Oklahoma City

Transitional Public Benefit Work—A better Way Forward for Oklahoma – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 2021-09-25 07:03:00 –

South OKC House District 93 Representative Mickey Drens (D) Insist on new public works programs that benefit individuals and the general public.

Opinion-Oklahoma City-As Oklahoma moves out of the pandemic and continues on the path to recovery, we continue to affect the nation even if the crisis eases prior to the crisis. Face challenges.

Too many citizens remain left behind in volatile economic conditions – as of 2019 10.7% Many Oklahomans lived in poverty, with less labor force participation 61%.. This economic instability not only causes human casualties, but also puts a financial burden on states and local governments.

Income insecurity, predatory debt traps, peasant evictions, homelessness, and recidivism are mutually intensifying problems, and taxpayers ultimately pay to treat these symptoms. Oklahoma seeks new solutions to avoid public costs, rather than paying for these problems at the back end when prices are highest, aimed at citizens through community-led public employment initiatives We need to help you achieve.

This is the purpose of the provisional utility. At the same time, it is about saving taxpayers money and confronting these social issues.

Interrelated issues

The utility program case studies are powerful and reflected in various economic indicators.

NS Estimated 36% The people of Oklahoman live on the borders of households’ solvency. Income shocks in the form of unemployment and unexpected spending can push these families to the limit.This can quickly lead to eviction Less than $ 600 Or monthly rent.

After expulsion, the cost of emergency shelter and medical care will be borne by the public, which can increase rapidly. Unemployment, mental health problems, and impacts on children can quickly track and exacerbate the situation.When Evacuation rate 7.8% and 6.2% Tulsa and Oklahoma City are 11NS And 20NS The highest eviction rate in the country.Indeed, the eviction rate for the entire state is double National average. This high eviction rate creates a great deal of public expense for the state.

In the worst case, eviction of peasants can drag families and individuals into the homeless cycle. cost It is between $ 30,000 and $ 50,000 per person per year.

Almost 4,000 people If a homeless person occurs on a particular night in the state, the back-of-the-envelope calculation would cost the homeless person $ 160 million annually. For some reason, we are paying the price of the homeless.

Similarly, we bear the cost of imprisonment – ​​in 2020, the Correctional Bureau spent $ 613 million To maintain the imprisonment rate 78% above National average.Recent criminal justice reforms have improved the situation somewhat, but the state still has a lot of room to achieve. Cost reduction Through the criminal justice system while maintaining public security. Addressing the economic causes of recidivism through interim public interest activities will help control these costs.

Ideas in return for public investment

Peasant farming, recidivism, poverty, and homelessness are complex problems that resist simple solutions, but each is at least partly due to income insecurity and unemployment. Please participate in the provisional public utility.

Temporary utilities allow Oklahoman to quickly access flexible work opportunities and maintain households’ solvency. Payday loan Or a social safety net.

Flexible work opportunities may allow families to maintain housing and avoid peasant evictions and homeless personal and public costs.

The same logic applies to recidivism. NS state Pay average $ 21,280 2020 sector budget is included for each imprisoned individual $ 884 million Contain a continuous increase in prison population. Given these costs, the state has an economic interest in reducing recidivism rates and reintegrating ex-criminals into society.

Nevertheless, research has repeatedly shown that these individuals face substantial barriers to acquiring full-time employees. unemployment When poverty It is the best predictor of recidivism. Combined with existing initiatives by organizations such as the Community Services Council and the Successful Oklahoma Partnership For Reentry, interim utilities allow returnees to trust their employers, maintain their homes and bring financial savings to the state. Helps you get back to full-time employment.

Benefits to the community

The potential advantage of this proposal goes beyond avoiding public costs.

With a modern approach to transitional utilities under a flexible gig economy model, Oklahoman works in the community and reinstates the workforce without the strict schedule constraints of traditional low-wage labor models. You can regain financial stability by entering the market or supplementing your income. Payments to volatile Oklahoman will maintain taxes and non-profit dollars in some of the states that may benefit most from economic growth.

And perhaps most importantly, local community organizations and governments can deploy this workforce to meet urgent local needs. Projects range from cleaning the neighborhood to working in food banks and tree planting. Investing in a community garden Food desert In both rural and urban areas of the state. Finally, the program employs technology to monitor output and results and provide transparency and accountability.

Responding to questions and dissenting opinions

Of course, some may question the cost, implementation, and effectiveness of such programs. Interim research can address many of these concerns by putting pilot programs in the field to identify best practices. But I can now anticipate and deal with many potential dissenting opinions.

  • cost – Some may be worried about the cost of a new social program. But, as we argued, the state already bears the costs of poverty, eviction of peasants, and homelessness. By proactively addressing the roots of income insecurity in these issues, you can reduce public costs and get a return on your investment.
  • Officials – In addition, policy skeptics may be concerned about the expansion of the government that controls the program. States and local governments can and need to oversee programs to protect taxpayers’ money, but the best model relies on a strong network of Oklahoma nonprofits within the organization. A model that oversees workers and projects while enhancing the desired results. This will reduce the cost of the people and minimize the administrative burden on the government.
  • Transparency and accountability – This, of course, raises the question of accountability and how to ensure that the taxpayer’s dollars are fully used and that the program benefits the intended recipients. First, the state selects and scrutinizes nonprofit partners so they can work with proven and reputable organizations. In addition, technology helps alleviate transparency concerns. The mobile application ensures that payments are digitized, traceable and taxable.probably Surprisingly expensive Mobile phone ownership among people experiencing the homeless makes this possible.
  • Targeting – Some may ask how the system guarantees that it benefits only those who need it. Fortunately, state and local governments have a variety of options to ensure compliance. As a starting point, they were able to work with non-profit case managers to screen participants and set limits on the number of hours they could work. This ensures that the program acts as a bridge to full-time employment or as a supplement to temporary income. The pilot program allows you to test best practices for shaping the outcomes of the implementing government.
  • COVID Recovery – Finally, skeptics may question the need for an interim utility program as the economy recovers and jobs become more accessible.Indeed, the state unemployment rate is Four%.. However, even at the height of macroeconomic expansion in 2019, when the unemployment rate dropped to 3%, the labor force participation rate was low, the homeless experience, and the prospect of employment for previously imprisoned individuals remains difficult and the economy. The situation was uneven across the state. These individuals need the help of a transition work program to reach regular employment, and even those with a stable job benefit from the flexible opportunity to achieve their goals without resorting to payday loans. You can get it. Moreover, even in a strong economy, states can save money by helping citizens avoid evictions and homelessness. Finally, this program Get used to It is clearly designed to act as a bridge to, rather than replace, private sector employment.

“This interim survey of utilities is committed to building an ideal partnership between the government and the nonprofit sector and providing thousands of Oklahoma families with an alternative to financial despair. Nonprofits serve many who face employment barriers and are navigating inflexible, low-paying employment options. Temporary economic gaps and recent work experience. The proof will give them the power to change the situation. “-Marnie Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Oklahoma Nonprofit Center


The economic and human case of the interim utility program is clear. By linking income-worried Oklahoman with flexible work opportunities, you can tackle imminent social issues head-on and tackle issues such as peasant farming, homelessness, poverty and imprisonment.

In addition, my interim study of the Provisional Public Employment Program determines the best options for program design and implementation and assesses the role that nonprofits and the private sector can play in collaboration with state and local governments. Helps to do.

thank you,

Representative of Mickey Drens
Oklahoma House District 93
Economic Policy Chair – House Democratic Caucus

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