Gov. Fallin Rolls Out Her Budget Plan During State Of The State Address

Monday, February 6th 2017, 6:42 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

The governor delivered her annual State of the State address, along with a budget plan that includes raising taxes.  

Gov. Mary Fallin laid out her plan to bridge an estimated $868 million budget shortfall during a joint session of the House and Senate.  

She is calling for an increase in tobacco and fuel taxes.  

"So I'm proposing a new revenue stream by increasing our gas and diesel taxes to the regional state average, but below the national average," she said.

Fallin also proposed eliminating the corporate income tax and the grocery sales tax.  

"Eliminating the state sales tax on groceries is expected to result in the savings somewhere between $350 to $676 for a family of four," she said.

The governor also laid out a plan for criminal justice reform and teacher pay.  

"It's what the public wants and it's what our families need to. The pay raise may need to be phased in, and it may be targeted, but it must be done," she said.

Republican leaders said they’re not going to rush into criminal justice reform.

"We're gonna walk down this road we're not gonna run down this road. We're gonna walk down this road,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz. “Because one thing we have to do is keep the public safe."

As for a teacher pay raise, Democrats said there’s no way it’s going to happen.  

"I don't see any proposal on the table now to get us to a teacher pay raise. So, I don't see how it happens with what we've heard so far," said Senate Minority Leader John Sparks.

"I don't see them doing it this year," House Minority Leader Scott Inman said. "I think the gasoline tax for all intents and purposes is dead on arrival, and many of the other things that she put forth in terms of services to ask can be very difficult to pass out of this conservative House of Representatives."