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Kevin Stitt for governor
Governor Kevin Stitt is leading Oklahoma with a vision to become Top Ten in job growth, infrastructure, education and more.
Stitt is an entrepreneur who founded Gateway Mortgage in 2000 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Starting with only $1,000 and a computer, he grew Gateway Mortgage into a nationwide mortgage company operating in more than 40 states and servicing more than $20 billion in residential mortgages.
In 2018, he led Gateway through a merger and established Gateway First Bank, which today is one of Oklahoma’s 10 largest banks with over $2 billion in assets, 160 mortgage centers across the U.S., and more than 1,700 employees.
Oklahomans spoke in record numbers that they wanted Stitt to use his business acumen to transform the state. In 2018, he received more votes than any gubernatorial candidate in state history in his first bid for elected office of any kind.
He is committed to delivering taxpayers more for their money, and his fiscally conservative leadership helped the state build its largest savings account in history, funded common education at historic highs, and cut taxes for all Oklahomans.
Stitt is a fourth-generation Oklahoman and a graduate of Oklahoma State University. He and his wife, Sarah, have been married for 23 years and they have six children.
Under Governor Kevin Stitt’s leadership, Oklahoma’s economy continues to thrive. Governor Stitt has proven to be the right leader for Oklahoma as he ensures that the state is the best place for business ventures and that new jobs are constantly being created.
When the federal government encouraged shut downs and “safer-at-home” policies, Oklahoma was able to push past roadblocks and stay on track to be a Top 10 state. Oklahoma is now ranked #1 in lowest cost to start a business, #3 in lowest cost of living, and is host to consistently low levels of unemployment.
Governor Stitt’s list of accomplishments continues to grow as he encourages job creation, diversifies revenue sources, and pushes for strong fiscal policies.
It’s true that Oklahoma school rankings have been consistently low for decades, while enduring a Democratic majority and during the 8 years Joy Hofmeister has been State Superintendent, but the Oklahoma Turnaround is here.
Since Governor Kevin Stitt took office in 2018, he has been committed to improving the education system in Oklahoma and giving teachers the recognition and benefits that they deserve. Governor Stitt has brought teachers pay and benefits to the top in the region and is committed to the continued improvement of Oklahoma’s education system. This includes holding schools accountable for their spending, and ensuring that transparency is maintained.
Education is no exception Governor Stitt’s Top 10 vision for the great state of Oklahoma.
Governor Kevin Stitt has been consistent in fighting for the safety and protection of all 4 million Oklahomans. With smart on crime policy changes and an unwavering commitment to back the blue, Governor Stitt wants to keep Oklahomans safe, and law enforcement supported.
This year alone, Governor Stitt has increased wages for public safety professionals, created a new mental wellness division within the Department of Public Safety, and expanded recruitment efforts to build the best force in the nation.
BACK THE BLUE
- After a decade-long dry spell, Governor Kevin Stitt has funded 3 Academies to train new public safety professionals for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) and launched the “Bridge Academy” to support OHP’s national recruitment effort to hire the best from across the nation.
- Stood with District Attorneys, Sheriffs, and public safety professionals across the state in calling for the courts and the U.S. Supreme Court to deliver much-needed clarity on the Oklahoma v. McGirt ruling that is wreaking havoc in Eastern Oklahoma. (source, source, source, source)
-Signed into law pay increases for correctional officers, highway patrol and other State employees.
SMART ON CRIME
- Reformed the funding of District Attorneys so that they are not perversely incentivized to use fines and fees to fund their budgets.
- Called for and signed into law the nation’s largest commutation of low-level drug offenders from prison, of which the recidivism rates has held around 5%, well below the State’s average of 29% and the national average of 35%.
- Called for and increased State funding of treatment and diversion programs to historic levels to help break the cycle of incarceration.
- Called for and signed into law licensing reform so that individuals with nonviolent felony convictions could be licensed in occupations not related to the offense.
- Created the Sarah Stitt Act to help prepare and equip those leaving incarceration to best reenter the workforce and society. (HB 1679)
- Simplified the requirements for adolescents or adults with juvenile records to have their records expunged, ensuring that mistakes made in youth do not limit a person’s opportunity for success. (HB 1799)
- Made State public safety agencies more accountable to the voters and delivered efficiencies across agencies. In 2019, Governor Stitt signed into law legislation that gave the executive branch the authority to hire and fire the directors of the Department of Public Safety and Oklahoma Department of Corrections, as well as streamlined and brought together the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Department.
- Called for the passage of the “Public Safety Unification” effort that will consolidate, streamline, and strengthen State agencies supporting public safety services.
- Flattened the Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ budget, after inheriting a history of agency leadership proposing annual budgets that were $1 billion more than operating expenses.
Oklahoma’s healthcare rankings have been consistently poor while under decades of a Democratic majority in Oklahoma, but Governor Kevin Stitt was elected to bring a Turnaround to Oklahoma and that is what he is prepared to do.
Under Governor Stitt’s leadership, Oklahoma can find solutions that work. Below are actions Governor Stitt has taken over the past three years:
- Fighting for medical price transparency in Oklahoma, Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law the Health Care Prices Act requiring health care providers and facilities to make prices publicly available for various health services. (HB 1006)
- Introduced the State’s most transformational Medicaid reform plan in State history with the support of the Trump administration – SoonerCare 2.0.
- With roughly 30% of Oklahoman on Medicaid, the most critical means to transform healthcare outcomes is by reforming the delivery of Medicaid.
- Currently, Oklahoma is one of the last states to deliver Medicaid with the 1965-version of a fee-for-service, government-controlled system.
- More than 40 other states have moved Medicaid to a public-private model that pays providers based on health outcomes. This has proven to help contain cost for taxpayers while giving Medicaid users more health plan choices, more access to care, and better outcomes.
- As Gov. Stitt says, “Medicaid should be a trampoline and not a hammock,” But we must fix the system so that it is advancing people towards those better outcomes.
- Established the first statewide Health Information Exchange (HIE) system, streamlining medical records and how hospitals interact with State on health data. It will also allow Oklahomans to have their health data under their own control, better protected and more portable. Oklahoma is one of the last states to build an HIE system and it will be in effect by 2023. (source, SB 574)
- Early in 2020, Stitt paid Oklahoma hospitals $40 million in Covid funds to build permanent, medical-grade infrastructure to increase capacity for treating individuals with Covid in 2020 when there was no vaccine or treatment options. (source, source)
- Increased provider rates for nursing homes, hospitals, and physicians by $105 million in 2019.
- Increased the State’s investment in training physicians to serve in rural hospitals by $67 million in 2019.
- Established a savings fund to protect Medicaid provider rates in hard times.
- Provided a long-term funding solution for Medicaid provider rates by incrementally increasing the Supplemental Hospital Offset Payment Program, thereby protecting the taxpayer from future tax increases. (SB 1045)
- In 2019, Stitt called for and reformed the State’s largest health-related agencies, making it more accountable to the voter as well as streamlining frontline programs to improve services for Oklahomans. This has resulted in the greatest level of coordination in recent history between OHCA, Health Department, and Department of Human Services. Prior they operated in silos, independent of the executive branch.