Sunday, February 12, 2012

State of the State Address of Governor Mary Fallin

OKLAHOMA CITY - Last week Governor Mary Fallin outlined her 2012 legislative and policy agenda during a joint session of the Oklahoma Legislature during her State of the State address.

Click here to read the entire speech.
The following are key excerpts from the 2012 State of the State address:

On Oklahoma’s economy (Click here for a one-page report):
“In 2011, the state of Oklahoma had a net increase of 41,600 jobs. 
“Our job growth rate ranks 3rd among all states. … 
“At 6.1 percent, our unemployment rate continues to be one of the lowest in the country.  … 
“All of these indicators demonstrate that Oklahoma’s economy continues to outperform the national economy. People all across the country are noticing:  Oklahoma stands as a testament to the fact that low taxes, limited government, and fiscal discipline are a recipe for job creation.”

Education and workforce development (Click here for a one-page report):
“We know that a majority of the jobs created in the next decade will require either a college education or a career certificate from one of our Career Technology centers and that college graduates earn $1 million more over their lifetime than high school graduates. 
“That’s why we have set a goal to increase the number of college graduates from 30,500 degrees and certificates awarded annually to 50,900.”

Increasing government efficiency and “right-sizing” government (Click here for a one-page report):
“Under current law, state agencies are required to submit a strategic plan that includes goals and proposals for increased efficiency and improved services. Unfortunately, these plans have not, historically, been carefully scrutinized. 
“My office and the Office of State Finance will begin evaluating each and every one of these plans and will use new software and technologies that measure performance and efficiency and align expenditures with outcomes. That analysis will help us to right-size government and ensure that each agency is operating as effectively as possible.”

The “Oklahoma Tax Reduction and Simplification Act” (Click here for a one-page report):
“The Oklahoma Tax Reduction and Simplification Act will immediately cut income taxes for Oklahomans in all tax brackets, simplify the tax code, and chart a course towards the gradual elimination of the income tax. 
“Our plan is a game-changer for Oklahoma. It’s a job-creator. And it provides broad based tax relief to the middle class without starving government or hurting the working poor.”  

Energy Efficiency (Click here for a one-page report):
“Oklahoma can and should lead the way in implementing energy efficiency measures that will save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. 
“I’m asking our lawmakers to send me a bill requiring every state agency and higher education institution to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent by the year 2020.”

Improving Oklahoma’s Transportation Infrastructure (click here for one page report):
“Unfortunately, [Oklahoma has] some of the worst bridges in the nation. 
“That’s why last year I proposed a plan that will fix all 706 of Oklahoma’s structurally deficient state highway bridges by 2019 … moving Oklahoma from the list of worst-bridges in the country to the best.  … 
“… To fund that plan, I have proposed in my budget an additional investment in the form of a $15 million increase to ODOT … paid for by using road money for roads, rather than diverting it to general revenue, as has been the practice in the past.”

Prohibiting Smoking on State Property (Click here for a one-page report on health initiatives):
“… every Oklahoma household pays $550 each year in state and federal taxes to cover smoking-related medical costs.“That’s why this morning I signed an Executive Order prohibiting tobacco use on all state government property.  … 
“Here in the state Capitol, we’ll take that one step further. Right now, this building has a smoking room. I’m going to close it and, in its place, create a fitness center where employees in this building can go to work out and get healthy.”

Click here to read the 2011 State of the State address by Governor Fallin.

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