Fallin highlights taxes, education, public safety and infrastructure in ‘State of the State’

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OKLAHOMA CITY - In Governor Fallin's seventh 'State of the State' address, she talked about eliminating some taxes - like the grocery tax and the corporate income tax - but raising others - like the tax on gas and diesel.

"By trading out the use of individual income tax to a gas and diesel tax dedicated to roads and bridges, this budget change dramatically improved the percentage of revenue collections this legislature will be able to control," Fallin said.

Democrats pushed back on that, though.

"If they're going to simply cut the grocery tax and turn around and raise the gasoline tax, in essence taking money out of the right pocket of working class families and then putting it back in the left hand pocket is not a fiscally responsible way to find government," said House Minority Leader Rep. Scott Inman.

Fallin called again for a teacher pay raise but said districts need to take a look at their top heavy systems.

Inman also said, while they applaud the governor's call for a teacher pay raise, they disagree on how to get it.

"The governor failed to lay out how she wanted to afford a teacher pay raise. And, if she's going to try to pay for a teacher pay raise by raising taxes on middle class families, she's going to find some opposition and push back from house democratic caucus," Inman said.

Inman said he is not optimistic about getting teachers a pay raise this session.

Democrats said they support Fallin's continued call for criminal justice reform and a new trooper academy.

Fallin also called for a consumption tax on cigarettes.

Fallin calls her plan a realistic, responsible way to put our state on a successful path.

"By investing in our state, we create a stronger business climate and place where people want to live, and work and raise their family," she said. "But, this can't happen unless we roll up our sleeves and do the tough work."

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