Oklahoma enjoys low unemployment and fared relatively well during the recent economic downturn.
But the continued growth of Oklahoma’s economy is tied to trends beyond the state’s control, Gov. Mary Fallin told a crowd at the Tulsa Convention Center Ballroom.
But uncertainty at the national and global level — national elections, Congress, global unrest, the Obama administration — also have a “tremendous impact” on Oklahoma’s economy, Fallin said.
So what can Oklahoma do? According to Fallin: focus on business and state government functions like transportation, education and health care.
On several occasions, Fallin stressed the importance of a “highly skilled, educated workforce” and took some pains to defend this year’s essentially flat common education budget. She said “baseline” funding increased because $54 million added to last year’s total through a supplemental appropriation was included in this year’s general appropriation bill.
Fallin also said education received an additional $20 million this year from the school land fund, a state trust that manages land and mineral rights reserved for the support of schools.