Reviewing several recent out-of-state visits devoted to economic development, Gov Mary Fallin told reporters she was optimistic about Oklahoma’s future.
Last week, the chief executive was in Chicago, where she met with representatives of the home office (or major regional office) of several companies doing business in Oklahoma, including firms in heath care, school bus manufacturing and wind power.
Fallin said several site location firms attended a reception for Oklahoma in the Windy City. She characterized meetings with a variety of firms in recent months — including at a bioscience conference in Washington, D.C., and during a wind conference in Anaheim, California – as “really hopeful” for possible future investments.
As she has frequently, Fallin pointed to the rapidly emerging field in development and construction of Unmanned Aerial vehicles, saying she hoped to attend an industry conference in the area next month. She characterized this field as “an exciting new industry,” with increasing importance for Oklahoma.
In other news, the governor initially said she intended to establish a special election (in the House District 1 seat, a vacancy created by the death of State Rep. Rusty Farley) to conclude by March 6, the same date as the presidential preference primary. However, her spokesman later told reporters to she was “inclined” to respond to a strong request from House Speaker Kris Steele to fill the vacancy by February 14.
Fallin expressed concern about “Washington gridlock” that prevented reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration’s budget by last Friday’s deadline. As a result, 133 Oklahomans were furloughed from the Mike Monroney Center in Oklahoma City. Across the state, some $54 million I resources devoted to airport operations are held captive to the FAA budget impasse.
In discussion with reporters about the national debt
and possible federal default, Fallin said it was her “personal opinion” that “the problem in Washington is a spending problem, not a revenue problem. This is a huge issue.” She said American has to avoid becoming “another Greece, or Portugal, or Spain, or Ireland.” Each of those European countries have faced dramatic economic consequences in the wake of high spending cycles and debt mismanagement.
“America is reaching those limits,” Fallin said. “I am not in support of new taxes. I think that would halt the economic recovery.”
Fallin said she was “watching developments on the debt ceiling every day. She believes, “it is clearly very important” to resolve default and debt issues soon. “Not doing so could bring serious consequences to the economy.”
Fallin told Capitol reporters she was scheduling time away
from the office to take care of an arthoscopic procedure on her hip.