By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY - There's still unanswered questions about how we'll pay for the bailout and how it will impact the average American. Oklahoma's Treasurer Scott Meacham said one thing is certain, Oklahoma is financially secure.
If Oklahoma had been left unchecked, we could have been in the same financial free fall with the rest of the country. After a wild week on Wall Street and debate over whether Americans should bail out the financial markets, State Treasurer Meacham is breathing a sigh of relief tonight.
"I'm pleased to see that the House finally passed the bill today. It would have been nice for them to do it on Monday. We could have avoided a lot of heartache and loss for individual investors," Meacham said.
Oklahoma hasn't been as badly impacted by the current bank collapses, mortgage crisis or the overall economic downturn.
"Certainly for state government, it means our pensions are going to be in much better shape going forward," Meacham said.
Last year, the state legislature approved a $300 million bond sale to fund an 8-year road transportation program. Meachum said if Congress rejected the bailout package, that bond sale would have been delayed, since credit markets are locking up and national financial institutions are now hesitant to underwrite debt.
"Hopefully, this will allow us to go ahead and get some of those things going," Meacham said.
This all comes despite the majority of Americans including Oklahomans did not support the bailout.
"Taxpayers are not happy to once again be called upon to bail out someone else's mistake, but the issue was how much of a bigger price tag would the taxpayers have to pay somewhere down the road," Meacham said.
The Oklahoma House delegation did not support the bill publically, but they said it was something that was needed for the good of the country.
Representative Tom Cole and Dan Boren once again voted again to approve the bailout. While John Sullivan and Mary Fallin changed course from earlier this week and approved the plan. Representative Frank Lucas was the only holdout, voting once again against the bailout.