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February 5, 2013

Fallin: Oklahoma economy is flourishing

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

Fiscal responsibility has been restored to state government, Fallin said. A record high of nearly $600 million has increased the state’s Rainy Day Fund from $2 since January 2011.

Frivolous malpractice lawsuits are at a 10-year low for the state, and recent workers compensation reforms have reduced the total cost of claims, Fallin said.

She called for more conversion from state gasoline-powered vehicles to compressed natural gas vehicles. Using CNG cars and trucks will save taxpayers millions of dollars in fuel costs, support energy jobs and grow our state’s revenue, Fallin said.

Fallin praised legislators for consolidating the IT resources of 50 agencies for a savings of $84 million. The state will add another 30 agencies to its list for a potential savings to approach $239 million over seven years, Fallin said.

Fallin also proposed $10 million be allocated to begin a total renovation of the state Capitol building. Her office has noted a $150 million cost for updating the Capitol and making it safe.

“The Capitol is the symbol of our state, a place of business, a living museum dedicated to preserving Oklahoma’s history, its literature and its art work,” Fallin said. “It’s not right for our visitors to come to the Capitol and see construction cones and barriers outside — to have crumbling facades from the top and a faulty sewer system that stinks.”

In addition, Fallin pledged to work for more affordable and accessible health care and health insurance options.

“Of course, when we talk about health, we need to remember mental health as well,” Fallin said.

She proposed a $16 million increase for the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for programs such as the Systems of Care Initiative to assist children and families of children with emotional disturbances.

 

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