Greater Oklahoma City Chamber - Workers' Comp Reform and Protecting Economic Development Programs Top the List of Greater Oklahoma City Chamber's 2013 Legislative Priorities

Workers' Comp Reform and Protecting Economic Development Programs Top the List of Greater Oklahoma City Chamber's 2013 Legislative Priorities

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY, January 8, 2013 – Overhauling Oklahoma’s oppressive workers’ compensation system and protecting the state’s key economic development programs will be top priorities for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber during the 2013 legislative session, which begins on Monday, Feb. 4. The Chamber’s legislative priorities address a variety of issues that impact the Chamber’s 5,000 local business members.

“Our focus is to work with the Legislature to create a stronger business climate in our region and the state,” said Mark VanLandingham, vice president of government relations and policy for the Chamber. “We will address issues that are affecting the day-to-day operations and long-term viability of the companies that are providing jobs in the OKC area.”

With insurance and claim costs continuing to rise, the Chamber is calling for significant workers’ compensation reform. Average claim costs far exceed the national average, placing a significant burden on local businesses and impairing Oklahoma’s ability to remain economically competitive with surrounding states.

“Our state has made great strides over the past two years in creating an improved business environment and we applaud the work of Governor Fallin and the Legislature,” said Roy Williams, president and CEO of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. “However, if Oklahoma wants to remain competitive, our workers’ comp system must be reformed. From an economic development perspective, it’s the biggest obstacle we face.”

The Chamber will also work to protect key economic and community development programs that have recently fallen under increased legislative scrutiny, such as the new jobs/investment tax credit and the historical building rehabilitation tax credit. To bring new companies to the OKC area and to grow small businesses, the Chamber will also strive to protect and enhance funding for programs managed by i2E for OCAST.

The Chamber will also fight for infrastructure funding, completion of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, and further implementation and refinement of the A-F grading system. The Chamber’s full list of priorities covers a number of economic development, transportation, healthcare and education issues.

“Oklahoma City businesses are facing immense opportunities, but also a variety of challenges,” said VanLandingham. “We understand their issues and will look out for their interests.”

The Chamber’s full Legislative Agenda can be viewed at www.okcchamber.com/legislative.

MEDIA: For more information, please contact Kaylee McDaniel at kmcdaniel@okcchamber.com or 297-8971.