Oklahoma Legislators Work To Make The State More Appealing To Big Businesses

After Oklahoma missed out on some big economic opportunities, the legislature is taking steps to find the reasons why the state is being skipped over. Oklahoma legislators are still working out the deal with Panasonic to bring a battery plant here to Oklahoma.

Wednesday, May 10th 2023, 6:16 pm



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After Oklahoma missed out on some big economic opportunities, the legislature is taking steps to find the reasons why the state is being skipped over. Oklahoma legislators are still working out the deal with Panasonic to bring a battery plant here to Oklahoma.

This would bring in thousands of jobs and potentially millions in revenue, but state lawmakers are still working on ways to improve the economy.

“We want to make sure that we're creating a competitive work environment, supporting and growing what we've got and then bringing in new businesses as well,” said Sen. Kristen Thompson (R-Edmond)

Senator Kristen Thompson is the vice chair of the business development committee.

“Who's performing well in the workforce, who's performing well in economic development and how do we tie those together so we can all be rowing in the same boat,” said Sen. Thompson.

The state chamber is also working to be a part of this conversation. They came to the Senate today to give a presentation. They are looking at national data, and how other states are compared to Oklahoma. 

“States have evolved- Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Utah, Indiana have shifted to a more public/private partnership,” said Chad Warmington, CEO of the State Chamber.

The state chamber is suggesting we adopt that public/private partnership here in the state. 

“So you've still got the legislative oversight, but you're nimble and quick and you've got business leaders that understand the economies that they're working in,” said Warmington.

She says creating a competitive environment for businesses is just one piece of this puzzle.

“You can throw all the money in the world at a business, if the climate is not right, if we don't have the workforce, if we don't have proper infrastructure, if we don't have affordable housing, you're not going to be able to do it,” said Sen. Thompson.

They are still in the conversation and planning stage, working to figure out what options they have.

“We're dedicated and have a lot of great ideas and so I'm really excited to see what comes out of it,” said Sen. Thompson.

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