Oklahoma Policy Institute

401(K) 2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

With the state facing a $611 million budget hole, more than 90 Oklahoma businesses, foundations and nonprofit agencies are asking the governor and Republican legislative leaders to halt a scheduled income tax cut.

The Oklahoma Policy Institute delivered a letter Tuesday to Gov. Mary Fallin, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman and House Speaker Jeff Hickman.


Unresolved issues tied to education, incarceration and mental health services will hamstring Oklahoma’s ability to remain among the nation’s top 5 fastest growing economies, a panel of government officials and economists concluded during the Oklahoma Policy Institute’s 2nd Annual State Budget Summit.

On January 29, OPI Director of Policy Gene Perry led the panel through “An Economic Check-Up” of the state’s current economic conditions and fiscal policies. 

University of Minnesota political scientist Lawrence Jacobs during a Nov. 10, 2014 luncheon at the Jim Thorpe Association and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Over the weekend, millions of Americans had the opportunity to sign up for health insurance as the annual enrollment window opened for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

University of Minnesota political scientist Lawrence Jacobs traveled to Oklahoma City last week to speak at an Oklahoma Policy Institute luncheon. He argued state and federal officials would soon shift discussions away from an outright repeal of the healthcare plan.

Henry Bellmon, Oklahoma's 18th and 23rd governor and two-term U.S. Senator
State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s first Republican governor is considered an architect of the state’s hallmark education movement.

Both opponents and allies of Henry Bellmon described him as the moving force for the 1990 passage of House Bill 1017 that mandated better teacher pay, smaller class sizes and curriculum reform.

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An Oklahoma City lawmaker plans to file legislation next year to raise the subminimum wage for some service-sector employees.

Democratic Rep. Mike Shelton says that under current law workers younger than 20, workers who earn tips and some other categories of employees can legally be paid below-minimum hourly wages.

An employer whose workers receive tips is required to pay a minimum wage of $2.13 per hour, provided that amount plus the tips equals at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. That equates to $290 per week for a full-time, 40-hour employee.

401(K) 2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

Legislation that would trim Oklahoma's personal income tax rate when state revenue increases has been approved by the state House.

House members voted 54-40 for the Senate-passed measure that is one of Republican Gov. Mary Fallin's top goals for the 2014 Legislature. It now goes to Fallin to be signed into law.

Meredithw / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

Gov. Mary Fallin delivers the 2014 State of the State address as Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) look on - February 3, 2014.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin took her policy priorities to the overall friendly audience of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber last week. Speaking to the pro-business group’s members, Fallin reiterated her call for a cut to the state income tax rate and the graduation of more “job ready” residents.

Gov. Mary Fallin enters the House chamber of the state capitol shortly before delivering her State of the State address February 3, 2014.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Five percent.

That’s how much the governor is asking most entities in state government to cut their budgets. The number should not be much of a surprise. The amount of money available for state lawmakers to spend for the next fiscal year was already down about $171 million over the current year’s figure.

Oil And Gas Tax Breaks Leaving Millions On The Table In Oklahoma

Jan 27, 2014
Kool Cats Photography / Flickr Creative Commons

It's not looking good for Oklahoma's budget.

State leaders expect a $170 million shortfall. This year's budget was just half a percent larger than five years ago, without adjusting for inflation. And projections estimate a deficit of up to $2 billion by 2035.