The Weekly Wonk – May 27, 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 released FY ’12 Budget Highlights, our signature analysis of the budget for the upcoming year.  Click here for the one-page summary of major policy points along with detailed charts and tables on revenues and appropriations for FY’12.  Check out yesterday’s blog post for a quick take on FY’12 Budget Highlights and a sneak peek of its notable charts.

Our op-ed in the Tulsa World points out that lawmakers chose to cut state agency budgets for a third consecutive year rather than delay another tax break for top income earners.  We also blogged about a new study released this week that found that inverting our tax structure—taxing highest income earners at the current percentage of income for the lowest income earners, and vice versa—would raise more than $4 billion in new revenue for Oklahoma.  Tune your radio dial to KGOU’s Oklahoma Voices on Monday at 11:00am to hear OK Policy Director David Blatt discuss the ins-and-outs state FY ’12 budget.

Also this week, we reported on why restricting employment for ex-felons is counterproductive.  Oklahoma law puts up barriers to ex-felons pursuing a long list of professions, which makes it more difficult for them to achieve the self-sufficiency they need to be productive and law-abiding citizens.  We made progress this year with corrections reforms; giving ex-felons a fair chance at decent jobs should be high on the smart on crime agenda.

On Monday we examined the state’s temporary high risk pool as part of our ongoing series of posts examining the new health care law.  The Oklahoma Temporary High Risk Pool (OTHRP) offers private insurance coverage specifically for people who are uninsured because of pre-existing conditions.

In the Know, Policy Notes

Numbers of the Week

  • 43 percent – Of Oklahoma adults scored at the lowest two literacy levels, Basic and Below Basic, on the National Assessment of Adult Literacy
  • 240,855 – Number of Oklahomans who are registered to vote as Independent, 2011
  • 65.8 percent – Of Oklahoma’s nursing home residents rely on Medicaid to pay for their nursing home care
  • 4,313 – Properties in foreclosure in Oklahoma in the first quarter of 2011
  • $167 million – Amount cut from higher and common education budgets in the state’s FY’ 12 budget

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


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