Balanced the Budget.
Unlike Washington DC, Oklahoma can’t print money or borrow it from China. Every dollar of reduced spending on state government is one put back into the private sector to help create Oklahoma jobs.
- Erased $500 million budget gap. In her first year in office, Governor Fallin made the tough decisions necessary to balance a $500 million budget shortfall while LOWERING taxes.
Restored Savings Account.
Governor Fallin has always believed that government, like a family or a business, should have money saved in case of unexpected financial hardships. That is why one of her major priorities when she took office was to replenish Oklahoma’s “Rainy Day Fund” that had literally dwindled down to pocket change. Today, with over $530 million in the rainy day fund and counting, taxpayers are much better protected from any unforeseen financial hardships that may be encountered by the state.
- Took Rainy Day Fund from $2.02 to over $532 million. Since Governor Fallin took office in January 2011, Oklahoma has gone from “broke” to approaching record highs in its Savings Account.
Created Jobs and Reduced Unemployment.
Creating jobs is Governor Fallin’s number one priority. By embracing pro-growth policies like tax cuts, reining in the size of government, and reducing the regulatory burden on job creators, Oklahoma’s economy has soared.
- Reduced unemployment rate from 7.0% to 5.3%. Since January 2011, Oklahoma’s unemployment rate has fallen farther and faster than the national average.
Grew Personal Income.
Governor Fallin is working hard to make Oklahoma more prosperous. Her pro-business policies are not only helping to create more jobs, they are also helping to increase personal wealth.
- Helped grow personal income by 8.1%. Oklahoma's personal income has grown by 8.1% between early 2011 and the present, which ranks 4th in the nation over the time period. Comparatively, the national growth in personal income was 5.7%.
Gov. Fallin’s tax cuts will stimulate Oklahoma’s economy while helping the state to attract and retain businesses and jobs. It will also make Oklahoma more competitive with its neighbors, especially Texas (with no income tax) and Kansas (cut its income tax below 5 percent).
- Reduced taxes from 5.5% to 4.85%. Gov. Fallin allowed an income tax cut to take place in 2011, and then passed another tax cut bill in 2013. Under Gov. Fallin’s leadership, taxes will be reduced from 5.50% to 4.85%, putting over a billion dollars back into the private sector by 2016.
Eliminated Job-Killing Cost Drivers to Business
Oklahoma’s skyrocketing workers’ compensation costs and hostile legal climate were driving small businesses and medical professionals out of the state. Governor Fallin lead the charge for reforms that addressed these problems, created more jobs and helped to keep good doctors in Oklahoma.
- Passed comprehensive lawsuit reform: Governor Fallin passed a cap on non-economic damages and rewrote the laws governing the tort process. She called a special session in 2013 to reinstate lawsuit reform measures tossed out by Oklahoma courts. Those measures are working -- the number of medical malpractice suits has declined dramatically since 2009.
- Rewrote the laws on workers’ compensation: Governor Fallin worked to completely overhaul the workers compensation system, moving from a judicial system to an administrative system. The resulting system treats injured workers fairly while reducing costs to small businesses. The National Council on Compensation Insurance estimates the new system may save businesses as much as 14% on workers’ compensation costs.
Matched Skilled Workers with Employers
Oklahoma’s employers have job openings for skilled workers, especially returning veterans with technical skillsets. Governor Fallin helped match employers with Oklahomans looking for work, further reducing the unemployment rate.
- Launched OKJobMatch.Com: Created a new tool to connect employers and job seekers. OKJobMatch currently has over 100,000 resumes.
Consolidated and Improved Government Services. Better-managed government means better value for taxpayers and better services for those who need these services.
- Gov. Fallin improved and centralized services in areas like Information Technology. Centralizing IT services helps to improve security at state agencies, encourages transparency, improves customer services and has saved millions of taxpayer dollars.
Cut Government Waste.
Reducing the size of government bureaucracy reduces the burden on taxpayers and encourages efficiency.
- Consolidated or eliminated over 75 task forces, board and commissions in 2013 alone.
Lead a National Education, Workforce and Jobs Initiative.
Sixty percent of all jobs created between now and 2020 will require a college degree, a career technology certificate or some kind of vocational training. Post-secondary education is now the “new minimum” for the middle class. Gov. Fallin is working to help Oklahomans and all Americans gain the tools they need to succeed in the workforce.
- Launched “America Works: Education and Training for Tomorrow’s Jobs.” As chairman of the National Governors Association, Gov. Fallin is leading a bipartisan, nationwide initiative to increase educational attainment and address the skills gap in America’s workforce.
Increased Degrees and Certificates Awarded in Oklahoma
The majority of Oklahoma’s new jobs will require college degrees or career certificates. Governor Fallin has set a goal of increasing college degrees and career certificates by 67% in the next 10 years in order to keep up with the demand for highly skilled labor.
- Launched Complete College America (CCA). CCA is a partnership with higher education and career technology to increase the number of degrees and certificates awarded to Oklahomans. In its first year, the goal was to increase degrees and certificates by 1700. That goal was exceeded, with over 2900 degrees and certificates awarded in Year One of implementation.
Held Schools Accountable for Performance
Parents, students, teachers and administrators need to know how their schools are performing. Bad schools should be identified and fixed. Good schools should be rewarded for high performance.
- Created an A-F grading system. Gov. Fallin successfully pushed for an easily understood grading system for public schools.
Implemented Literacy Improvements
Gov. Fallin believes that a child can’t learn if he or she can’t read. Students who can’t read at grade appropriate level should be identified early and brought up to speed.
- Implemented the Reading Sufficiency Act. Governor Fallin proposed and signed into law a measure that requires third grade children to demonstrate they can read at grade appropriate level before being advanced to fourth grade. The practice of promoting children simply because of their age (“social promotion”) is over. Children who need extra help are being identified and given that help.
Instated Quality Control in Oklahoma Schools
Antiquated rules shouldn’t keep Oklahoma schools from dismissing chronically underperforming teachers, or force them to spend vast sums of taxpayer dollars to do so. Children deserve good teachers, and every available dollar should be spent in the classroom.
- Ended “trial de novo” for underperforming teachers. Governor Fallin signed into law a measure that ends the legal appeals process that made it nearly impossible to fire chronically underperforming teachers, and often cost schools thousands of dollars in legal fees.
Raised academic standards.
Raising academic standards will help to improve the quality of public education in Oklahoma, improve student performance, and ensure children are college or career ready when they graduate. It also sends a signal to businesses that a high school degree means students have the skills they need for the workforce.
- Implemented exit exams and new Common Core standards. Gov. Fallin supports Oklahoma-based and Oklahoma-implemented standards that ensure higher levels of rigor in the classroom.
Increased Resources for Education.
Improving education requires financial commitment. Gov. Fallin increased funding for public education and higher education to support Oklahoma teachers and schools.
- Increased funding for common education by $90 million and total education by $120 million for Fiscal Year 2014.
Supported Oklahoma Energy Production.
Oklahoma is an energy state and our economy depends on the growth and retention of energy jobs. The governor has supported the production of fossil fuels like oil and natural gas while laying the groundwork for the expansion of renewable energy sources like wind power. Pursuing this “all of the above” energy strategy will boost Oklahoma’s economy and ensure the state continues to be a leader in energy production.
- Authored the “Oklahoma First" Energy Plan. The state’s first-ever comprehensive energy strategy was introduced in 2012, after gathering input from stakeholders ranging from energy producers to environmentalists.
Championed Oklahoma-Produced Natural Gas.
Natural Gas is a driving force behind the ongoing Energy Revolution that Oklahoma is at the forefront of. To sustain that energy revolution, CNG needs to break into new markets, especially in the transportation sector. Gov. Fallin is working to ensure that CNG cars and trucks are the wave of the future, not just in Oklahoma, but nationwide.
- Launched a multi state initiative promoting the use of CNG cars and trucks in state fleets. WIth Democrat Governor John Hickenlooper, lead a 23 state initiative to drive down the cost of CNG cars and trucks through bulk purchasing. The state of Oklahoma has since purchased hundreds of CNG cars and trucks at reduced costs. Taxpayers can save up to $20,000 on fuel costs over the life cycle of each of these vehicles.
Saved Taxpayer Dollars Through Energy Efficiency. Gov. Fallin’s energy efficiency initiatives are predicted to save taxpayers as much as $300 million between now and 2020.
- Passed Energy Efficiency Legislation. Gov. Fallin passed legislation requiring all state agencies to reduce energy consumption by 20% by 2020.
Repaired and Improved Oklahoma’s Roads and Bridges.
Safe bridges and easily traversed highways are an economic issue and a quality of life issue. Modernizing our turnpikes and fixing our bridges will help to create jobs and improve transportation in all corners of the state.
- Established the Bridge Improvement and Turnpike Modernization Plan. Launched an initiative to modernize the state’s largest turnpikes and eliminate all structurally deficient state bridges by 2018. Provided resources to fix hundreds of county level bridges throughout the state.
Prevented Thousands of Oklahomans From Losing Their Health Care Coverage.
As part of the implementation of Obamacare, the federal government wanted to eliminate a successful Oklahoma program that provides health insurance to 30,000 Oklahomans. Gov. Fallin negotiated an extension of that program so those Oklahomans wouldn’t lose their health insurance.
- Saved Insure Oklahoma: Governor Fallin negotiated an extension for the state’s health insurance program for low income, working Oklahomans from being eliminated by President Obama.
Said “no” to Obamacare.
Medicaid expansion as proposed in ObamaCare is estimated to cost the state at least $689 million between now and 2022. Obamacare is unworkable and unaffordable. It expands a broken system rather than fixing it and would threaten to bankrupt state government the way it has Washington.
- Rejected Medicaid Expansion: Gov. Fallin rejected the Obamacare Medicaid expansion and resisted creating a state health insurance exchange. Gov. Fallin also continues to support Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s ongoing legal challenge to Obamacare.
Helped Improve Health In Oklahoma
Under her watch, health outcomes in Oklahoma are improving. The state went from 49th to 43rd in its health rankings and 47th to 39th in its smoking rate. To continue this positive trajectory, Gov. Fallin continues to push healthy living initiatives. Tackling preventable illnesses linked to smoking and obesity is an economic issue as well as a quality of life issue. Smoking, for example, not only leads to thousands of deaths each year in Oklahoma, it also costs the state $2 billion annually in health care costs and lost workforce productivity.
Pursued healthy life choices agenda. Gov Fallin is working hard to encourage healthy life choices in Oklahoma. She supports voluntary healthy living initiatives like Certified Healthy Schools, Businesses and Communities and supports restoring local control to communities to ban smoking in public places.
Increased Access to Medical Care in Rural Areas.
Access to medical care in rural Oklahoma can be a problem. The rural residency program championed by the governor funds training for doctors who practice in rural and underserved areas.
- Expanded Rural Residency Program for Doctors: Appropriated $3 million for rural residency program
Championed Mental Health Treatment
One in 3 Oklahomans currently suffers from mental health or substance abuse issues, which in turn contributes to poverty and crime. Treating mental health problems and preventing them before they start isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s an important economic issue as well.
- Increased funding and launched new treatment programs. Gov. Fallin successfully championed increased funding ($17 million in 2013) for mental health initiatives including prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment; suicide prevention and counseling for mentally ill children and their families.
Sanctity of Life
Gov. Fallin has been pro-life throughout her entire career, believes in the sanctity of life, and believes late term abortions are a moral travesty. After years of being blocked by Democrat Governor Brad Henry and Democratic legislatures, Gov. Fallin pursued pro-life policies in line with Oklahoma’s values.
- Signed Every Pro Life Measure. Governor Fallin signed every pro-life measure that came to her desk, including a bill to to prohibit abortion after 20 weeks when the child is proved to be viable and can live outside the womb; a bill to prevent standard health insurance policies from covering abortion; and a bill requiring physicians to be present when RU-486 (an abortion drug) is taken.
Helped Vets Find Jobs.
Unemployment among veterans is unacceptably high. Gov. Fallin knows our veterans are disciplined, hard-working people with unique skill sets that job creators look for and should be given every opportunity to find meaningful employment in public life after serving their country.
- Connected veterans to employers through OKJobMath.com. Gov. Fallin launched a digital portal that matches skilled workers -- many of them veterans -- with employers. She also signed legislation requiring public sector employers to interview veterans who meet the minimum and special qualifications for job openings.
Helped Provide Vets with Access to Education.
Helping returning veterans further their education has been a national priority since World War II. Helping veterans get college degrees or career certificates will eventually help these men and women to find jobs.
- Passed Pro-Vet Education Legislation. Gov. Fallin signed into law legislation allowing non-Oklahoman military personnel and their dependents to receive in-state tuition if they are stationed in Oklahoma; also signed legislation allowing public colleges, universities and Career Tech centers to grant academic credit for relevant training in the armed services.
Improved Care for Veterans
Veterans deserve the best services the state can provide. The reports of abuse and neglect in Oklahoma’s veterans centers were unacceptable. When Gov. Fallin learned of the problem, she acted quickly to solve it.
- Overhauled and Increased Resources for War Veterans Commission. Gov. Fallin replaced eight out of nine members of the War Veterans Commission, asking each one of them to step up oversight efforts at the state’s veterans centers. She directed them to pursue improvements in service and to investigate any instances of abuse or neglect. She also allocated a $1 million increase for the Department of Veterans Affairs for additional nurses at veterans centers.
Fought Hunger in Oklahoma
One in four Oklahomans goes to bed hungry and many of those individuals are children. Gov. Fallin believes we are too good of a state to ignore this problem -- she has made feeding the hungry a priority.
- Launched Feeding Oklahoma Food Drive. Gov. Fallin personally launched and spearheaded the Feeding Oklahoma Food Drive with local food banks, raising over 5 million meals since 2010 for hungry Oklahomans.
Reformed sentencing laws.
Oklahoma has one of the highest incarceration rates in the country, THE highest for women. Many of the men and women in Oklahoma’s penitentiary system are there for non violent crimes related to substance abuse and addiction. Gov. Fallin believes the state is better served by getting these people treatment and rehabilitation, so they can be productive members of society. Sending non-violent drug addicts to prison, rather than treating them, wastes taxpayer dollars and adds to a cycle of poverty and broken homes.
- Signed the Justice Reinvestment Act. In 2011, Gov. Fallin signed comprehensive, public safety-focused sentencing reforms to keep dangerous and violent offenders behind bars, and rehabilitate non-violent offenders who show a willingness to become productive citizens.
Defended and Expanded Gun Rights
Gov. Fallin is a strong defender of the 2nd Amendment. She is a gun owner, a member of the NRA, and has a conceal carry permit.
- Signed every pro-gun bill on her desk. Gov. Fallin has signed every pro-2nd Amendment bill to come across her desk, including “open carry.”
Helped struggling farmers: As one of Oklahoma’s largest industries, agriculture plays a key role in the state’s economic vitality. Providing relief to farmers and agribusinesses during and following the drought was a necessary step to support a key pillar of Oklahoma’s economy.
- Requested and implemented emergency protocols during drought. At the peak of 2012’s record hot dry spell, Gov. Fallin recognized that Oklahoma’s farmers were in a position to experience significant losses due to drought, so she requested an emergency declaration from USDA to provide impacted farmers with access to low-interest loans to buy seed and equipment needed to farm again next year. She also signed an emergency order making it easier to haul hay to areas of the state where drought was affecting farmer’s ability to get hay to their horses.
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