The Weekly Wonk – October 21, 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 newly updated fact sheets showing the revenue from “sin taxes” on tobacco, gaming, and the lottery continued to grow throughout the recession. NewsOK also reported on our findings. We attended the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy Fall Forum and shared the comments of five state agency leaders on what they’ve done to continue operating in hard times.

Also this week, we explained how the Congressional Supercommittee tasked with reducing the deficit could affect state budgets. A guest blog by Sara Amberg, a manager at the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, warned about a dangerous coming storm of food insecurity in Oklahoma.

On Sunday, we published an op-ed in The Oklahoman about why those who say Oklahoma should get rid of the income tax have a big burden. KRMG spoke with David Blatt about the dangers of adding more tax cuts to the large cuts already approved in recent years.

In the Know, Policy Notes

Numbers of the Week

  • $3,245,979,000 – Total amount earned on investment by Oklahoma’s state and local public employee retirement systems in FY 2009.
  • 4.7 percent – Percentage of mortgages in Oklahoma that were seriously delinquent during the 2nd quarter of 2011, compared to 6.9 percent nationally.
  • 8 – Number of states with no broad-based individual income tax that Oklahoma out-competed in per capita personal income growth, 2000-2010; Wyoming was the only state with no income tax to grow faster than Oklahoma.
  • 45th – Oklahoma’s rank nationally in prevalence of adult diabetes; 11.0 percent of the adult population in Oklahoma had diabetes in 2010, compared to only 8.3 percent nationally
  • 54.6 – People per square mile in Oklahoma in 2010, compared to 87.3 people per square mile in the country as a whole


Gene Perry worked for OK Policy from 2011 to 2019. He is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism.

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