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Governor stays upbeat as tough session begins

Governor stays upbeat as tough session begins

OUR VIEWS Oklahoma resolve needed, Henry says


Published: February 2, 2010

GOV. Brad Henry used his final State of the State speech to try and inspire those at the Capitol to put the state first during the difficult legislative session ahead. We’ll know in four months whether he succeeded.

Henry, in the early stages of his eighth and last year in office, used parts of his upbeat address Monday to recount the successes of his time in office. But he spent a good bit of time talking about the future — which will be trying in the short term, and, we all hope, much better in the long term — and how important it is for lawmakers and others to be willing to work together to ensure that that future is bright. "We must not let the challenges of today destroy our dreams for tomorrow,” he declared.

Those challenges are indeed daunting. State revenues that have come in 25 percent below projections this fiscal year resulted in significant budget cuts to most state agencies. The budget deficit stands at about $1 billion. More cuts are on the way. Henry said those must be made "with clinical precision” and that the budget he presented to lawmakers makes necessary cuts while "still mindful of the real people behind the numbers.”

The governor said this recession will end, and in the meantime, gains made by the state during the past several years must be protected... FULL ARTICLE

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