OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin kicked off the new legislative year with her third State of the State address and the unveiling of her 2014 proposed budget, totaling roughly $7 billion.
The governor spoke on a number of focuses for the upcoming year.
Fallin's full State of the State transcript (bit.ly/Statespeech)
Want to see her 2014 budget? Click the image below or the hyperlink for mobile users (bit.ly/FallinFY14).
Here are some highlights.
"I am asking you to lower the top income tax bracket – which kicks in after the first $8,700 of income made by every Oklahoman -- from 5.25 percent to 5.0 percent."
"This is not the last tax cut we will see from my administration."
State Capitol renovations
"The Capitol is a symbol of our state, a place of business and a living museum dedicated to preserving Oklahoma history, literature and art work. It is not right for visitors to be greeted at this building by construction cones, crumbling facades and a faulty sewer system."
"That is why I am proposing $10 million be allocated this year to immediately begin addressing repair needs and to chart a course towards a total renovation."
"The recent tragedy of Sandy Hook was an unwelcome reminder of what can happen when mental health needs go ignored."
"Today we received some very tragic news of a teenager who killed himself at a Coweta intermediate high school and I want to say that my thoughts and prayers go out to him and the families and the students and the school itself and I hope you'll remember him today."
"This year I am proposing a $16 million increase for the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for a variety of programs, such as the Systems of Care Initiative to assist the children and families of children with emotional disturbances."
"New resources will help reduce these tragedies and help those who are suffering from mental health illnesses whatever their age. And we're gonna get them the help they need."
"For the first time ever, I’m also proposing we allocate state dollars for suicide prevention."
"Oklahoma has one of the higher rates of suicide in the nation, and it is especially prevalent among our military veterans. New resources will help to reduce these tragedies."
Prescription drug abuse
"We need to get serious about addressing prescription drug abuse. While we have spent years successfully combating and reducing meth labs and the use of methamphetamines in Oklahoma, studies show that prescription drug abuse actually poses a greater danger to our citizens."
"President Obama’s solution is to dramatically expand this flawed sick care system."
"Moving forward, my administration will continue to develop an ‘Oklahoma Plan’ that focuses on improving the health of our citizens, lowering the frequency of preventable illnesses like diabetes and heart disease, and improving access to quality and affordable health care."
"It is critical to raise Oklahoma’s academic performance and develop a highly skilled workforce, and that means improving our schools ... One way to do that is by emphasizing STEM – or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – in all levels of public education."
"STEM jobs are now growing at a rate that is three times faster than non-STEM jobs, making an emphasis on these technical skills more important than ever. "
"Using CNG cars and trucks will save taxpayers millions of dollars in fuel costs, support energy jobs, grow our state’s revenue, and solidify Oklahoma’s position as the national leader in CNG fueling stations per capita."
"To support the forward progress at DHS and ensure our children have the care they need, I have included a funding increase of $50 million for the agency in my executive budget."
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The annual Food 2 Families food drive benefiting the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma will begin Friday, Nov. 22 and end Dec. 15. We held our drive here at the station on Dec. 11.