Governor’s budget draws varied comments (The Oklahoman)

By Randy Ellis

Proposals in Gov. Mary Fallin’s State of the State speech drew a variety of comments Monday. Here are a few of them:

“The governor has laid out the boldest policy proposals the state has seen in decades to ensure that we can properly invest in Oklahoma’s future. … The road map she has outlined to modernize our tax code, sufficiently fund core services and correct the structural budget imbalance shows true statesmanship and a willingness to put doing what’s right ahead of politics as usual.” — State Treasurer Ken Miller

“Governor Fallin put forth some good ideas today, and on those issues House Republicans are certainly ready to engage in discussion. We support a responsible teacher pay raise without raising taxes, enactment of much-needed education reforms, a quick resolution that puts Oklahoma in compliance with the Real ID Act while protecting citizens’ privacy and funding that puts more state troopers on our highways. Like any legislative session, there are going to be areas of disagreement on details between the Legislature and the governor’s office.” — Oklahoma House Speaker Charles A. McCall, R-Atoka

“After a decade of Republican control, if our real aggressive … goals for this state are five-day school weeks and allowing our troopers to drive (more than) a hundred miles (a day), how bad is it?” — Senate Minority Leader John Sparks, D-Norman

“I commend Governor Fallin on a speech that discussed her vision of how to build a stronger Oklahoma. My colleagues in the Senate and I look forward to learning more about her budget proposals and other policy goals as the session moves forward.” — Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz, R-Altus

“There are millions of dollars in waste, unnecessary expense and fat in state government. It is wrong to take more money away from taxpayers so politicians can avoid making government work more efficiently.” State Rep. Kevin Calvey, R-Oklahoma City

“We were very happy about the governor making a point about talking about us, because it’s tough times for the Highway Patrol and public safety. … Our ability to have a patrol school in 2018 is critical.” — Oklahoma Public Safety Commissioner Michael Thompson

“Today’s executive budget pushes new tax increases on working families and entrepreneurs, which is the wrong path for our state.” — Jonathan Small, president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

“I applaud Governor Fallin’s call to fix Oklahoma’s structural budget deficits and reverse years of funding cuts that are damaging the health and prosperity of our entire state. The Legislature must heed the governor’s calls to reduce incarceration, fund a teacher pay raise and restore the five-day school week.” — David Blatt, executive director of the Oklahoma Policy Institute

“Proposals like those presented in the governor’s budget close the door on wind energy investments in Oklahoma, drive the industry to neighboring states, cut off new wind-delivered funding for public education and add a tax on consumers’ electric bills.” — Jeff Clark, president of The Wind Coalition

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