The Weekly Wonk: June 22, 2012

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 that Linda Edmonson, social worker and community volunteer, has joined our Board of Directors.  We updated you on what eventually happened to all of the bills we wrote about this session.

Also this week, we analyzed how Oklahomans would fare under competing tax plans from President Obama and Congressional Republicans.  We posted a short video that explores the role of summer food programs in feeding children whose families rely on meals during the school year to help stretch their grocery budget.

The Enid News & Eagle cited our work in an article reviewing the legislative session.  Our Director David Blatt wrote in The Journal Record about inadequacies in Oklahoma’s health care system that will remain and become even more urgent if the Affordable Care Act is overturned by the Supreme Court.

In The Know, Policy Notes

  • The Pew Center on the States reports on the growing gap between states’ outstanding public pension and health care liability, and the money they’ve actually set aside to fund them.
  • The Economic Policy Institute discusses the troubling trend of young families falling even farther behind in savings.
  • Governing examines the Affordable Care Act Prevention Fund that is putting billions of dollars into federal, state and local public health initiatives.
  • The New York Times reports on difficulties faced by underemployed and underpaid workers during the recession.
  • The New Republic examines uninsured Americans in the South and West who would lose most if the Supreme Court strikes down the new health care law.

Numbers of the Day

  • 1 in 3 – Oklahoma youths report having ever used marijuana, 2011
  • 22,769 billion – Amount in cubic feet of the proven dry natural gas reserves in Oklahoma, 4th most in the U.S., 2009
  • 3.2 percent – Percentage growth of Oklahoma’s labor force, those who are employed or unemployed and actively looking for work, since Dec. 2007; the working age population grew 6 percent during that same period.
  • 2nd – Suicide’s rank as a cause of death among Oklahomans aged 10-24.
  • $184 million – Amount funding for common education in Oklahoma for FY 2013 falls short of FY 2009 appropriation levels.


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