OKC, Okla. – The State Chamber  of  Oklahoma  released  today  its 2020 legislative agenda, which it will use to guide its efforts at the state  Capitol during the upcoming legislative session.

The State Chamber’s  legislative agenda was developed by key stakeholders in the state’s economy and members of its policy committees to help advance the state’s position as a leader in business-friendly policies.

“A new decade and a new session will require focus, intensity and tenacity to continue Oklahoma’s turnaround,” said Fred Morgan, President and CEO of the State Chamber.  “Our 2020 Legislative Agenda spells out the business community’s focus in the year ahead. We must pursue this agenda with fervor if our state is to achieve success and avoid stagnation.”

Read excerpts from the 2020 Legislative Agenda below:

Aerospace, Technology, Defense and Telecommunications 

Support initiatives to expand developing technology businesses, including autonomous systems, software, hardware, data centers and services 

Support development of Oklahoma's strengths and resources as a prime location for development, testing and flight of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and oppose regulations which place unnecessary burdens on the growth of the industry 

Protect a pro-investment environment to support the development of telecommunication infrastructure

Support efforts to remove barriers to broadband access in Oklahoma, such as ensuring that providers are reasonably charged for use of the public rights of way or the facilities within the rights of way

Oppose state-level efforts to implement regulation of the internet, such as net neutrality

Economic Development, Taxation and Retail

Protect, expand and identify valuable economic development incentives by researching best practices in other states and allow the Incentive Evaluation Commission (IEC) to review and propose new incentives to support emerging and existing industries to keep Oklahoma competitive

Support economic development incentives that create and maintain jobs and investments in Oklahoma, including the Governor’s Quick Action Closing Fund and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts

Oppose the imposition of the state’s sales tax on professional services, digital goods and labor

Oppose redirection of funds derived from industry licensing and service fees for general revenue

Support and protect efforts to meet the housing demand to keep pace with economic development and workforce needs

Energy and Natural Resources

Support efforts to modernize county assessment procedures for Oklahoma’s energy and agriculture industries

Support efforts to expand energy infrastructure capacity

Oppose state regulations on energy and natural resources that are more stringent than federal laws and regulations

Support the retention and protection of the rights and private property aspects of Oklahoma's surface and groundwater laws

Oppose any unnecessary regulatory intrusion into energy industry operations

Health Care

Seek new funding and protect existing funding sources to enhance and increase the number of physicians, nurses and other health care professionals needed to reduce the gap throughout the health care spectrum

Support efforts to develop a state-based plan maximizing and reclaiming state and federal funds to broaden health insurance coverage to Oklahoma's uninsured residents and reduce the costs of uncompensated care that are currently shifted to employers and health care providers

Support expansion and continued development of the state’s bioscience and research programs while opposing efforts to restrict these programs

Support physician training funding for the state’s medical schools in the base budgets of the University Hospitals Authority and Oklahoma State University Medical Authority

Human Resources and Labor Law

Support efforts to reform Oklahoma’s unemployment benefits system

Support business protections and property owners’ rights regarding medical marijuana

Legal Reform

Support transparency in private attorney contracts 

Support a solution to place a limit on non-economic damages

Support pro-business reforms to Oklahoma’s judicial nominating process

Small Business and Manufacturing

Reduce the regulatory and statutory burdens on small businesses and manufacturers while assisting them in their efforts to comply with current laws and regulations

Support efforts to streamline, simplify and reduce paperwork and filings required by small businesses and manufacturers

Support the appointment of business-minded individuals to serve on state agencies, boards and commissions. In addition, support rule-making processes that include the voice of business, are consistent in procedure and scope, are transparent to the public and are accountable to regulated entities as well as other stakeholders

Support communication and collaboration with Oklahoma’s tribal governments to enhance the state’s manufacturing and small business environment

Preserve and defend Oklahoma’s right-to-work laws, workers’ compensation reforms and occupational licensing reforms

Transportation and Infrastructure

Support all modes of transportation, including transit and passenger rail service and emerging technologies to meet the needs of the traveling public and the demands of our growing economy

Support initiatives that direct all transportation user fees to be used exclusively for transportation purposes

Support efforts to minimize the impact of regulatory requirements that increase transportation project costs, stifle productivity and delay delivery of critical infrastructure improvements

Support transparency, accountability and efficiency in state contracts by ensuring that contracts are awarded based on criteria related to the performance of contracts

Support efforts to improve the sustainability of Oklahoma’s water and wastewater systems

Workers' Compensation

Work to enhance and protect the 2013 reforms to the workers’ compensation system

Support revisions to workers’ compensation medical fee schedule which will control medical costs while ensuring access to quality medical care for injured workers

Workforce Development

Support initiatives that encourage businesses to participate in career pathways or career exploration programs that are specific to the current and future needs of Oklahoma’s economy

Expand access to programs that expedite credential attainment, college credit through concurrent enrollment and Advanced Placement courses for students statewide

Reform Oklahoma’s school funding formula so it is more transparent, student-centered and, as much as possible, allows funding to follow a student

Provide struggling schools with innovative opportunities and strong accountability to improve their overall performance

Support strategies that address job training, placement and stability for justice-involved individuals and incentivize second chance employers

About the State Chamber of Oklahoma 

Representing more than 4,300 members representing approximately 270,000 employees, the State Chamber of Oklahoma has been the state’s leading advocate for business since 1926. For more information, visit  www.okstatechamber.com.