The Weekly Wonk – July 8, 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 at OK Policy, we presented interactive charts tracking state agencies’ share of the budget over time.  A series of visualizations show that while revenues have fallen over the past decade and the overall budget pie has shrunk, the distribution of that pie among agencies has remained relatively unchanged (with a couple notable exceptions).

Also this week, we surveyed court challenges to health care reform, finding that most federal courts are upholding the law as constitutional.  In the first and only appeals court decision to date, a three-judge panel voted 2-1 in support of the Affordable Care Act with one of its most conservative members, Judge Sutton, a Bush appointee and a former law clerk for Justice Scalia, voting to uphold the law.

The Oklahoman cited OK Policy’s work in an editorial on how budget cuts are affecting all of Oklahoma’s state agencies.

In the Know, Policy Notes

Numbers of the Week

  • 464,457 – Number of children enrolled in SoonerCare, Oklahoma’s Medicaid health insurance program, as of May 2011.
  • 20.7 – The average composite score on the ACT for Oklahoma high schools, 08/09; the comparable national average was 21.1.
  • $2,907,051 – Amount Oklahomans on Medicare have saved on prescription drugs since the Affordable Care Act implemented new discounts at the start of the year; $398.66 savings per beneficiary on average.
  • 4,543 – Foster care homes in Oklahoma, March 2011.
  • $231.8 million – The value of U.S. manufacturers’ shipments of fireworks and pyrotechnics, 2007


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