Weekly Wonk June 9, 2013

The Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage.  Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know.  Click here to subscribe to In The Know.


OK Policy Director David Blatt’s Journal Record column discussed how tax credit reform remains as major unfinished business for lawmakers. OK Policy released poll results showing that nearly 2/3rds of Oklahoma voters strongly oppose tax breaks for oil and gas companies that are costing the state more than $100 million annually. The Oklahoman editorial board concurred with OK Policy that the most recent legislative session deserved poor marks for putting ideology over common sense. OK Policy was also mentioned in an Oklahoma Gazette article by Mickey Hepner discussing the tax cut recently passed by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Fallin. 



The OK Policy Blog shared what you need to know about Oklahoma’s new online insurance marketplace set to begin operations in four months. We also highlighted a photography project presenting images and words of incarcerated women in Oklahoma and provided an end-of-session summary of what happened to legislation that we covered during the year.


Numbers of the Day

  • 47 percent – Percentage of Oklahoma’s children under 5 years old that are non-White or mixed, compared to just 32 percent for all Oklahomans
  • 10.6 percent – Unemployment rate for Oklahoma workers under age 25, more than twice the rate for all workers (5.1 percent) in 2012
  • $289 million – Amount of funding Oklahoma lost for FY 2013 as a result of federal ’sequestration’ budget cuts
  • 70,407 – Number of immigrants in Oklahoma who are naturalized U.S. citizens and eligible to vote, comprising 34 percent of the state’s immigrant population.
  • $100 million – Amount the state currently pays in tax subsidies each year to oil & gas companies for drilling horizontal wells in Oklahoma

Policy Notes

  • Dean Baker wrote about how advocates for government budget cuts as a response to the recession have been proven wrong about everything.
  • Anew study by the RAND Corporation showed that states that choose not to expand Medicaid will leave millions of their residents without health insurance and increase spending on the cost of treating uninsured residents.
  • Wonkblog shared graphs from an ACLU report showing the extreme gap in marijuana arrests between blacks and whites, even though marijuana use is not more prevalent among blacks.
  • The Center for American Progress called for hitting the reset button on the debate over the federal budget, in light of the $2.5 trillion in deficit-reduction already enacted, slowing health care costs, and the collapse of evidence that austerity would promote growth.
  • The American Immigration Council reported on expert consensus across the political spectrum about the enormous economic potential of broad-based immigration reform.


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