Economy

Economists use beer to highlight socialism’s failings

Socialism may be gaining in popularity among certain groups, but it remains a thoroughly discredited economic system, as two experts highlight in their book Socialism Sucks: Two Economists Drink Their Way Through the Unfree World (Regnery, 2019).

Ray Carter
November 22, 2019
Health Care

Lawmakers learn shady management companies could benefit from Medicaid expansion

Medicaid expansion has been touted as a way to shore up financially troubled rural hospitals, but at a recent legislative study, lawmakers learned the beneficiaries of Medicaid expansion may include management companies that have run several rural Oklahoma hospitals into the ground.

Ray Carter
November 22, 2019
Education

Funding structures, not union politics, driving teacher pay

During 2018, many Oklahoma school districts shut down for up to two weeks as part of a union-led walkout campaign targeting the state legislature. Just days before the shutdown, the legislature had passed a package of tax increases in order to raise teacher pay by an average of $6,100. One of the most salient arguments leading up to the pay raise and walkout was that Oklahoma was losing teachers to Texas due to higher pay south of the Red River.

Curtis Shelton
November 21, 2019
Budget & Tax

Expert warns against legal games with pension protections

During a recent legislative study that included a review of a pension-protection law, the head of one state pension system offered lawmakers a recommendation for improving such laws: Stop allowing bills to self-exempt from pension protections.

Ray Carter
November 20, 2019
Budget & Tax

New report shows Oklahoma’s casino compacts should be renegotiated

A new report by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) highlights the need for Oklahoma to renegotiate its gaming compacts.

Staff
November 20, 2019
Budget & Tax

Officials urge caution in passing unfunded pension benefits

Under legislation passed by the Oklahoma House of Representatives this year, retired state workers’ benefits would have been increased by 4 percent. But that bill, which did not advance in the Senate, included no funding to cover the additional cost, making the measure an unfunded mandate.

Ray Carter
November 19, 2019
Budget & Tax

Officials say state’s ‘merit protection’ system harms workforce quality

Under the “merit protection” system used in Oklahoma government, it’s too hard to fire bad employees or give promotions to good employees, according to several officials. That has some officials calling for a major overhaul, or even repeal, of the system.

Ray Carter
November 18, 2019
Budget & Tax

Governor, tribal officials discuss casino compact dispute

Gov. Kevin Stitt said state-tribal negotiations over casino compacts have reached an impasse, but said he remains committed to an improved agreement that will require state casino operators to pay market rates for monopoly gaming rights.

Ray Carter
November 15, 2019
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