County gov't, justice, workers' comp reform; premier economic development programs among Chamberís general legislative priorities
The Chamber recently released its legislative agenda for 2020. Get more details on our general government priorities below:
County Government Reform
The Chamber supports empowering Oklahoma counties to alter their form of government to meet their unique needs.
Workers’ Comp Reform
The Chamber supports defending and improving the comprehensive workers’ compensation reform legislation enacted during the 2013 session.
Economic Development Programs
The Chamber supports retaining and strengthening the state’s premier economic/community development programs which are critical in attracting new businesses to the state, assisting existing companies expand and encouraging investment in communities across the state. Following are the key programs the Chamber will seek 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
- Cybersecurity/Software Engineer Tax Credit
- Five-year ad valorem abatement and sales tax exemption for manufacturing facilities
- Regional Home Office Insurance Premium Tax Credit
The Chamber will support efforts to reinstate the Tax Credit for Energy Efficient Homes.
The Chamber supports the following legal reforms:
- Amending public and private nuisance laws to avoid misuse
- Placing a reasonable limit on non-economic damages
Incentive Evaluation Commission
The Chamber supports the Oklahoma Incentive Evaluation Commission, which was established to make recommendations to the Legislature and governor on which incentive programs are serving their intended purpose and creating economic/community development. If an incentive program cannot show a positive return to the state, it should be scaled back or repealed.
The Chamber supports ending the Manufacturer’s Sales Tax Exemption for new wind facilities and requiring the Zero-Emissions Tax Credit to be claimed only as a credit and not as a refund.
The Chamber supports the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the responsible expansion of gun-owner’s rights in Oklahoma. However, the Chamber will oppose legislation that would allow open/concealed carry of guns into high-economic impact events (many of which are required by contract to prohibit weapons), including horse shows, the Oklahoma State Fair, Olympic-qualifying events on the Oklahoma River, high school basketball and wrestling tournaments at the State Fairgrounds and NCAA and Big XII sporting events.
The Chamber will oppose legislation that would allow guns to be carried on college campuses.
The Chamber will lead the efforts of the “Oklahomans for Business and Property Owners’ Rights” coalition to defend against harmful gun legislation and 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, ensuring the protection of property rights and public safety.
Criminal Justice/Sentencing Reform
The Chamber supports 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 Chamber supports the efforts of the Criminal Justice Reclassification Council created pursuant to HB 1098 (2018).
The Chamber also supports: 1) continuing smart sentencing reform; 2) improving bail and jail practices; 3) making reentry and supervision improvements to reduce fines and fees, enhance workforce opportunities and increase public safety; and, 4) securing additional treatment funding.
The Chamber supports additional legislation to protect an employer’s right to maintain a drug-free workplace, enforce policies to prohibit employee impairment during work hours and other business friendly reforms.
The Chamber supports protecting the pension reforms which have improved the long-term fiscal condition of the state.
The Chamber will work with the governor, State Legislature, City of Oklahoma City and other stakeholders to ensure the availability of a long-term water supply for central Oklahoma.
Oil & Gas Tax
The Chamber supports a stable oil and gas tax structure which promotes the investment of drilling capital in Oklahoma.
The Chamber supports continued funding for i2E programs, including the Seed Capital Fund.
The Chamber encourages the State of Oklahoma to invest in OCAST’s support of small- and medium-size companies. By funding advanced research and development through the Center for Industry Innovation, OCAST can stimulate public-private collaboration and financial resources resulting in the greatest potential for commercialization aiding a company’s ability to compete in the global marketplace.
The Chamber supports legislation and a regulatory environment that promotes the research, development, manufacturing, and use of energy storage systems, particularly battery storage.
Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET)
The Chamber supports the constitutional provisions of the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) to support the public health of Oklahomans.
The Chamber supports federal immigration reform to secure the borders and establish reasonable and effective visa policies/procedures to attract essential workers to the United States.
The Chamber will advocate on behalf of its members at the State Capitol throughout the 2020 legislative session in pursuit of making Oklahoma a top ten state for economic development. Read the full list at OKCChamber.com/legislative. To stay informed of these efforts, sign up for alerts at okcbusinessadvocate.com.
For more information, please contact a member of our Government Relations staff.