings, avoidable public expenditures, and lost economic output.

Read more from Kellogg Foundation

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