The Weekly Wonk: April 27, 2012

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 hosted two briefings on the state budget and warned that proposals to phase-out Oklahoma’s personal income tax were “intellectually dishonest and fiscally irresponsible.”  The OK Policy Blog addressed the myth that cutting or eliminating taxes leads to revenue growth – data from past cuts in Oklahoma does not support this claim.

Also this week, find out how our state’s veterans’ benefits compare to the rest of the country.  The Legislature is poised to limit access to mammograms, prostate screenings, immunizations, and other essential health insurance benefits.  We began accepting applications for a paid part-time or full-time student internship during the Summer of 2012.

The Oklahoman responded to our work with an article arguing that it doesn’t matter that most of the advocates and lobbyists pushing tax cuts are not from Oklahoma.  The Journal Record reported on our budget briefing and ran a column by our Director David Blatt debunking the use of junk economics in fiscal policy decisions.  OK Policy analyst Gene Perry wrote an op-ed in the Tulsa World explaining the terrible thing about triggers.  Our work was also cited in a Tulsa World article on the intersection between poverty and race in Oklahoma.

In The Know, Policy Notes

OK Policy, Numbers of the Week

  • 19,561 – Number of kids in Oklahoma living in homes with grandparent householders where grandparents are responsible for them and neither parent is present, about 2 percent of the state’s children in 2009.
  • 1st – Oklahoma’s rank nationally for the rate at which newly hired state employees lose or leave their jobs, 2008
  • $100 million – Annual costs to the state to implement and maintain court-mandated improvements to Oklahoma’s child welfare system.
  • 6 – Number of operational crude oil refineries in Oklahoma, 7th highest refining capacity in the nation in 2010.
  • 4,000 – Number of government jobs, both state and local, lost in Oklahoma during 2011, more job losses than any other sector of employment.


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