The Weekly Wonk: March 30, 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 released a series of fact sheets on why preserving the income tax is critical for business and economic development, education, public safety, children and many more.  See more about the tax debate at OK Policy’s tax reform information page. We also released a fact sheet explaining why we shouldn’t drug-test welfare applicants.

We explained what’s in the current criminal justice reform bill and what obstacles stand in the way of real change.  Rapidly growing payments for tax breaks for horizontal drilling may drill a hole in the state budget.  We posted an article exploring how major players in the health care industry are weighing in on the Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

Finally this week, OK Policy analyst Kate Richey was quoted in the Tulsa World on the ways Oklahomans have benefited from the Affordable Care Act and on why mandatory drug-testing of welfare applicants in likely unconstitutional.

In the Know, Policy Notes

Numbers of the Day

  • 21 percent – Percentage above the national average paid in property taxes by residents of no income tax states
  • $7,100 – Average annual cost of care for an infant at a daycare center in Oklahoma in 2011, 37 percent of the median income for the state’s single mothers
  • 50th – Oklahoma’s rank nationally in the percentage of at-risk adults (aged 50 and over with a chronic disease) who have visited a doctor for a checkup in the past two years
  • 75 percent – Percentage of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) accounted for by economic activity in the three largest metropolitan areas – Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Lawton.
  • 7,054 – Number of farms in Oklahoma principally operated by Native Americans, 2nd most in the nation, 2007


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