Stillwater News Press


May 3, 2014

OUR VIEW: Education funding is a priority

Last week, Gov. Mary Fallin gave the state legislature, especially the House of Representatives, a wakeup call when she vetoed 15 bills.

During her news conference, Fallin said she had killed the House bills because they had no substantial effect, were redundant or contained bad policy.

“Unfortunately, our progress has stalled here at the Capitol,” Fallin said. The legislature is passing bills that are not relevant to a majority of Oklahoma residents.

Fallin said she wanted legislators to focus on the state budget, repairs to the crumbling state Capitol, curbing prescription drug abuse and making the state pension system solvent.

The legislative session will end at 5 p.m. May 30.

Perhaps, Fallin is just shaking the tree to get everything accomplished before the session ends.

Legislators who serve the Stillwater area don’t necessarily see it that way.

Friday, State Rep. Cory Williams, D-Stillwater, said Fallin’s vetoes had little to do with the legislature focusing on minor issues.

“The vetoes were not about subject, they were about process. She’s mad at us but she can’t say that,” Williams said.

The House didn’t pass some of her priorities, like repairs for the state Capitol or providing funding to complete the Native American Cultural Center.

Fallin’s vetoes probably will not result in legislators revisiting her must-have budget items.

Legislator must move forward with the state budget. It’s clear area legislators will be focusing on one area of funding — education.

State Sen. Jim Halligan, R-Stillwater, and State Rep. Dennis Casey, R-Morrison, said Friday legislators must find more money for schools and teachers.

Public education is underfunded by $800 to $1,000 per pupil, Halligan said. Education funding comprises more than 50 percent of Oklahoma’s budget.

“If we spend 50 percent of our money on education, you’d think we’d spend 50 percent of our time talking about it,” Casey said.

Legislators don’t, but education funding needs to be a priority as the session winds down.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open
Must Read