The Weekly Wonk: May 11, 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 produced a video on the impact of eliminating tax credits for working families with children.  A new poll showed large majorities of Oklahoma voters oppose income tax cuts if it means less funding for schools, roads, and public safety and they believe cutting the income tax will lead to higher sales and property taxes.

Guest blogger Mike Connelly raised the questions we should be asking about criminal justice reform.  The OKDHS Policy & Practice Lecture series will host a lecture on the well being of low-income senior citizens.  Our round-up of tax reform quotes from the state’s business and economic leaders was covered in the Oklahoman.  OK Policy analyst Kate Richey was interviewed by NewsOn6 about a bill to repeal minimum coverage requirements for health insurance plans.  We previously blogged about SB 1059 here, a bill currently in conference committee that would limit access to immunizations, cancer screenings, and more.

The State Chamber’s tax policy forum, co-hosted by OK Policy, was covered by The Oklahoman, The Edmond Sun, This Land, and CapitolBeatOKClick here to watch a video of the tax forum, featuring Dean of the UCO Business College Mickey Hepner and trickle-down economics proponent Arthur Laffer. Our work was cited in a Tulsa World article on job-training and the working poor.  Director David Blatt wrote in The Journal Record about Oklahoma’s underfunded public education system.

In the Know, Policy Notes

Numbers of the Day

  • 37.2 – The median age in the state of Oklahoma, 2010
  • 70 percent – Percentage of Oklahomans who said an “educated and well trained workforce” is the best way to attract businesses to locate and invest in Oklahoma, compared to just 21 percent who said “low personal income tax rates”
  • 34.6 percent – Percentage of employees in Oklahoma who say their workplace is hiring new people and expanding the size of their workforce, 3rd highest in the U.S.
  • 43rd – Oklahoma’s national rank for per capita state spending on mental health; we spent less than half the national average in FY 2009
  • 56 percent – Percentage of college students in Oklahoma who graduate with outstanding student loan debt, 2010


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