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Goals set by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin in 2012 met mostly with success

BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD Published: February 4, 2013

An additional $5 million was given to the patrol for a trooper academy — the first in three years — but its 30 graduates merely supplemented 30 others who retired in the last year, said Capt. George Brown, a patrol spokesman. Brown said 53 cadets are signed up for an academy scheduled to begin Feb. 28.

• Pass a bond issue for Capitol repairs.

A $200 million bond issue — including $160 million for Capitol repairs — fell apart in the House of Representatives on the second-to-last day of the 2012 session. Fallin pledged $10 million toward the project in her speech Monday.

• Restructure the personal income tax.

Lawmakers in the Senate and House could not reach an agreement in 2012. Fallin called for a revised approach in her speech Monday.

• Submit a request for proposals to automobile companies urging them to develop natural gas vehicles for state fleets.

That request was submitted in July.

• Require state agencies to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020.

A bill that did that was passed, and Estus said the state brought on an energy efficiency manager in December to help manage the project.

• Fix the state's remaining structurally deficient state highway bridges by 2019, restore $15 million in motor vehicle revenue to the state transportation budget, raise the cap on a program that funds road projects with income tax revenue, and repurpose 1,500 steel beams from the old Interstate 40 Crosstown in Oklahoma City for county bridge projects statewide.

Transportation received $480 million in funding to carry out the bridge plan and received the requested motor vehicle revenue with a plan to increase it incrementally every year until it reaches $575 million, said Terri Angier, spokeswoman for the Transportation Department.

Angier said that cap was increased from $435 million, and that all of the steel beams have been sent out to staging areas across the county. In fact, they have already been used in 45 projects, she said.

• Ban tobacco use on state property, close the smoking room at the Capitol and transform it into a fitness center.

Tobacco was banned in July. The fitness center is expected to be open this week, in a different part of the Capitol basement.

• Encourage schools to serve nutritious foods and promote physical activity.

The current budget includes $1.5 million in funding for a program that rewards schools that achieve healthy status, provides wellness opportunities for staff, refers children for needed physical and mental health services and teaches children how to take responsibility for their health, said Tricia Pemberton, spokeswoman for the state Education Department.

Pemberton said legislation passed last year also limits the liability of schools that open their doors on a voluntary basis to community groups and individuals for physical activity.

• Improve infant mortality rates.

Results of an additional $1 million in appropriations for infant mortality are not yet known, but the funding seems to be helping so far, said Suzanna Dooley, chief of maternal and child health service for the health department.

• Develop 40 new doctor residency slots to help increase primary care physicians in rural and underserved areas.

A total of 18 slots was created between family medical and internal medicine in McAlester, but it will take more than a year to complete Fallin's plan, said Dr. Howard Barnett, president of Oklahoma State University-Tulsa and the OSU Center for Health Sciences. Barnett said the appropriations are there, but that targeting a hospital facility and getting the program started and accredited takes time.

“There's not a whole lot we can do to make it happen faster; it's not her fault,” he said.