The Weekly Wonk – January 6th, 2011

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 announced we are seeking an outreach coordinator to lead the effort to ensure adequate funding of core public services.  OK Policy Director David Blatt was quoted in an article about this nascent coalition effort.  Our intern Kasey Hughart discussed the problem of wage theft and how Oklahoma can improve minimum wage and overtime policies for all workers.  Juan Pedroza from The Urban Institute questioned the claim that HB 1804 caused an exodus of immigrants from Oklahoma.

An OK Policy blog post was used as the basis for this editorial in the Tulsa World on the state’s decision to allow insurers to exclude babies from child-only health insurance coverage.  The federal government rejected the Insurance Department’s request for a waiver from a requirement that insurance companies spend at least 80 percent of consumer premiums on medical care.  Click here to read our letter to the Department of Health and Human Services opposing the Insurance Department’s request to exempt insurers in the state.

Finally, our work was featured this week in an Edmond Sun story on the state’s growing economy, and OK Policy analyst Kate Richey was quoted in an article on the growing wealth gap between white and nonwhite Oklahomans.

Numbers of the Day

  • $2.5 billion – Expected amount of revenue that will be collected through the state’s personal income tax next year.
  • $57.00 – Average markup over the fair market price on a flight through the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City – one of the ten most expensive midsize airports in America
  • 14.4 percent – Percentage of mortgages in Oklahoma that were delinquent during the 3rd quarter of 2011, up from 13.9 percent in the 2nd quarter; Delinquent mortgages have payments past due for 30 days or more.
  • 55,600 – Number of kids on average per month in Oklahoma who had unemployed parents in 2011.

In The Know, Policy Notes



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