The Weekly Wonk – May 20, 2011

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 at OK Policy we discuss how the Legislature seems to be abandoning its responsibility in making difficult decisions about which agency programs will be cut because of reduced appropriations.  The Legislature made the choice to reduce funding and they are the ones that are ultimately responsible for the results.  The Tulsa World included OK Policy’s perspective in an editorial on the state budget deal stating that while the budget agreement could have been worse, it should have been better.  Wondering what just happened with all this budget business?  It’s never too late to educate yourself by perusing our 2011 Legislative and Budget Process Overview.

On Monday we brought you a report from the Gov 2.0a Conference, where the tech-savvy and public-minded came together to discuss ways to bring the latest technology into government.  Tuesday’s post took a final look at omnibus immigration legislation HB 1446 (now dead for the session).  Changes made in conference committee improved some aspects of the bill, but concerns remained that the bill would have put Oklahoma at odds with federal law and created new problems for businesses and law enforcement.  On today’s blog you will find the inspiring comments of Andrea Baker on her experiences with substance abuse, delivered at the signing ceremony for HB 2131, a corrections reform bill enacted this session.

In honor of the expected conclusion of the legislative session today, please enjoy this moment of zen, courtesy of Schoolhouse Rock:

In The Know Policy Notes

Numbers of the Week

  • 15 percent – Percentage of electric generation capacity within the state to be generated from renewable energy sources by 2015, as per The Oklahoma Energy Security Act
  • 99 – U.S. service member casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan from Oklahoma
  • 41st – Oklahoma’s rank out of 50 states for percentage of citizens with at least a Bachelor’s degree, 2007
  • $622 million – Drop in overall appropriations in the FY ’12 budget compared to three years ago, in FY ’09
  • 6.8 percent – Growth in Oklahoma manufacturing employment between March 2010 and 2011

Click here for source citations and archived numbers of the day.


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