Greater Oklahoma City Chamber - 2017 OKC & Tulsa Joint Legislative Agenda

2017 OKC & Tulsa Joint Legislative Agenda

The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber recognizes the benefits of partnerships when working to represent the business community and create a pro-business climate statewide. In 2017, the Chamber will work together with the Tulsa Metro Chamber to lobby the State Legislature on the following issues.

STATE ISSUES

Teacher Pay Raises
The Chambers support increasing K-12 teacher pay, using new revenues if necessary.

Other K-12 Reforms and Postsecondary Readiness
The Chambers support the following to improve the ability of Oklahoma’s K-12 schools to produce a qualified, college and career ready workforce:

  • Support other measures for addressing the teacher shortage, including incentivizing training for new teachers, supporting professional development, and improving job satisfaction;
  • Replace the repealed end of instruction tests with an off-the-shelf, nationally recognized assessment of postsecondary readiness;
  • Support a new school accountability system and graduation requirements that emphasize graduates are college and career ready; and,   
  • Reform administration in order to achieve accountability and efficiency in all aspects of education. 

Education Funding  

  • Restore common education funding to levels not less than the FY 2016 budget.
  • Restore higher education funding in the State of Oklahoma.

Health Insurance Coverage for Oklahomans
The Chambers support the following issues to strengthen insurance coverage for Oklahomans:

  • Extend Coverage to More Oklahomans: The Chambers support extending health insurance coverage to more Oklahoma residents, through pursuit of all available funds, to cover the costs of uncompensated care that is currently shifted to employers and health care providers.
  • Insure Oklahoma: The Chambers support the State of Oklahoma's efforts to work with the new presidential administration to preserve Insure Oklahoma through securing a multi-year waiver from the federal government.  The Chamber further supports broadening Insure Oklahoma to provide health insurance coverage to more of the state's uninsured.
  • Section 1332 Waiver: Participate in state-level dialogue on Section 1332 waivers (if available) to ensure access for businesses to affordable health insurance coverage.

Economic Development Incentive Programs
The Chambers support retaining the state’s premier economic/community development programs which are critical in attracting new businesses to the state, assisting existing companies to expand and encouraging investment in communities across the state.  Following are the key programs the Chambers will work to protect:

  • Quality Jobs Act, 21st Century QJA, Small Employer QJA and the Prime Contractor QJA;
  • Aerospace Engineer Tax Credit;
  • Investment/New Jobs Tax Credit;
  • Historical Building Rehabilitation Tax Credit;
  • Five-year ad valorem abatement and sales tax exemption for manufacturing facilities;
  • Oklahoma Quality Events Act; and
  • Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program

Criminal Justice/Sentencing Reform
The Chambers support legislation and funding for sentencing reforms and rehabilitation programs to ease the financial drain on Oklahoma’s criminal justice system, lessen the burden on jails and prisons throughout the state and allow non-violent offenders to enter the workforce more quickly.

The Chambers support the recommendations of the Governor’s Task Force on Criminal Justice Reform.

Municipal Funding Diversification
The Chambers support legislation to preserve and diversify sources of revenue available to municipalities. 

Gun Legislation
The Chambers support the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and responsible expansion of gun-owner’s rights.  However, the Chambers will oppose legislation to allow open/concealed carry of guns into high-economic impact events, including Horse Shows, NCAA and Big XII sporting events (including the Women’s College World Series, College Baseball at Bricktown Ballpark, NCAA and Big XII Basketball Tournaments at Chesapeake Energy Arena/Cox Center and BOK Center), the Oklahoma State Fair, Olympic Qualifying on the Oklahoma River and High School Basketball and Wrestling Tournaments at the State Fairgrounds, U.S. Youth Soccer Association Region President’s Cup, USA Wrestling –Jr. National Duals, and USA Gymnastics – Stars and Stripes at the BOK Center and Tulsa Fairgrounds.

The Chambers will work with the National Rifle Association, the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association and other stakeholders to improve and clarify existing gun laws while, at the same time, protecting the above events, many of which are contractually obligated to prohibit weapons.

ODOT Eight-Year Plan
The Chambers support annual appropriations necessary to preserve and implement ODOT’s eight-year construction work plan.  Further, the Chambers will strongly oppose any effort to divert dedicated transportation funding to other areas of government.

 

For more information, please contact a member of our Government Relations staff.