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Appreciate it public workers out -- -- New Jersey today.
Protest of a deal between governor Chris Christie and New Jersey lawmakers that will require them to pay more.
For their health and pension benefits Governor Christie touting agreement as a way to help financially rebuild it that cash strapped state with us now is a governor who like Governor Christie.
Is taking some tough measures in an effort to get her state finances.
Oklahoma governor Mary Fallon welcome governor good to see him.
-- -- -- Well more importantly than just the fact that you've done this which is a big feat in and of itself because we've seen what goes on another state certainly.
When when governors try -- do this.
Blowback did you get or did you work with the unions to make it happen.
You know it actually wasn't that harvests now what we told people of Oklahoma in the public employees is that we wanted to make sure that our pension systems are -- That there -- benefits would be there when they retired friends say government service from.
But when I took office as governor you know we had a sixteen billion dollar.
Shortfall unfunded liability in our pension systems and that is physically and spam we just can't -- did that.
We can't continue to spend money we don't have.
And like a lot of other states we've had some budget shortfalls this past year.
And I've campaigned on wanting to create the very best business climate possible for our say that having unfunded liabilities.
Upon our state pension system that's -- state at risk so we pass legislation saying that we were going to get.
Cola increases -- living increases to our retirees and once we -- the money to pay for it.
The governor what are your goals is to eliminate.
The income tax in the state of Oklahoma is if you were successful what that with -- with this huge budget shortfall.
How do you compensate that income that you're gonna lose.
A lot of things I'm working on right now is I have a task force that is as some expert says -- look at our tax structure itself.
Because our goal is to be as competitive as -- was as -- day to be able to produce jobs retained jobs create new opportunities.
And to look at how we can shift our tax structure so that wouldn't be more competitive but yet provide for the essential services that we need in the state of Oklahoma.
Certainly we do had to pay for education public safety law enforcement corrections.
And -- -- -- -- income tax where's that revenue gonna come from.
Well that's not going to be looking at over the next year I have a group of 44 executives throughout the state got caught my game changer committee.
To how we can be more competitive as this day.
Look at other forms.
Revenue for our state -- at work towards a -- time candidate overnight.
But ordinary time.
Policing the burden of our income tax I would say this while other states were increasing their tax rates to bounce -- badges and make -- for their budget shortfalls.
We actually cut taxes in the state of Oklahoma we low order personal income tax by a quarter percent so we let ops at the -- We're looking at a map right now of states that face budget shortfalls and aside from Montana and North Dakota there are.
Very many -- that.
That are able to have any kind of surplus you're just a few states below -- Scots and south of Wisconsin -- they had a terrible time dealing.
With public employee issues on this pension problem especially with the teachers.
Needless to say it was huge in the news.
Governor what did you do how was it -- to teach the rest of the the United States of America when they face these budget shortfalls on how to get people to agree.
To these these problems and that you have to pay more into your pension I know you don't like it but what.
Isn't that -- did that made this work.
Well we we talked to our public employees we talk to the citizens of our say.
And basically said we want to protect your pension systems we want them to be there.
When you retire but the reality is we have an unfunded liability that's pretty huge.
By making the change that we made by saying we're not going to increase pension amounts without.
Money -- to pay for real safe five billion dollars at -- sixteen billion dollar unfunded liability for pension system.
That's a huge amount of money to help bring that number down to short -- And we also we're not erase taxes we we don't want to raise taxes upon our citizens and certainly we want to be able to have jobs in our state we want to grow our economy.
But we have to be fiscally responsible and while we're doing our site thanks to Oklahoma governor Mary -- it's good to have you here thank you so much.
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