Gov. Stitt’s 2024 State of the State: A Breakdown

Throughout his speech, Gov. Stitt addressed multiple topics including poverty, education, business and energy, budget, crime and Oklahoma’s relationship with the tribes.

Monday, February 5th 2024, 3:36 pm

By: News 9


Oklahoma’s Gov. Kevin Stitt delivered the State of the State address Monday.

“I am happy to report that the state of our state is the strongest it’s ever been,” Gov. Stitt said.

Throughout his speech, Gov. Stitt addressed multiple topics including poverty, education, business and energy, budget, crime and Oklahoma’s relationship with the tribes.

Gov. Stitt Addresses Poverty

In Gov. Stitt’s address, he talked on the topic of poverty. 

“Excessive government intervention encourages people to look to government programs instead of personal responsibility,” Stitt said.

One way that he claims Oklahoma’s poverty can be combated is through the nuclear family model.

“There’s a school of thought called the Success Sequence that outlines three steps to combating poverty: 1) Graduate high school; 2) Get a job 3) Get married before having kids,” Stitt said. “That’s it. Those three things are a surefire way to keep families out of poverty.”

He cited single mothers as more likely to be in poverty than a married couple with kids.

Stitt said that Oklahoma’s Family Month, November, is promoting family culture and working to slow poverty.

Gov. Stitt Addresses Education

Gov. Stitt focused on Oklahoma’s new charter school tax credit, which he says expands school choice for parents, as a step toward a better Oklahoma education system.

“We’ve revolutionized our education system – creating more options for parents and students while investing more in our teachers and public education than ever before,” Gov. Stitt said. “Thanks to everyone in this room, we led the nation by passing the revolutionary Parental Choice Tax Credit last year,” Gov. Stitt said. “Now, students and parents have more options than ever.”

Stitt also said he wants more schools that focus on getting students workforce-ready.

“These high schools focus on career training instead of only focusing on college readiness,” Stitt said. “Let’s have more of these schools and be number one in the nation for charter schools.”

As far as higher education goes, Stitt said he wants colleges to be empowered to be the best.

“We need to shift our focus to outcome-based higher education models and stop subsidizing institutions with low enrollment and low graduation rates,” Stitt said.

Gov. Stitt Addresses Business And Energy

When it comes to business and energy, Gov. Stitt made it clear he’s looking for growth and deregulation.

“We’ve cut excessive regulations and made it easier for businesses to navigate state government,” Gov. Stitt.

He asked lawmakers to bring bills that would address business disputes.

“I’m calling on the legislature to take a page out of Delaware and Texas’ playbook and set up a system of courts specifically designed to address business disputes.”

Gov. Stitt also asked smaller, local governments to be more ‘business friendly.’

“If our local governments are levying huge permitting fees or delaying projects, it will chill investment and cause companies to look elsewhere,” Gov. Stitt said.

Overall, Gov. Stitt wants to prioritize making Oklahoma attractive to new businesses.

“If we get our regulations right, with our low cost of energy, central location, and strong workforce, Oklahoma is the perfect place for new industries looking for a home,” Gov. Stitt said.

Gov. Stitt Addresses Budget And Taxes

Two words can be used to summarize Gov. Stitt’s opinion on Oklahoma’s government spending - too much.

“But let’s first make sure we have a sustainable government budget to solidify our prosperity for years to come,” Stitt said.

Stitt compared Oklahoma to Florida, pointing out that Florida doesn’t have an income tax but has a larger population.

“If more government spending was the answer, Florida would be falling apart. The opposite is true,” Gov. Stitt said.

Stitt has called three special sessions, asking lawmakers to cut or get rid of personal income tax for Oklahomans, which is currently at 3.99 percent.

“You’ve heard me say year after year, we don’t need more taxes, we need more taxpayers,” Stitt said. “So I’ll sign any tax cut that comes to my desk.”

Stitt also addressed the state budget, saying he wants budgets to stay flat this year.

“To be clear: I’m not advocating for cutting core services. What I am advocating for is a sustainable amount of growth where we are funding needs not wants,” Gov. Stitt said.

Gov. Stitt Addresses Crime, Drugs And The Southern Border

“I want to put criminals on notice: you are not welcome here and you will serve time,” Stitt said. “We believe in fair sentences, and we believe in second chances.”

Stitt offered some ideas for reform.

“We need to address civil asset forfeiture. It’s crazy to me that somebody can be pulled over and have their cash and truck taken for an alleged crime, get acquitted of that crime, but they still never get their property back,” Stitt said. “That isn’t fair and we need to make sure it isn’t happening anywhere in Oklahoma.”

He moved on to address the problems Oklahoma faces when it comes to illegal marijuana and drug trafficking.

“At its peak, reports showed somewhere between 12,000 and 14,000 licensed marijuana businesses, including many with links to criminal organizations from China, Mexico, and Russia,” Stitt said.

He cites work done by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Association and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics as effective enforcement. 

Gov. Stitt says that more efforts to control the southern border will alleviate crimes like drug trafficking.

“We have to keep bad actors, like the drug cartels, out of our state. That starts with securing our country’s southern border,” Stitt said.

Stitt has sent the Oklahoma National Guard to Texas to help secure the border.

Gov. Stitt Addresses Tribal Compacts

Gov. Stitt brought up Oklahoma’s relationship with the tribes.

“That’s because today, our state is still dealing with the fallout from the McGirt decision,” Stitt said. “It’s a decision that has rocked our state and caused division where previously there was none.”

The McGirt decision, from June 2022, has caused confusion for tribe members and lawmakers alike.

To read more about the current state of the McGirt decision, click here.

Stitt called for clarity in taxes, regulations and law enforcement.

“We can’t be a state that operates with two different sets of rules. Especially based on race,” Stitt said. “We’ve operated as One Oklahoma since statehood, and it’s how we’re going to operate for as long as I’m Governor.”

In closing, Gov. Stitt asked Oklahomans to consider two things: Who are we allowing to influence the laws we make? What legacy are we going to leave behind?


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