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    Entries in Oklahoma (6)

    Friday
    Oct262018

    The Week in Public Finance: Will Oklahoma Finally Wean Its Budget Off Oil?

    A ballot measure would do just that by adopting a financial practice already common in most other oil-dependent states.
    BY  OCTOBER 26, 2018
    Oil pumps in rural Oklahoma (Shutterstock)

    For a full summary of November's most important ballot measures, click here.

    Oil prices fell to a two-month low this week. Any time they tumble, oil-dependent states like Oklahoma are on edge. More than most states with economies heavily reliant on oil and natural gas, its budget is extremely vulnerable to the ebb and flow of the oil economy.

    The reason Oklahoma is so susceptible to the oil market is because it's one of only two oil states in the country -- the other is Louisiana -- that doesn’t protect its budget by reinvesting at least a portion of its oil revenue.

    Come Election Day, however, that could change if residents approve Question 800.

    Click to read more ...

    Friday
    Aug242018

    The Week in Public Finance: After Teacher Strikes, Voters Will Get a Say on Education Funding

    Support for raising teacher pay is near historic highs, but is it enough for voters -- some in red states -- to approve tax increases?
    BY  AUGUST 24, 2018

    Teachers protested outside the Colorado state Capitol in Denver this spring. (AP/David Zalubowski)

    For a summary of November's most important ballot measures, click here.

    After wide-scale teacher walkouts and strikes in six states this spring, support for teacher raises is nearing an all-time high. That could be a determining factor this fall in three states where voters will be asked to approve changes to boost school funding.

    Arizona, Colorado and Oklahoma all have ballot measures on education funding and saw teacher walkouts this year. According to a new poll by the journal Education Next, nearly two out of every three respondents in those states, and others with teacher strikes, favor raising teacher pay -- a 16-point jump since last year. Nationally, about half of respondents support increasing teacher pay, the second-highest it has been in the survey's 12-year history.

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Nov092016

    Pleas for More Education Funding Fall Short on Election Day

    Voters in two states rejected measures that would have raised taxes -- either for consumers or corporations.
    BY  NOVEMBER 9, 2016

    Voters in two financially-struggling states have struck down proposed tax increases that would have given more much-needed funding to education.

    Public education was one of the biggest casualties of the Great Recession. Nearly a decade since it started, nearly half of states are still providing less general funding for schools than they were the year the economy tanked. But the rejections on election night reflect a feeling among taxpayers that governments are punting on a problem by passing on costs to them, rather than making their own difficult decisions.

    In Oregon, which is facing a $1.3 billion deficit, voters shot down a proposal to impose a tax hike on corporations with more than $25 million in annual sales in the state. Opponents, largely corporations, called it a sales tax in disguise because they warned businesses would pass on the costs to consumers.

    Pat McCormick, a spokesman for the campaign to defeat the tax, told the The Oregonian/OregonLive that Measure 97 "fell of its own weight when people understood what it would do."

    Click to read more ...

    Saturday
    Oct292016

    In Need of Education Funding, States Look to Customers and Corporations

    Tax-raising ballot measures this fall showcase the political power of corporations.
    BY  OCTOBER 21, 2016

    Public education was one of the biggest casualties of the Great Recession. Nearly a decade since it started, nearly half of states are still providing less general funding for schools than they were the year the economy tanked.

    Two states, however, are asking voters to boost education funding this fall -- but they differ on who should pay for it: customers or corporations.

    Click to read more ...

    Friday
    Jul082016

    The Week in Public Finance: States in Recession, Higher Ed Winners and Losers, and Virtual Retirement

    A roundup of money (and other) news governments can use.
    BY  JULY 8, 2016

    Oklahoma's in a Recession

    New economic data shows what Oklahoma officials have been fearing: The state has officially entered a recession. Revised federal Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) data shows that the state’s gross domestic product was negative for most of 2015.

    A recession starts when there are two quarters of economic contraction. Originally, the BEA reported that Oklahoma’s economy contracted in the second quarter, grew by 0.1 percent during the third quarter and contracted again in the last quarter of last year. But the third quarter figure was recently revised downward to -0.6 percent.

    Data for the first quarter of 2016 is expected to be released later this month, but according to State Treasurer Ken Miller, the prospects don’t look good.

    “General indicators fail to point to any marked economic recovery at this point,” he said in his latest state economic report.

    Click to read more ...