How would you work to improve the state's economy?
Oklahoma's economy is in better shape than most due to our energy-based economy. We need to expand demand for Oklahoma's domestic fuels such as natural gas, wind and biofuels. Building a work force that can compete globally for the best jobs and stimulate new investment is the long-term solution.
It appears likely state lawmakers will be facing another large budget hole for the 2012 fiscal year, which starts July 1. What are your suggestions on how to deal with it? More budget cuts, or do you have some ideas to increase revenue?
A centerpiece of my plan to move Oklahoma forward is a biennial budget cycle that would require more businesslike budget planning and review of existing revenues and expenditures. Our current system keeps us in a perpetual crisis mode. We certainly don't need any ideas from Washington, D.C.
House Republican leaders have said they want to work to shore up the state's underfunded pension systems. Do you have any suggestions, and do you support addressing that issue this year?
Yes, I have a plan. Restoring fiscal soundness to the pension system will be a key benefit of my proposal to move to a biennial budget cycle. Better long-term planning, investment management and improved state credit ratings will help move us from crisis mode and shore up Oklahoma's retirement systems.
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