2017 Legislative Policies
Ardmore Chamber of Commerce
2017 Legislative Agenda
The Chamber has a long history of promoting a sound business climate that allows Oklahoma companies to compete globally with other businesses. The Chamber will represent the interests of sound policy that allows businesses to compete globally, to hire more workers, and expand in southern Oklahoma.
Key Legislative Principles:
- Support valuable economic development incentives that create and maintain jobs and encourage investment in Oklahoma and which keep Oklahoma competitive
- Support efforts to ensure a level playing field between community retailers and remove/internet sellers in the collection of sales taxes
- Encourage the revitalization of rural Oklahoma, including efforts to meet housing demand to keep pace with economic development and workforce needs
- As part of an all-inclusive energy approach, support a stable and reliable tax structure for all energy development that protects existing investment and promotes new capital investment in Oklahoma
- Support policies that will grow and support our technology and knowledge based industries
- Support tax reform that grows both our local and state economy and is fair to business
- Oppose the imposition of the state’s sales tax on services and labor
- Ensure a predictable and reliable state tax policy for continued exploration, production and refinement of Oklahoma oil and natural gas, while also supporting policies that encourage greater development and use of those resources.
- Support the development of alternative energy resources to complement the use and development of oil and natural gas
- Oppose unnecessary legislative or regulatory intrusion into the energy industry
- Continue to develop changes in Oklahoma’s civil justice system that will make it more responsive to the needs of business
- Work to enhance and protect the 2013 reforms to the Worker’s Compensation system enacted by Senate Bill 1062
Workforce Development & Education
- Support development of a healthy and skilled workforce
- Support educational and training pipeline initiatives, including Career Pathways, education industry partnerships and the development of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Communities, to encourage Oklahomans to pursue STEM careers
- Support regionally-competitive teacher pay, a restructuring of the salary schedule to incentivize Oklahoma’s teachers to remain in the profession, performance pay that rewards our best teachers, and a differentiated pay plan that helps fill high-need areas.
- Support funding for Oklahoma’s career technology and higher education campuses to ensure affordable tuition for our citizens and encourage the growth of jobs and our economy, including the continued funding of Oklahoma’s Promise
- Increase access to industry endorsed skills certificates and degree programs tied to high demand areas of Oklahoma’s economy and support incentives for employers providing access to skills certificates for employees
- Ensure that Oklahoma water laws, policies and regulations meet the needs of southern Oklahoma’s citizens, assure adequate water supplies meet the future requirements of business and industry and do not limit opportunity for growth and development.
- Endorse the historic water resources agreement between the State of Oklahoma, Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations and the City of Oklahoma City
Infrastructure and Transportation
- Support the improvement and maintenance of the state’s transportation infrastructure and protect the dedicated funding for improvements (Eight Year Construction Work Plan)
- Fast track legislation to bring Oklahoma into compliance with the Federal Real ID Act
- Preserve and protect the current eminent domain laws as described in the Landowner’s Bill of Rights
- Support the continuation of the U.S. Contract tower Program
- Support of the Heartland Flyer
- Support the retention of viable employer-sponsored health care and encourage efforts to provide stability in the health insurance market
- Support efforts to enhance the access and affordability of health care thereby increasing the number of those retaining insurance and strengthening statewide healthcare systems.
- Support initiatives that provide resources for employers for workplace training and screening programs in behavioral health in an effort to reduce Oklahoma’s ranking among all states as third highest in mental health disorders and second highest in substance abuse disorders
- Improve the Insure Oklahoma! Premium assistance program designed to make health insurance more affordable for small business while assuring the program’s long-term stability and the funding source remains dedicated to Insure Oklahoma!
- Support and promote efforts to recruit/retain health care professionals to rural areas in Oklahoma.
- Support pension reforms to protect the financial stability of Oklahoma’s state and local governments.