Chambers announce unified jobs agenda
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Published: 07-Jan-2011

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 07-Jan-2011

The presidents of the Tulsa, Oklahoma City and State Chambers unveiled a joint jobs agenda on Thursday (January 6). Leaders of the business associations said, in a press release sent to CapitolBeatOK, the joint effort is intended to help move Oklahoma forward and create a more business-friendly environment in the state.

The agenda highlights the need to spark private investment in order to sustain a vibrant and diverse economy and ensure justice and opportunity for all Oklahomans.

Reform to the state’s burdensome tort system, expensive workers’ compensation system, bureaucratic health care system and faltering education system are a few of the top issues legislators need to address this session to grow Oklahoma’s economy.

Support for effective tax incentives that work to attract and retain businesses and jobs in Oklahoma will also be critical, in the view of the Chamber leaders. Continued support for infrastructure and transportation funding, as well as promotion of a consistent regulatory environment that creates business certainty, creates jobs and encourages economic growth for all domestic energy sources wrap up the joint agenda.

“Given the current budget climate, it has never been more important to grow Oklahoma’s economy, create jobs and promote a business environment that helps attract and retain companies to our state,” said Fred Morgan, president and CEO of The State Chamber of Oklahoma.

“It is important that the business community has a united pro-growth message. We have an opportunity to position Oklahoma as one of the most business-friendly states in the nation. We cannot let this chance slip away.”

The agenda calls for comprehensive reforms that will work to break the economic status quo in Oklahoma.

"There is nothing more important in this legislative session than improving our economy and creating an environment where businesses can thrive and more Oklahomans are working and creating wealth," said Roy Williams, president and CEO of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. "The perennial need to reform our workers' compensation system and pass significant tort reform simply must be addressed. Incremental change is not generating results and we call on bold and meaningful reforms."

A jobs agenda gives Oklahoma a chance to propel itself ahead of other states economically, the business leaders contended

"Oklahoma has the opportunity this year to leap-frog past other states in the competition for jobs and people.  We’re prepared to join with Gov.-elect Mary Fallin, her administration, and both parties at the State Capitol to achieve these goals," said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Metro Chamber.

Neal concluded: "Our economy is simply not expanding fast enough.  There is still a great deal of uncertainty for business owners here and across the nation.   We’ve been diagnosing our problems for years and a dramatic decrease in burdensome regulations, coupled with an increase in business incentives, will put in place smart policies that allow Oklahoma businesses and the economy to grow."

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