April 3, 2014
By Chelsea Tays
Mary Fallin visited Ponca City yesterday, the day after she signed the extension of the film rebate.
Fallin said she signed this bill because it attracts TV and movie filmmakers to our state.
“Always excited that Ponca City may have the opportunity to have a movie made about E.W. Marland, one of Oklahoma's famous governors and certainly one that has contributed so much to Oklahoma's economy, and to possibly have it made here in our great state," Fallin said. "We had great success years ago when Twister was made in Oklahoma, so we know that the film rebate incentive is one that can help us attract not only jobs, but help us attract work in our state and revenue that can come in from movie production.”
Another hot topic in Ponca City and around the state is education funding.
Fallin said education is her top priority
"Last year we put about $120 million, new money, for education in our state and this year we're proposing another $50 million just for common education itself in our state budget," Fallin said. "We know that our economy and population is growing and that we need to do more to help fund education and give some relief, but we also expect and think we must have high standards, acadmeic rigor in the classroom."
Fallin also said without an educated work force the state wouldn't keep companies or attract new ones.
Fallin said a personal income tax reduction is important in Oklahoma.
“Of course here in Ponca City, your up by Kansas and you have Texas on the southern border of Oklahoma, and many times we get stuck in what's called the sandwich between Kansas, who did lower their income tax quite a bit and than you have Texas that has no income tax," Fallin said. "One of the things we have been trying to do is position Oklahoma to where we are certainly business friendly and tax payer friendly, and keeping our taxes at a reasonable lower rate I think is good.”
Fallin said she proposed a tax cut this year because the state can afford it.
Fallin has been Governor for three and a half years and said she wants to keep the momentum.
“We've certainly be able to turn our economy around," Fallin said. "When I was first elected Governor back in Janauary of 2011 and took office we had a $500 million budget short fall, we had a 7 percent unemployment rate and we only had $2.03 in our savings account. Because of the pro-jobs, pro-growth, stronger education reforms and limiting government waste and making us more tax payer friendly by cutting our income tax we've been able to switch that around. We've had what I call the Oklahoma comeback, and now our unemployment rate has dropped from that 7 percent down to 5 percent, which is really strong, we now have over a half a billion dollars in savings in our state and now we're one of the top 10 states in the nation where people move to locate and to live. So, we're proud of our record but our works not finished."
Fallin is seeking re-election in November.
She said she plans to continue to focus on jobs, economy, education and standing up to Washington when they do something obstructive to job creation or personal freedoms in our state