The Weekly Wonk – April 22, 2011

What’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk is dedicated to this week’s events, publications, and blog posts.

This week OK Policy reported on SB 517, a bill that would sunset 20 tax credits, including one relied on by 1 million low- and medium-income Oklahomans.  If Oklahoma eliminates this credit, it would put us in the company of just Mississippi and Alabama as the only states that provide no relief for grocery taxes.  The Tulsa world reported on OK Policy’s ideas for improving the tax code and adequately funding public structures.

We released the April edition of Numbers You Need this week, our monthly bulletin of key economic and budget trends, which shows a slow and steady economic recovery for Oklahoma.  For a closer look at two key indicators of economic improvement, read Tuesday’s blog post, Quick Take on the Economy: Income picks up steam, unemployment edges downward.

Despite the economic recovery and improving revenue collections, the state still faces a huge shortfall for next year.  Yesterday’s blog post explains the “5 percent option” and suggests why we think a portion of this money should be used to make up the shortfall.

On April 29, Oklahoma Assets hosts a Webinar on financial education in public schools.  Yesterday, OK Policy represented Oklahoma Assets at Jump$tart Your Money Day at the State Capitol.

Numbers of the Week

  • 6.5 percent – Oklahoma’s unemployment rate, February 2011
  • 103 – Drug-free infants born to drug-court participants in Oklahoma, FY07-FY09
  • $7,411,299,000 – Annual payroll and receipts of Oklahoma firms with less than 20 employees, 2007
  • 9 – Number of states where 30 percent or more of the population is obese, 2009; Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
  • $118 million – Potential revenue generated by eliminating the itemized deduction for state tax payments on Oklahoma returns.

Click here for source citations and archived numbers of the day.

In the Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blog posts.  You can sign up here to receive In the Know in your inbox each weekday morning and the Weekly Wonk each Friday afternoon.


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