The Weekly Wonk: February 24, 2013


The Sunday Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage.  Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know.  Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

factsheetThis week Oklahoma Policy Institute released a new fact sheet that shows that Oklahoma has made some of the deepest cuts to local schools in the country.  Our director David Blatt’s Journal Record column discussed the push for better education funding.  Policy analyst Gene Perry’s work was cited in a Tulsa World piece on the impact of sequestration and federal budget cuts on common and early childhood education in Oklahoma.  


The OKPolicy Blog examined how mental health provisions in the Affordable Care Act relate to the gun violence debate.  We blogged about Gov. Fallin’s tax cut proposal, which would do little to nothing for the average taxpayer.  Dr. John Schumann wrote a guest blog exploring mandatory helmet laws and their perverse effect on public health.

Policy Notes

  • StateImpact OK explores the relationship between earthquakes and natural gas production.
  • The Washington Post reports that Florida Gov. Rick Scott has joined six other Republican governors who are accepting federal dollars to extend Medicaid.
  • The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities describes four big budget threats facing states.
  • The New York Times examines how mass incarceration is creating a “poverty trap” for many communities in America.
  • The Economix Blog shows why public commitment to early childhood education increases student achievement and helps parents reconcile the conflicting demands of work and family care.

Numbers of the Day

  • $215 million – Amount of economic activity Oklahoma workers would generate in one year with the additional wages they would earn under a minimum wage increase (to $9.00/hr)
  • 1,850 – The number of jobs created by new businesses in Oklahoma in 2012, compared to 11,320 jobs added by existing businesses
  • 272,000 – Number of children receiving SNAP or ‘food stamps’ in Oklahoma, nearly half of all SNAP recipients in the state in FY 2011
  • 43 percent – Percentage of Oklahoma households who would receive no tax cut under Governor Fallin’s tax cut plan
  • 61.4 percent – Percentage of children in Oklahoma under age 6 with all parents in the labor force, 2012


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