The Weekly Wonk: August 3, 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 discussed a survey by Governor Fallin that shows Oklahoma businesses value improved education funding over tax cuts.  Dr. John Schumann wrote a guest post exploring Oklahoma’s options for dealing with a serious shortage of doctors and other health professionals.

We blogged about why lawmakers and regulators should make energy efficiency a top priority.  Dr. Peter Fisher, an economist and national expert on public finance, examined a state economic competitiveness ranking published by ALEC.

OK Policy analyst Kate Richey was quoted in a post by 24/7 Wall Street about the prevalence of payday lending in Oklahoma.  Our director was quoted in an article in the Washington Post on state Medicaid expansion.  David Blatt’s Journal Record column discussed how unregulated payday loans trap Oklahomans on a treadmill of chronic borrowing.

  • 6.4 percent – Percentage of wage and salary workers in Oklahoma that are union members, compared with 11.8 percent nationally, 2011
  • 0 – Number of employers that have used Oklahoma’s work-sharing program since it was enacted in 2010, largely due to a restrictive condition in the law that prevents it from being useful.
  • 2,840 – Number of deaths prevented per year on average in three states (Arizona, Maine, and New York) that voluntarily expanded their Medicaid programs 10 years ago to cover more low-income working-age adults.
  • $3.39 – The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Oklahoma, compared with $3.49 nationally
  • 216,273 – Number of Oklahomans who live in ‘food deserts,’ or areas with limited access to a full-size supermarket or grocery store, 2008
In The Know, Policy Notes


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