Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt sworn in for second term. Read his full inaugural speech
Surrounded by members of the state legislature, newly elected state officials, the State Supreme Court justices and leaders of Oklahoma’s tribal nations, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt was sworn into his second term in office late Monday morning. He is the fifth governor to serve two terms.
Stitt said he is continuing forward with his “Top Ten” plan. That plan is to make Oklahoma a “Top Ten” state for a number of reasons, which the governor keeps a metric dashboard for.
In his second inaugural address, Stitt highlighted the importance of restructuring the state’s education system.
“It’s time to rethink education in Oklahoma,” Stitt said. “It’s time for the tough conversations to address what's working and what’s not. It’s time to teach kids how to think - not what to think.”
The state’s education system has been a big focus for the state legislature also over the past several years, dealing with issues like teacher retention, content-banning legislation and more.
But the newly sworn-in Secretary of Education, Ryan Walters, says he is in step with the Governor’s vision for the future of education in Oklahoma.
“In November you elected me to continue the fight to stop woke liberal indoctrination, keep boys out of girls restrooms and get back to the fundamentals of education,” Walters wrote on Facebook after the inauguration. “I will continue this fight at the State Capitol. Woke indoctrination, radical gender ideology and the lack of transparency of funds will not be tolerated in my administration.”
Also in his address, Stitt said he will also continue to cut taxes.
“During a pandemic, we cut taxes for every single Oklahoman and for job creators to keep businesses growing,” Stitt said. “That has played a significant role in delivering the most diversified economy in Oklahoma’s history — and we are going to keep moving the needle on reducing taxes over the next four years and getting government out of the way.”
The Republican governor is expected to make another speech outlining his vision for Oklahoma in several weeks when state lawmakers convene for the beginning of session in February.
In response to his inaugural speech, Oklahoma Democratic Leader Cyndi Munson said while she looks forward to working across the aisle in the upcoming session, she finds facts about state rankings concerning.
“We still rank 45th in public school funding, 48th in access to healthcare, and just last year were cited as the worst state for women to live in the entire country,” Munson said in a statement. “The facts don’t lie and we are nowhere near a top 10 state after 4 years of Gov. Stitt.”
Munson also touched on job creation, which Stitt said he wants to prioritize.
“As we saw just last year with the Panasonic deal, businesses are choosing not to move here,” Munson said. “Until we take action to ensure that all Oklahomans have access to a strong public education, affordable healthcare, good paying jobs, and are treated with dignity, then we will be closed for business.”
Read Gov. Stitt's full Inaugural speech below: