The Innovators: Governor Henry

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Henry on Public Service Win Media

Henry on Finding Common Ground
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Henry on the Rising
Cost of Healthcare

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Henry on Fighting Meth
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Henry on
Finding Innovation

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Henry on Education
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Elected: 2002 as Governor
Next Election: 2006
Hometown: Shawnee, OK
Birth Date: June 10, 1963
Prior Experience: Oklahoma State Senate (1992-2002)
Family: Married with three daughters.
Heartland Highlight: Governor Henry has served as an ordained deacon at his church.

Gov. Henry’s Website

Brad Henry

Governor of Oklahoma

Elected as Oklahoma’s 26th governor in the fall of 2001, Governor Henry is currently in the last year of his first term as governor. In one of his first few moves as governor, Henry kept his campaign promise to strengthen Oklahoma’s education and health care systems by reaching a bipartisan agreement to prevent substantial cuts to education and health care during an inherited budget crisis.

Throughout his first few years in office, Governor Henry continued to follow through on his promise and created a five-year plan to increase the salary of Oklahoma’s teachers. He also passed a number of initiatives that both advanced Oklahoma’s health care system and cut property taxes.

Governor Henry has been successful largely because he is able to break down political barriers, forge agreements and pass legislation by following his motto, “we are all Oklahomans first.”

Brad Henry is a third generation Oklahoman; born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, the same town he met his wife, Kim, a local school teacher, and raised their three daughters. Henry attended the University of Oklahoma College of Law and served as the managing editor of the Law Review.

Before he was elected to the State Senate in 1991, Henry practiced law with his father. The Shawnee community has long been an important part of the Henry family’s life and they continue to take part in a number of local organizations. The Henrys have been active members of the First Baptist Church of Shawnee where the Governor and First Lady once taught Sunday school and where Governor Henry once served as an ordained deacon.

Best Practices

Achieving Classroom Excellence Initiative

Governor Brad Henry’s Achieving Classroom Excellence (ACE) school accountability initiative will provide for better education for all Oklahomans. ACE increases course requirements for high school students, grants partial tuition payment to high school students who opt to take college courses and enhances math facilities and testing programs. The initiative requries students to take a college-bound curriculum unless their parents sign a statement that requests otherwise.

Read more about the ACE initiative.

Operation Homefront: Providing affordable insurance to National Guardsmen

Governor Brad Henry championed legislatin to create the historic Operation Homefront initiative. Operation Homefront authorizes the State of Oklahoma to puchase an affordable life insurance policy for National Guardsmen, encourages all Oklahomans to assist financially the families of National Guardsmen and increases the military retirement income tax exemption.

Click here to learn more about Operation Homefront.

Prescription for Savings Initiative

In Oklahoma, Governor Brad Henry unveiled his Prescription for Savings initiative that would allow Oklahoma citizens to buy cheaper, US-manufactured medications from Canada and other industrialized countries. In addition to creating a Web site whre Oklahomans can order presciption drugs from abroad, Governor Henry’s initiative creates an Oklahoma SmartCard that allows citizens to easily take advantage of existing drug discount programs, eliminating paperwork and bureaucratic hurdles.

Click here to learn more about Govenor Henry’s Prescription for Savings initative.

Combating Methamphetamine Use

In Oklahoma, Governor Brad Henry championed a bill that strengthened Oklahoma’s landmark 2004 anti-methamphetamine law that instituted the toughest restrictions in the nation on the sales of pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in methamphetamine. The 2005 bill established a statewide online database that links pharmacies to allow them to coordinate their efforts in the fight against methamphetamine use.

Click here to learn more about Governor Henry’s landmark 2004 law.

Click here to learn how Governor Henry strengthened this law.