Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt said the state of the state is the strongest its ever been while highlighting steps taken over the past four years to help turnaround Oklahoma. In his speech, the governor presented his plan for the legislative session including a focus on driving excellence in education, making Oklahoma the most business-friendly state in the nation, protecting Oklahomans, and promoting freedoms.
Key Speech Highlights:
Education – Proposed education savings accounts; performance-based pay raises for teachers; the Innovation School Fund; a new reading initiative; and expanding concurrent enrollment.
Energy – Called for diversifying the energy grid and embracing the “more of everything” approach concerning energy production.
Infrastructure – Discussed the importance of continuing to invest in infrastructure including roads, bridges, rails, runways, and broadband.
Workforce – Said workforce is the number one challenge facing businesses and called for higher education to partner with companies to train workers as well as rethinking the state’s career tech funding model.
Budget – Highlighted the state’s large savings account and surplus while supporting the creation of the Oklahoma Legacy Fund.
Tax Relief – Recommended eliminating the state’s grocery tax and reducing the personal income tax rate to 3.99 percent.
Public Safety – Talked about the need to fully fund law enforcement; combat drug and human trafficking; crack down on illegal marijuana options; and engage in smart and meaningful criminal justice reform.
· Other – Other topics included continuing to improve rural hospitals and expand primary care; prioritizing highway safety; protecting farmland from foreign nationals; safeguarding elections; calling for stronger transparency laws; protecting second amendment rights; supporting foster care; and increasing fatherhood programs.