The Weekly Wonk: March 23, 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 explained the issues scheduled for debate in an upcoming Supreme Court hearing on the Affordable Care Act.  We also cataloged how Oklahomans have benefited from health care reform since it was signed into law two years ago.

We advocated for a PAYGO system in Oklahoma, where tax cuts are matched dollar for dollar with spending cuts.  OK Policy’s PAYGO proposal was featured on KWGS Public Radio Tulsa.  We also presented data showing that states without an income tax have higher sales and property taxes than the national average.

We announced that we will be hosting a public forum on April 5th, “Eliminating the Income Tax: Silver Bullet or Fool’s Gold,” featuring Oklahoma’s most respected economists and economic developers discussing legislative proposals to eliminate the state’s income tax.  New fact sheets on why saving the income tax is critical for business and economic development, higher education, and low-income Oklahomans are now available along with an updated side-by-side comparison of the major income tax proposals.  For more resources and information on the tax reform debate, see our tax reform information page.

Finally this week, our Director David Blatt was quoted in two stories by StateImpact Oklahoma and the Tulsa World on the state’s lackluster open government laws.  OK Policy Director David Blatt also appeared on CBS affiliate news broadcasts in Tulsa and Oklahoma City decrying efforts to eliminate the state income tax:

Policy Notes

Numbers of the Week

  • 1 in 42 – Number of Oklahoma adults under correctional control, 7th most in the nation in 2007
  • 2,500 – Number of homeless children in Oklahoma who are under age 6
  • 70 percent – Percentage increase in multi-family residential building permits issued in Oklahoma in 2011, compared to 2010
  • 1,714,900 – Number of nonelderly Oklahoma adults who are covered under employer sponsored health insurance, a little more than half (55 percent) of nonelderly adults in the state
  • 26.3 percent – Percentage of marriages in Oklahoma between people of different races or ethnicities, 2nd most in the nation, 2008-2010


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