State Capitol
11:40 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Fallin Proposes Election For School Safety Plan

Gov. Mary Fallin addresses reporters during Tuesday's Associated Press Legislative Forum at the State Capitol.
Credit Governor Mary Fallin / Facebook

Gov. Mary Fallin says Oklahoma voters should weigh in on what to do about school safety.

Fallin on Wednesday suggested that schools be given one-time authority to increase their bond limits so they can build tornado shelters or make other safety improvements on campus. She said she was heartbroken by the loss of life at a Moore elementary school last May.

The governor says Oklahoma doesn't have enough money to improve safety at 1,800 schools, but money could be raised locally. Authorizing changes in local bonds would require a vote of the people, and Fallin said a vote could be held this November.

KGOU's Kurt Gwartney live-tweeted the Wednesday morning briefing.

Fallin also said she would announce a tax cut during next week's State of the State address, but wouldn't say how much until Monday's speech.

She joined Democratic and Republican leaders from the Oklahoma House and Senate for The Associated Press Legislative Forum. 

House leaders opened Wednesday's forum at the Capitol. House Minority Leader Scott Inman said a proposed tax cut would harm state services, but House Speaker Pro Tem Mike Jackson said a reduction would help grow the economy and make everyone better off.

The head of the Oklahoma Senate says balancing next year's budget will be challenging because Oklahoma hasn't enjoyed economic growth of late.

Senate President Brian Bingman said legislators may have to consider tax credit changes and other reforms to balance the state's books for the 2015 fiscal year.

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