Restoring the Earned Income Tax Credit is necessary and overdue

When the Legislature ended Oklahoma’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) refundability in 2016, they reduced an essential tax benefit for over 200,000 Oklahoma families. Prior to that change, if the amount a family received from the EITC was larger than… Read more [More...]

The Administration’s new immigration rules are already hurting families – and it’s going to get worse

Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security issued a final rule that will make it harder for low-income immigrants to legally come to the United States, and more difficult to stay here once they’ve come. [More...]

New paper series from OK Policy sheds light on Oklahomans left behind by economic recovery

You’ve probably heard a lot of people saying recently that Oklahoma’s economy is strong again and that’s partially true. There are reasons to be optimistic about our economy. But too many Oklahomans are still struggling despite statewide progress. Some parts of Oklahoma and groups of Oklahomans still have high unemployment rates, the percentage of our adult population participating in the workforce is decreasing, and job creation in Oklahoma hasn’t kept pace with our population growth.  [More...]

The State of Work in Oklahoma: Finding Work (Part 1 of 3)

The State of Work in Oklahoma, a new paper series from OK Policy, sheds light on those Oklahomans who have been left behind by the economic recovery. This first paper, Finding Work, explores the difficulty many Oklahomans encounter when looking for work. [More...]

Federal funding increases are making quality child care more affordable for Oklahoma families

A new report from Oklahoma Policy Institute finds that new federal grant funding is making affordable child care a reality for more Oklahomans. [More...]

Expansion in Federal Funding is Improving Access and Quality in Oklahoma’s Child Care Subsidy Program

In fiscal year 2019, Oklahoma’s child care subsidy program operated by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) received a $32 million increase in federal funding, which represents a 36 percent increase from the previous year. With Oklahoma continuing its state commitment to the subsidy program, OKDHS was able to significantly improve provider rates, invest in training for providers, and reduce costs and expand eligibility for Oklahoma families. [More...]

New KIDS COUNT Data Book ranks Oklahoma in bottom 10 states for child well-being

How Oklahoma Ranks Oklahoma ranks in the bottom 10 states in the nation for child well-being, according to the 2019 KIDS COUNT® Data Book released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. With an overall ranking of 42nd out of all 50 states,… Read more [More...]

End of Session Round-Up: Missed opportunities to improve financial security

We told you in February that the Legislature would have several opportunities to improve the lives of hard-working Oklahomans and their families. Unfortunately, only a few of these measures passed. [More...]

How we measure poverty matters — and a proposed change would make it worse

Last year, 621,076 Oklahomans were living in poverty according to official estimates - that's 15.8 percent, or one out of every six, of us. The Trump Administration has recently proposed a plan to adjust the way we measure poverty, but these changes would not make the measure more accurate. [More...]

Women still earn less than men, and it’s putting them at risk of living in poverty

Poverty in Oklahoma is consistently above the national average, but what you may not have noticed is the fact that women are more likely to experience poverty than men. Seventeen percent of women in Oklahoma live below the poverty line, compared to just 14.5 percent of men. In a time when families depend more than ever on women's wages, this is a troubling trend. [More...]