The Weekly Wonk – February 21-25, 2011

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

Our series on marriage promotion continued Monday with two perspectives from new staff, Kate Richey and Gene Perry.  The OK Policy Roundtable, Should Oklahoma be promoting marriage? continues the conversation started this month by Scott Stanley, guest blogger and research professor at the University of Denver, who reported on the success of Oklahoma’s Family Expectations program.  Are there any topics you would like to see covered in an OK Policy Roundtable?

A full coverage issue brief, Fixing the Sales Tax, was released concurrent with Tuesday’s blog post: Unfair, inefficient, and bad for business: Why Oklahoma needs sales tax reform.  The post hits the highlights of the arguments presented in-depth in the full brief, explaining that changes in the state’s economy and tax code over time are gutting revenue collections, leaving us with inadequate funds to support the core functions of government and unfairly subsidizing some businesses over others.

On Wednesday we posted our first ever video blog! Director David Blatt breaks down The Board of Equalization for you and reports on the Board meeting this week to certify revised revenue estimates.  The full Board of Equalization packet is available on our Current Budget Information page, where you will also find our newly updated Oklahoma Budget Trends and Outlook (February 2011), which includes the latest revenue certification numbers and Governor Fallin’s FY ’12 budget proposal.

Yesterday’s blog presented the 7th post in an ongoing series on the new health care law, Health Care Reform (7): It’s more than a mandate. Although Gov. Fallin has joined other states in a lawsuit opposing the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, implementation of health care reform is proceeding as scheduled, with several provisions already having an effect in Oklahoma.

Also this week:

  • On Tuesday, Director David Blatt gave a presentation on the state budget situation to the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA), an umbrella organization representing Oklahoma’s elementary and secondary school principals and school administrators.
  • This week’s Number of the Day featured statistics on Hispanic population growth in Tulsa and state-wide, per capita spending on fast food, and the mean entry wage in Oklahoma.

OK Policy launched its daily email, In the Know, a 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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