A BETTER COMMUNITY | A STRONGER BUSINESS | PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
To Our Partners The 2021 Legislative Agenda is formed by our Government Affairs Committee, along with input from our partnership throughout the year, and communicates the Bixby Chamber’s positions on issues at the local, state, and federal levels of government.
STATE ISSUES • School Funding • Municipal Funding Diversification • Economic Incentives • Mental Health Treatment & Support
FEDERAL ISSUES • Support Funding for Critical Economic • Development Programs • McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System • Tulsa’s Levee System
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS BENEFACTORS
2021 OKLAHOMA LEGISLATIVE DEADLINES MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2021 First Regular Session of the 58th Oklahoma Legislature convenes THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 2021 Deadline for Third Reading of Bills and Joint Resolutions in Chamber of Origin THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 2021 Deadline for Third Reading of Bills and Joint Resolutions from Opposite Chamber FRIDAY, MAY 28, 2021 Sine Die Adjournment (No Later Than 5:00 PM)
*2021 OneVoice Regional Task Force item
SUPPORT COVID-19 RELATED BUSINESS CHANGES As business owners work to pivot during the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts should be made to provide assistance to those reopening safely to customers. Tax deductions or support from CARES Act funds could be used to assist current business owners and new builders who would like to add physical infrastructure adjustments meant to slow the spread of COVID-19. Support should also be extended to those incorporating new technologies to update business models, like those in the restaurant or entertainment industries. *
UNEMPLOYMENT COMMISSION Support and expand necessary updates to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission website and technology systems to increase access, streamline processes, decrease fraud, decrease wait times, and improve messaging.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES
Support tax credits, exemptions and incentives that provide an economic return to the state of Oklahoma, maintain competitiveness in business attraction and retention, and increase capital investment. Several programs proposed for review by the Oklahoma Incentive Evaluation Commission are critical to the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s competitiveness and should be protected, including the Five-Year Manufacturing Ad Valorem Exemption, Manufacturing Sales Tax Exemption Permit, Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, all Quality Jobs programs, Small Business Incubator Tenant Credit and the Oklahoma Seed Capital Fund. Adapted from *
TRANSPORTATION Support inclusion of high-priority Bixby area projects in the Oklahoma Department of Transportation 8-year plan including the addition to the 8-year plan of expanding Highway 64 from 111th to 151st to six lanes, with additional lanes for the Arkansas River bridge. Support completion year of 2021 for US-64 and US-169 interchange improvement. Support completion of Tulsa Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Harvard widening project between 15st & 141st streets south. Support creation of an additional South County Arkansas River vehicle crossing.
FUND APPROPRIATION Support efforts to reduce amount of dedicated funds in order to increase pool of appropriated funds available to the legislature.
*2021 OneVoice Regional Task Force item
BROADEN & PROTECT HEALTH COVERAGE Implement Medicaid expansion while continuing to support core services provided by the State of Oklahoma.
WORKFORCE BARRIERS Increase state funding for District Attorneys, provide transparency of their budgets, and cap court fees to reduce the creation of an unethical burden to defendants when they try and enter the workforce.
PROVIDE COVID-19 BUSINESS LIABILITY PROTECTIONS As businesses navigate a safe return to work, the possibility of a COVID-related lawsuit looms over all employers. These lawsuits could be especially devastating to small businesses. Congress should adopt legislation that gives businesses clear guidance on how to comply with necessary workplace COVID-19 protections and extends a legal safe harbor to those who have made efforts to do so. At the same time, efforts should be made to ensure that the guidance is flexible for a variety of businesses and industries, rather than prescriptive and burdensome. *
SOCIAL SECURITY Support efforts to form bipartisan group to analyze Social Security adjustments and future viability.
REFORM FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID Support the reform of federal financial aid eligibility to improve access to higher education for all Americans. This should include: a) Increasing funding for the Pell Grant program and oppose attempts to cap per-student grants; b) Improve FAFSA outreach and education; c) Allow short-term, industry-driven training programs such as provided by career tech programs to qualify for federal financial aid; d) Expand student loan forgiveness programs, particularly for graduates in high-demand occupations with workforce shortages; and, Support the reform of federal financial aid and eligibility. Simplify student loans by ensuring interest does not accrue while the borrower is in school, setting student loan interest rates based on Treasury bond rates and enacting other student loan reforms. Allow short-term, industry-driven training programs to qualify and expand student loan forgiveness programs for graduates in high-demand occupations with workforce shortages. These strategies will enhance career readiness and meet the demands of the workplace. Simplify and streamline the financial aid application process. Adapted from * *2021 OneVoice Regional Task Force item
IMMMIGRATION REFORM Support comprehensive immigration reform that enables the U.S. to attract the best and brightest talent from around the world. Steps should be taken to secure borders and establish reasonable, affordable and efficient visa policies that empower American businesses to hire essential workers and remove barriers for top talent to work in the U.S. Immediate steps should be taken to address workforce shortages in specialty and technology occupations, including increasing the cap on H-1B and H-2B visas; and improving H-1B fairness for small and medium employers by lowering application fees, eliminating the lottery-selection process in favor of a needs-based system. Oppose further state legislation related to immigration reform.
SMALL EMPLOYER HEALTH CARE CONCERNS Support health care reforms at the state and federal level which will enable small businesses to keep health insurance premium costs down and increase the number of insured employees. Minimize the regulatory burden on small and medium employers under the Affordable Care Act and support efforts to reduce these employersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; cost of providing health care. This should include eliminating 1094 and 1095 reporting requirements by employers. Support health insurance companies continuing to cover pre-existing conditions and being able to engage in interstate commerce.
SUPPORT FEDERAL INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT Support a comprehensive federal infrastructure funding package, and fully fund authorized federal transportation programs. The economic success of our region and country relies upon the strength of our transportation infrastructure.
*2021 OneVoice Regional Task Force item
Legislative Directory COUNTY DISTRICT 1 Tulsa County Commissioner Stan Stallee 918.596.5020
DISTRICT 2 Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith 918.596.5016
DISTRICT 3 Tulsa County Commissioner Ron Peters 918.596.5010
DISTRICT 30 Representative Mark Lawson 405.557.7414
GOVERNOR The Honorable J. Kevin Sitt governor.ok.gov 405.521.2342
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR The Honorable Matt Pinnell governor.ok.gov 405.521.2161
DISTRICT 25 Senator Joe Newhouse 405.521.5675
DISTRICT 33 Senator Natham Dahm 405.521.5551
DISTRICT 67 Representative Jeff Boatman 405.557.7341
DISTRICT 69 Representative Sheila Dills 405.557.7331
DISTRICT 80 Representative Stan May 405.557.7338
FEDERAL Senator Jim Inhofe 918.748.5111
Senator James Lankford 918.581.7651
Representative Kevin Hern 918.935.3222
CITY OF BIXBY MAYOR Brian Guthrie Ward 2 firstname.lastname@example.org
VICE MAYOR John Easton Ward 1 email@example.com
COUNCILOR Paul Blair Ward 3 firstname.lastname@example.org
COUNCILOR Brad Girard Ward 4 email@example.com
12800 South Memorial Drive, Suite F / P.O. Box 158 Bixby, OK 74008 918.366.9445 www.bixbychamber.com
COUNCILOR Ryan Crawford Ward 5 firstname.lastname@example.org