State of the State Recap: 4 Things to Know
Governor Mary Falling spelled out her goals for lawmakers as the state legislature convened today in Oklahoma City.
Fallin focused on three goals and then spent the rest of her speech discussing the state's budget. Here's what you need to know:
Increasing Education Attainment
Fallin wants to increase the state's educational attainment.
"We must encourage more Oklahomans to continue their education beyond high school," she said.
Fallin highlighted a new program Oklahoma Works that links local businesses with schools to make sure students get the skills training they need. She used a program between the Mid-America Industrial Park in Pryor and Mayes County schools as an example of the type of exposure students need to their job options after graduation.
Fallin called for more smart-on-crime initiatives to reduce the state's incarceration rate.
One in 11 Oklahomans will serve time in prison at some point in their lives, according to the governor.
Fallin says the state needs more options for low-risk, non-violent offenders. For example, it cost $19,000 a year to house an inmate in prison versus $5,000 to send an offender through drug court and treatment.
Fallin says Oklahomans must get healthier.
"Time to stand up and fight for better health in Oklahoma," she said.
The state leads the nation in prescription drug abuse. Fallin was a prescription-drug monitoring program that would prevent people from doctor shopping to get pills.
She also called for a ban on texting while driving.
Fallin says it's time to dramatically change the way the state budgeting process works.
"Business as usual won't get us there," she said.
The governor says there are too many off-the-top mandatory apportionments that eat away at the general revenue fund.
Lawmakers can only appropriate 47 cents of every dollar collected by the state.
Fallin says we have to stop eating away at the general revenue fund.
She also wants to move to performance-informed budgeting to link spending to measurable goals.
Fallin challenged lawmakers to go a system where they would work solely on the budget every other year and spend the off years working on other issues.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.