The Norman Transcript


January 30, 2013

Chamber hosts legislative breakfast



· Funding for Oklahoma’s career technology and higher education campuses to ensure affordable tuition for our citizens and encourage the growth of our jobs and our economy.

· Increasing funding levels to the education system and encouraging opportunities that assess alternative methods to fund common education.

In addition, the chamber favors updating the state’s education system to accommodate a more streamlined and efficient structure in an effort to put more money in the classroom.

“There’s a variety of things that the state could at least look at,” Woods said. “We would like them to undertake a discussion. For example, the school’s bonding capacity can only be used for capital projects.

“If a community decided it wanted to have that type of funding stream to go toward operating costs, could a community do that and it not affect their state funding formula? It could be a one time expenditure but not be a capital project.”

In the energy industry the chamber supports:

· Necessary incentives for the exploration, production and refinement of Oklahoma oil and natural gas, while also supporting policies that encourage greater development and use of those resources.

· Development of alternative energy resources to complement the use and development of oil and natural gas.

But the chamber opposes “unnecessary legislative or regulatory intrusion into energy industry.”

“Obviously, we want to make sure that Oklahoma remains competitive in the energy industry,” Woods said. “It is a funding industry for our state.”

Woods said the chamber supports enhancing production capabilities rather than inhibiting those capabilities.

Regarding health care, the chamber supports:

· Retention of viable employer-sponsored health care and opposing any efforts that may result in the destabilization of the health insurance marketplace

· Efforts to enhance the access and affordability of health care, thereby increasing the number of those retaining insurance.

Joy Hampton



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