The Weekly Wonk: March 9th, 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 discussed what ending the income tax would cost rural Oklahoma and a new action alert provided information for rural Oklahomans and advocates for children.  We explained why a bill to establish a state health insurance exchange was out of compliance with federal law.  The bill was dropped by legislative leadership yesterday.

Also this week, we showed how Governor Fallin’s tax plan would throw family budgets into turmoil and make Oklahomans afraid to work.  OK Policy Director David Blatt was quoted in a Stateline article debunking Arthur Laffer’s supply-side economics theory.  Our work was also cited in a letter to the editor of the Oklahoman about why we need the income tax to support public education and other critical services.

Finally, we reported on the closure of a decades-old network of health education centers that has worked to increase the supply of primary care providers in Oklahoma’s rural and underserved communities.

In The Know, Policy Notes

Numbers of the Day

  • $56, 470 – Average annual compensation in the manufacturing sector in Oklahoma, compared to $37,689 on average for other nonfarm sector employment
  • 98,000 – Number of Oklahoma children living in high-poverty neighborhoods as of 2010, up 104 percent since 2000
  • 65.4 percent – Percentage of banks in Oklahoma reporting earnings gains for 2011, compared to 41.7 percent for 2009
  • $2.412 billion – Amount the state collected from the personal income tax in 2011
  • 46,000 – Number of Oklahoma College Savings Plan accounts that have been opened since the program’s inception in April 2000


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