Author and Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program fellow Jennifer Bradley argues that cities like Oklahoma City are vital to a post-recession economy. During Oklahoma City’s 2014 Mayor’s Development Roundtable in May, she said she admires Oklahoma’s progress and improvement.
“When it comes to building a livable, sustainable, and economically viable place, there’s no such thing as finished,” Bradley says.
Dan Straughan, right, executive director of the Oklahoma City Homeless Alliance, fields questions after presenting the results of an annual survey of the city’s homeless population at United Way headquarters in Oklahoma City on Friday.
When budget cuts led the Oklahoma tourism department to find new homes for seven state parks in 2011, two of them went to Native American tribes. Both are open and doing well, but each has faced its own difficulties in the transition.
A new poll shows 64 percent of Oklahoma voters oppose state tax incentives for horizontal drilling and support eliminating the incentive to pay for other government services.
Oklahoma levies a 7 percent tax on oil and gas production, but the horizontal drilling incentive lowers the rate to 1 percent for the first 48 months of production. The incentive expires in 2015, and some Oklahoma lawmakers are pushing to make the reduced rate permanent.
The study released Wednesday says there are 26 active wind farms in the state. Oklahoma ranks sixth in the nation in the amount of wind energy generated for consumers. That's enough to power almost 770,000 homes each year.
The U.S. government shutdown in October 2013 was the culmination of a national political fight over federal budgeting, but its effects were felt far from Washington, D.C., including at two federal park sites in Oklahoma.
Sulphur, Okla. relies heavily on the tourism revenue it gets as a result of being attached to the Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge, which was shutdown for the first half of October along with the rest of the country’s national parks and wildlife refuges.
When the 2014 legislative session starts Feb. 3, state lawmakers will face more than 2,000 bills and resolutions, and are expected to have $170 million less to spend than last year. They will also be confronted by agency heads, most of which will argue, publicly, for more money.
Many of the bills under consideration this year address revenue and spending, directly. Republican measures to cut the income tax, for example, or gross production taxes on oil and gas activity the energy industry would like to reduce.