Tuesday, February 06, 2007

FY 2008 Executive Budget

Read Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry's FY 2008 executive budget on the Office of State Finance's website here.

Read the executive summary below:

Executive Summary

In laying the foundation for Oklahoma’s second century, the Governor has proposed
innovative programs to position Oklahoma to compete in the global economy. The
Governor remains committed to ensuring that State programs are appropriate, effective and efficient.

Positive growth in the private sector depends on a government infrastructure that provides a foundation that is supportive of their development. This includes:

Education – Increased access to early childhood education and higher
education and skills training to prepare the workers of the future;

Health Care – Increase the number of children and working adults with
insurance to promote better health and reduce the burden on health insurance
premiums from the cost of uncompensated care;

Workforce Development – Creating innovative and collaborative efforts to bring
together appropriate government agencies to establish a flexible system to
enable workers to obtain the foundational skills they need to be trainable for the
job requirements of the global economy;

Economic Development – Continued development of new economic opportunities
through the EDGE endowment, the Opportunity Fund, OCAST and the
establishment of an Oklahoma Bioenergy Center to be the premier national
institution to research and develop the biofuels of the future;

Safety and Security – Protecting Oklahomans by being smart on crime as well as

Oklahoma continues to be ranked as one of the most pro-business and family-friendly states. Expansion Magazine ranks both Oklahoma City and Tulsa in their top 20% cities for quality of life for manufacturing companies to grow and prosper. Both Oklahoma City and Tulsa were also ranked among the top 50 Hot Spots for expansions and locations by the same publication.
Oklahoma was also rated 5th in the nation for High-Tech job growth according to a FDIC study with aerospace industry clusters leading the way. Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Oklahoma’smajor cities among it top 20 “Hottest Cities for Entrepreneurs”

Here are just a few highlights of Oklahoma’s economy:

• Oklahoma’s per capita income increased 5.4% between 2004 and 2005, which ranked
the State 7th in the nation according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

• Since the 2003 economic recession, Oklahoma has created 95,800 jobs.

• Between 2004 and 2005, Oklahoma’s economic growth equaled 8.6%, eighth in the

Some of the most notable employment announcements taking place in Oklahoma include: MG
Motors locating its North American Headquarters in Oklahoma City, a major manufacturing facility
in Ardmore and engineering facilities in Norman. A host of other companies chose to locate all
across the Sooner State including 150 new manufacturing jobs in Durant, Smithfield Beef in Texas
County, Sigma Corporation in Seminole and Boral Bricks in Union City.

Building on these successes, the Governor proposes the following major initiatives:

Education: improve student achievement, enhance teacher pay, expand Oklahoma’s
early childhood education opportunities to include three year olds, establish a
permanent funding source for OHLAP, aid disadvantaged pre-school age children
through public-private partnerships such as Educare, shore up our Teachers’
Retirement System and provide funds to Oklahoma’s colleges and universities to
eliminate the backlog of endowed chairs;

Health Care: ensure affordable prescription drugs by allowing the re-importation of
American-manufactured pharmaceuticals, provide health insurance for children of low-
income families up to the maximum income level allowed by federal law and increase
the income eligibility limit to the maximum allowed by the federal government for Insure Oklahoma which helps employers provide health insurance for working Oklahomans;

Workforce Development: Expand the delivery of an industry accepted workforce
readiness certificate to insure all Oklahomans possess the basic skills required for the jobs of the global economy. Allocate $5 million in training grant incentives to help currently employed workers upgrade their skills and establish 3 new “Advantage”
Centers where economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, OESC offices as
well as colleges and career technology centers can collaborate to help entrepreneurs, job seekers and businesses seeking to expand.

Economic Development: Appropriate $50 million additional money to the EDGE
endowment and $15 million additional money to the Governor’s Economic Opportunity
Fund to encourage further research and investment in Oklahoma and establish an
Oklahoma Bioenergy Center to bring together top scientists to research and develop
the biofuels of tomorrow.
Safety and Security: expand the use of drug courts, mental health courts and other
treatment programs designed to divert people with mental illness to treatment rather
than jail; provide inmates with substance abuse treatment to halt the prison revolvingdoor; and develop specialized treatment programs for methamphetamine addicts.

This executive summary provides an overview of these major initiatives and a summary of the FY- 2008 Executive Budget.

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