Oklahoma City, OK (STL.News) Governor Kevin Stitt sent a letter today to the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Pandemic Relief Funding, Senator Roger Thompson (R-Okemah) and Representative Kevin Wallace (R-Wellston), outlining his priorities for the funds allotted to Oklahoma through the American Rescue Plan Act. Read the letter (attached) or continue reading below:
Senator Roger Thompson
Representative Kevin Wallace
Co-Chairs, Joint Committee on Pandemic Relief Funding
Dear Chairman Thompson and Chairman Wallace:
As states recover from the devastating impacts of COVID-19, Oklahoma is uniquely positioned to not only return to normal, but to forge boldly ahead. We have this opportunity, in part, due to thoughtful decisions made during the pandemic by our state leaders who focused on keeping businesses open and Oklahomans employed.
We can now build on this momentum using funds made available to the state through the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act. Other states will be forced to use these dollars to fill massive budget deficits made worse by long economic shutdowns. Meanwhile, Oklahoma can invest in transformational projects that benefit every corner of our state, and we’ll do so while maintaining our focus on conservative principles and fiscal responsibility.
To carry out this effort, I look forward to working in close partnership with the Joint Committee on Pandemic Relief Funding to determine how best to spend these dollars. The Joint Committee’s first meeting this week will provide a launching point for consideration of specific projects.
After many conversations with our legislative partners, we have a shared vision: to make strategic, one-time investments that will benefit future generations while improving services today. My priority is to build a vibrant, innovative, and broad-based economy and to deliver more for all citizens, especially the vulnerable.
To build a vibrant, innovative, and broad-based economy, it is my goal to:
- Develop, retain, and attract top talent to close critical skill gaps and stimulate innovation;
- Leverage private and local co-investment opportunities through strategic government funding;
- Enable high-growth business clusters through infrastructure investments.
To deliver more for all citizens, especially the vulnerable, it is my goal to:
- Create “best in class” customer experience with a human-centered, mobile-first interface for government services;
- Bridge the digital divide to ensure all Oklahomans access support and opportunities;
- Elevate comprehensive social service programs with a focus on vulnerable populations.
With this opportunity comes a great responsibility. The projects and programs we fund today will impact future generations across the state. I am honored to work with you and the Joint Committee to serve all Oklahomans as stewards of these funds, and am committed to an effective and transparent process to provide visibility into this important work over the coming years.
Thank you for your dedicated service to the State of Oklahoma.
Governor Kevin Stitt
State of Oklahoma
CC: Speaker Charles McCall, Oklahoma House of Representatives
President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, Oklahoma State Senate
Joint Committee on Pandemic Relief Funding members
Mike Jackson, Executive Director, Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency