Local & Regional
Mon February 4, 2013
Democratic Leadership Reacts to State of the State
Senate Minority Leader Sean Burrage reacts to Governor Fallin’s State of the State address.
“The Governor did a good job of delivering a speech that had a few bad ideas in it,” he said in a news conference following the speech.
His first problem was with her proposal to lower the state income tax.
“I didn’t hear any way that we’re going to pay for that,” he said, “therefore it’s not revenue neutral.”
He says her proposal to increase funding to public education by $13.5 million represents a drop in the bucket compared to what’s needed.
He said that the current education budget is $2.3 billion, which means an increase of $13.5 million represents an increase of just over .005 percent.
“This is a time when we’re funding education at $200 million below 2009 levels,” he said. “That is disappointing.”
Burrage said he does approve of the Governors proposal for “allowing the local governments to eliminate or ban smoking if they want to.”
I think that’s … good public policy for the state of Oklahoma,” he said, “when we know what tobacco use does to our citizens.”
Taking questions, he reiterated that he believes the Governor’s decision not to accept Medicaid expansion money is a mistake.
“Our Medicaid system is the backbone of our rural health system,” he said. “So saying we don’t want this money because it’s called the Affordable Care Act I think is disingenuous and not good for the people of Oklahoma.”