Weekly Wonk September 22, 2013

the_weekly_wonkThe 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 released a fact sheet on what you need to know about Oklahoma’s new health insurance marketplace opening for enrollment October 1. We discussed new Census data that showed the number of uninsured children in Oklahoma continues to fall due to coverage offered through Oklahoma’s Medicaid program and also showed stagnant incomes in Oklahoma with many families still living in poverty.

20121112_111112foodstamp03_33We also looked at Oklahoma’s improbable victory over big tobacco and explained what the cuts  to low income – food and nutrition programs would mean for Oklahoma, including an infographic showing who would be affected.

Policy Analyst Gene Perry wrote an editorial for the Oklahoman discussing the impact of severe cuts to Education in Oklahoma. OK Policy Director David Blatt was quoted in a Tulsa Urban Weekly article discussing the Insurance Commissioner John Doak’s unwillingness to provide information about the Affordable Care Act. Blatt’s Journal Record column explained why Oklahoma policymakers are heading the wrong way if they want to improve our state’s prosperity. KGOU shared audio from a panel at OK Policy’s 2013 Summer Policy Institute where analysts discussed the GOP takeover in Oklahoma and future trends in Oklahoma politics.

Numbers of the Day

  • 45.2 percent – Percentage growth in the purchase price of a residential home in Oklahoma since 2000, just slightly more than growth in national home prices (42.6 percent)
  • 4th – Oklahoma’s rank nationally for the share of residents whose bachelor’s degrees are in education, 21.2 percent versus 16.0 percent nationally
  • 24 percent – The percentage of working age adults in Oklahoma who don’t have health insurance
  • $132.90 – Average per month per person SNAP or ‘food stamp’ nutrition benefit
  • $44,312 – Median household income in Oklahoma in 2012, down 3.7 percent from 2007

Policy Notes

  • New research showed that school field trips to art museums improve critical thinking, historical empathy, and tolerance, but financial pressures and emphasis on standardized tests are making them rare.
  • The New Republic discussed how more states led by Republican Governors are accepting federal funds to extend Medicaid.
  • The American Prospect explained the troubling racial history of a rule that excludes home care workers from minimum wage and overtime protections. The Obama administration recently announced that this policy will end in January.
  • The Atlantic Cities reported on new research that proves that households’ receiving public housing vouchers do not raise city or neighborhood crime rates, despite popular arguments that they do.


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