The Weekly Wonk – April 4-8, 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 released a new issue brief outlining 2011 immigration legislation.  To clarify the key issues and help you interpret the debate, our Overview of 2011 Immigration Legislation provides a clear and concise summary of the four remaining bills before the 53rd Legislature.  The issue brief also provides in-depth coverage of the central omnibus bill, HB 1446, with a breakdown of each provision’s potential implications.  Along with the brief, yesterday’s blog post surveys the political landscape surrounding the immigration debate in Oklahoma.  Next Monday April 11th, the University of Tulsa will screen Panic Nation, a multi-award winning documentary on the rise of state-sponsored immigration laws.

Two blog posts this week looked at aspects of economic security.  The first reflects on the racial wealth gap in America.  While the United States is among the wealthiest countries in the world, in virtually every measure of wealth, non-white households are falling behind.  Another blog post, When a job is not enough: New measure looks at what’s needed for economic security asks what happens when jobs do not pay enough to meet a families basic needs.  BEST (Basic Economic Security Tables), a new measure of economic security, calculates the minimum income needed to pay for housing, utilities, food, transportation, child care, household items, and health care.

With the legislative session now past the half-way mark, attention is beginning to focus on the state budget.  Our Current Budget Information page has a two-page fact sheet on Budget Trends and Highlights, a full-length presentation on the state budget outlook, and gobs of other wonkalicious information.

Also this week, Good Jobs First featured a guest blog post by OK Policy analyst Gene Perry on Governor Fallin’s push for a quick-action closing fund.  Coming up on Sunday April 10th at 1:00pm, OK Policy Director David Blatt will appear on OETA’s Oklahoma Forum.  The forum discussion topic is “Taxes and Tax Policy” and also features Kyle Dean, Oklahoma City University Economist, and Jonathan Small, fiscal policy director for Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.

Numbers of the Week

  • 1-800-522-7233 – Oklahoma’s Safeline, a toll-free 24-hour hotline for domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
  • $228.3 million – Amount claimed by Oklahomans for the first-time homebuyers credit in FFY 2010. The credit was claimed by 33,239 homebuyers
  • 12.1 percent – Percentage of the adult population of Oklahoma who are veterans, 2009.
  • 86,500 – Oklahoma farms in operation in 2010.
  • 47th – Oklahoma’s ‘Nest Egg’ index rank out of 50 states, ranking citizens ability to build and nurture financial saving and retirement assets.

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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