The Oklahoman endorsement: Mary Fallin has earned another four years in Oklahoma governor’s office
By The Oklahoman Editorial Board | October 19, 2014
DURING her 2010 campaign for governor, Mary Fallin stressed a desire to try to improve Oklahoma’s economy and make the state a more attractive place for businesses large and small. She’s done that, which is a major reason Fallin merits re-election on Nov. 4.
As Election Day approaches, Oklahoma has the nation’s fourth-fastest growing gross domestic product. The state’s unemployment rate, at 7 percent when Fallin took office, is now 4.7 percent, among the lowest in the nation.
Small businesses are working with a different, less costly workers’ compensation system as a result of changes that went into effect on Fallin’s watch. Instead of a court-based system, which drove up costs for businesses even as the number of workers’ comp claims fell, Oklahoma now uses an administrative system. This change was long overdue, and Fallin’s push for workers’ comp reform goes back many years.
Large companies are finding much to like in Oklahoma. Boeing Corp. has announced two expansions during Fallin’s four years in office, the latest carrying the potential for 900 jobs to come here from Washington state. General Electric is building a global research center in Oklahoma — one of eight worldwide. Macy’s is building a distribution plant in Owasso that could employ 1,500. Overall, 103,000 jobs were created during her first term.
Fallin has worked to provide a solid, homegrown workforce, through such initiatives as Complete College America. It seeks to have the state’s college and career tech centers increase the number of degrees and certificates earned by 1,700 per year through 2023. In 2012, the state exceeded its goal by more than double.