Governor Says Oklahoma Positioned For Greatness

Monday, February 5th 2007, 6:05 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Governor Brad Henry says Oklahoma is booming and positioned for unparalleled prosperity in its second century.

In a 32 speech to a joint session of the 2007 Legislature the governor called on lawmakers to help him plan for the state's next 100 years with investments for education, health care and economic development.

Both the House and the Senate convened at noon.

Henry says unemployment is low and there have been 100,000 new jobs created in Oklahoma in the past four years.

He wants lawmakers to expand the state's early childhood education program to include 3-year-olds and to expand a program which helps small businesses provide health insurance for their employees.

Henry also wants to increase Medicaid for children and to abandon what he calls a "one-size-fits-all approach" to dealing with crime. The governor says more treatment is needed for criminals who have drug addictions and mental illnesses.

Lawmakers will have an estimated more than $500 million more to spend than was available last year and will meet through May.