Thanks primarily to higher prices for oil and natural gas, the state's revenue picture continues to look good. It's the third straight year of projected revenue growth.

Oklahoma's economy, despite the jolt from the General Motors Assembly Plant's impending closing, appears to be sound. The diversification that has taken place since the 1980s has left Oklahoma in better fiscal shape.

The Office of State Finance on Thursday said Oklahoma state government should have about $317 million more in tax revenues in fiscal year 2007. That's a 5 percent increase over the current fiscal year. Additionally, state officials believe the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, will have surplus revenue of more than $400 million.

Lawmakers won't begin to prioritize programs for the state until they return in February. We hope they think long-term, with health care, education, corrections, highways and bridges getting their full attention.

Tax rebates, such as Gov. Henry and lawmakers did this year, work better than uniformly cutting tax rates across the board. (Our Web site straw poll indicates more than 72 percent reported putting that money back into the economy).

Oklahomans know the economy here is cyclical. Lean years often put the most demand on state services. Lawmakers should think long-term, knowing full well things could turn around nearly overnight.

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