Meet the Governor
As I close my first year as governor of the great State of Oklahoma, I want to thank you for giving me this great honor and for staying engaged in making Oklahoma the best state in the nation – a Top Ten state our children will be proud of!
You elected me with a mandate to put a fresh set of eyes on state government, to put an end to short-term, status quo decision making, and to deliver strong accountability and transparency.
I can confidently say that with your help we have achieved a year of historic firsts!
For the first time in state history, we introduced a governor’s budget that shows a full picture of the total tax dollars spent across state government, providing Oklahomans with a transparent breakdown of where your money goes.
We are no longer just reviewing 30% of the budget signed off by the Legislature – we are now showing YOU and also discussing the other 70% of funding coming from the feds, fines and fees. Your tax dollar is your tax dollar, and ALL of it should be accounted for!
For the first time in state history, we also launched Oklahoma’s online checkbook, delivering near-real-time data on the state’s budget across our largest agencies. In the Stitt administration, we were awarded seventh place in December for online budget transparency, moving 40 positions in just one year, and we have a plan to keep moving towards No. 1 in this critical category of transparency.
For the first time in state history, we achieved more than $1 billion for the state’s savings account. A cornerstone of my first budget was setting aside an extra $200 million beyond the collections generated with the Rainy Day Fund. This fiscal discipline is already protecting core public services as we head into the FY 21 budget planning process, with the State Board of Equalization projecting flat revenues due to a 60% loss in oil and gas drilling activity and below average price for natural gas.
In 2019, we enacted historic accountability legislation, giving the executive branch the ability to hire the agency directors for five of the 12 largest agencies, ensuring state agency leaders are held accountable to the will of the people.
We also gave Oklahoma teachers a second pay raise, bringing them to the top of our region in salary and benefits for the first time in state history. And we increased the state’s budget for common education to more than $3 billion – the largest state investment, as well, in Oklahoma’s history.
… And there is so much more, all of which you will find in our inaugural edition of the Stitt administration’s annual accomplishments report.
At the heart of all of this success have been the hard-working Oklahomans from all four corners of the state who have shared their stories and voiced their ideas for what a Top Ten state means to them.
My administration has made it a priority to get outside of the State Capitol and into your communities through our Top Ten cabinet tour. During these tours, my cabinet and I have traveled across the state to hold public events, meet with Oklahomans, listen to the issues you want to see state government address, and see firsthand the exciting things going on in your cities and communities.
Progress is underway, but it is important you remain involved. As I said on my first day in office, state government is not the sole answer to our problems. This turnaround is only possible when we are all working together toward our shared vision to see Oklahoma celebrated as one of the best states in the nation.
I remain humbled by the trust you placed in me to serve as your governor, and I thank you for your continued prayers, support and encouragement. Thank you for your commitment to help make Oklahoma a great place to live, to work and to raise a family.
Governor J. Kevin Stitt