Faced with a nearly $200 million shortfall in building the FY 2015 budget, legislative leaders and Governor Fallin had three basic choices.
They could have simply cut spending, slashing deeply across all areas of government. This would have left unaddressed critical needs for schools, state employees, the child welfare system, and others, and forced massive cuts on our health care system.
“What we’re finding is that the marketplace is working for Oklahomans. Consumers have more choices, and they’re paying less for their premiums. When there is choice and competition, everybody benefits.”
-U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, speaking about a report showing Affordable Care Act tax credits reduced average premiums for insurance bought on Healthcare.gov to $75 per month (Source: http://bit.ly/1vVwLNT)
“Historically, the economies of many of these states depended on natural resources, on tourism, or on mass-production manufacturing, and relied on low costs rather than innovative capacity to gain a competitive advantage. In the New Economy, however, innovative capacity (derived through universities, R&D investments, scientists and engineers, highly skilled workers, and entrepreneurial capabilities) is increasingly the driver of competitive success, while states only offering low costs are being undercut by cheaper producers abroad.”
“I’ve had parents, and even some of the children tell me, ‘There is no childhood here. There’s not any calculated attempt to game the system. There’s just one last attempt to survive, and try to have some quality of life.”
-Elizabeth Kennedy, a Fulbright scholar who is researching the causes of child migration in Central America. Currently 255 children who were detained crossing the border are being held at Fort Sill (Source: http://nbcnews.to/1vzY2Ft)