The Weekly Wonk: August 10, 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 is looking for one or two students for a paid part-time internship during the fall 2012 semester.  We reviewed a new report on structural budget deficits in the states, or ongoing gaps between the cost of providing services and the revenues to pay for them.

We blogged about the state impact of the House-approved budget plan developed by Congressman Ryan, which would cost Oklahoma $345 million in 2014 alone and threaten the state’s fiscal stability.  David Blatt wrote in The Journal Record that Oklahoma should chart its own course to economic prosperity – instead of relying on someone else’s formula.

Policy Notes

Quotes of the Day

  • The delay adversely compromises everyone: families, law enforcement, judiciary, insurance companies. There are other agencies that need our reports like the FAA, fire departments, the child death review board. … We are not just a repository of the deceased; we are actually providing information that helps all these people.   ~Chief Medical Examiner Eric Pfeifer, on the more than 800 death investigations still pending with the State Medical Examiner’s Office, some more than a year old.
  • We didn’t fund the volunteer [fire] departments at an adequate level last year, and then we gave them the same amount of money this year while we’re continuing in the drought and then expect them to do miracle work on very little resources. ~ Rep. Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs
  • It doesn’t make a lot of sense, I’m embarrassed to tell you all this. ~ Rep. Kris Steele, speaking to a Southern Legislative Conference about an uptick in Oklahoma in ex-offenders sent back to prison for technical violations of their release
  • Fallin and the Republican-controlled Legislature also might want to reconsider a push by Rep. Richard Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City, to eradicate eastern red cedar trees, which are ubiquitous, drink lots of water and are exceedingly flammable. Fallin vetoed the bill in 2011; this year it died in a Senate committee.  As property owners, particularly those in rural areas, pray for rain, policymakers must redouble their efforts to ensure the state is as well-positioned as possible to deal with the fires ahead. ~The Oklahoman Editorial Board
  • Our state can strike the right balance of being friendly to business and still making the critical investments in education, training, infrastructure, health and other crucial areas essential to making sure Oklahoma stays a great place to live and work. ~ David Blatt, Director of Oklahoma Policy Institute

Click here for our Numbers of the Day.


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