The Weekly Wonk: January 18, 2013

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

This week Oklahoma Policy Institute explored the fate of ‘Insure Oklahoma’ once the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented. We shared an innovative new college tuition model to fund higher education while making it more accessible and reducing student’s debt burden.

The OK Policy Blog posted excerpts from remarks by the President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, on how to move consumers, industry, and policymakers towards a more functioning housing finance system. A guest post from Sapulpa Superintendent Kevin Burr argued that arming teachers is no solution for school safety.

David Blatt’s Journal Record column explained how the state’s ongoing budget blues create funding shortfalls that weaken our capacity to provide core public services. Our director was also quoted in an Associated Press story about Oklahoma’s options if the state continues to reject Medicaid expansion funding. Our work on the shrinking state employee workforce was cited in a GIMBY Blog post about the EPA takeover of water regulation in Oklahoma.

Policy Notes

Numbers of the Day

  • 6,800 – Number of manufacturing jobs created in Oklahoma in 2012
  • 22.6 percent – Oklahoma workers under age 25 who are underemployed (no job, can’t find but want a full-time job, or given up looking), compared to 10.7 percent of all workers in 2011
  • 1,120 percent – Percentage increase in college tuition costs since 1978, 4 times the rate of inflation.
  • 26,000 – Number of non-elderly veterans in Oklahoma without health insurance, the 5th highest rate of uninsured veterans in the U.S. in 2010
  • 8,918 – Number of homes in foreclosure in Oklahoma as of November 2012, compared to 12,016 in 2011 


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