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November 9, 2012

STATE

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State Chamber Public Affairs Forum — The State Chamber will host our legislative leaders to discuss issues that will be important during the 2013 Legislative Session, Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at the Cox Convention Center, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. with lunch included. Registration and agenda are now available, click here.
Contact Danna Fowble

Candidates Supported By State Chamber Elected The State Chamber’s mission to improve our state’s business climate and serve as a powerful voice at the state and federal Capitols on behalf of Oklahoma’s business community is furthered by helping elect pro-business, pro-jobs, and pro-growth candidates to office. All but one candidate supported by the State Chamber through the We Mean Business PAC, independent expenditures and endorsements were elected on Tuesday. Republican candidate Chuck Utsler lost to Democrat David Perryman by 129 votes in House District 56, which includes rural parts of Grady, Caddo and Kiowa counties. In total, 24 out of 25 candidates supported for the general election won their races. For a complete list of candidates supported by the State Chamber in the 2012 general election, please click here.
Contact Cordon DeKock

Oklahoma’s Legislative Composition Changes With 2012 Election Republicans in the Oklahoma State House had a net gain of three seats, with four traditionally Democratic seats now in the Republican column. These are House Districts 20, 22, 32 and 60. Three of these seats moved due to the 2011 redistricting and population changes from the 2010 U.S. Census. One former Republican-held seat now belongs to House Democrats – House District 56. The House composition now stands at 72 Republicans and 29 Democrats; the previous breakdown was 69-32. Senate Republicans gained four seats for a total of 36. Republicans picked up seats traditionally represented by Democrats in Senate Districts 3, 7, 17 and 33. These districts also experienced change due to redistricting in 2011. The Senate partisan composition is now 36 Republicans and 12 Democrats.

Oklahoma Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Intangible Tax Exemption In SQ 766 — This week, Oklahoma voters approved State Question 766, 65% to 35%. This arguably was the biggest victory for the Oklahoma business community on Tuesday, as this constitutional change prevents the largest tax increase in state history. We would like to thank the more than 75 trade associations, grassroots organizations, local chambers of commerce and other civic groups from across the state who joined the State Chamber-led coalition and helped assure passage of the question.
Contact Cordon DeKock

YES On SQ 764 Thanks Supporters For Efforts The YES on SQ 764 campaign says ‘thank you’ to all the organizations, employers and supporters who helped spread the message of supporting increased financing for Oklahoma Water Resources Board loans for communities and rural water districts. SQ 764 was adopted by Oklahoma voters on Tuesday, 57% to 43%. The expanded financing capacity will help Oklahoma begin to address the $82 billion in water infrastructure needs the state faces in the next five decades. Thanks to your help, Oklahoma communities and water utility rate payers will be able to save money on interest rates for infrastructure projects.
Contact Arnella Karges

Small Business And Small Manufacturer Summits Come To A Close Having heard from nearly 500 small business and manufacturing owners and advocates, Lt. Governor Todd Lamb brought to a close his six-city tour in the effort to create a small business and small manufacturer legislative agenda for the 2013 session.  Lt. Gov. Lamb partnered with the State Chamber of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce in order to capture ideas from all areas of the state. Two issues seemed prevalent in each of the six summits: the need for continued workers’ compensation reform and improved access to a skilled workforce. 

A legislative agenda will now be compiled and placed before members of the Oklahoma Legislature for their consideration in the effort to help enhance the foundation of our state’s economic base — small business.  Lt. Gov. Lamb will again spearhead next year’s Small Business Day at the Capitol, scheduled for May 1, 2013, when small business and small manufacturing owners will be invited to visit with the Legislature and determine the status of their agenda.
Contact Matt Robison

Treasurer Ken Miller Releases October Edition Of The Economic Report October’s report includes the following stories: Raiders of the Lost Assets, Treasurer’s commentary: Stop the madness, Miller slashes own budget, first quarter General Revenue allocations top estimate, Thanks to strong income tax receipts, September collections resume rise, State unemployment rises for third consecutive month and Economic indicators.  Click here to read the full report.

State Chamber Internship Program – Now Accepting Spring Applications The State Chamber is excited to offer an internship program for area college students that are seeking to gain experience in legislative advocacy or communications. We are currently looking for qualified students to fill internship positions in both our Government Affairs and Communications departments. Interns can hope to gain experience shadowing registered lobbyists, communicating on a statewide level with both business leaders and elected officials, or working on political campaign research and messaging – depending on the position applied for. They can also benefit by networking with industry professionals and business leaders. Click here to see the descriptions of our three positions and get the application.
Contact Larisha Peterman

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The State Chamber Of Oklahoma's Business Roundtable is a TV show presented by Cox Communications that tells the business story of Oklahoma and how legislation affects Oklahoma's economy. State Chamber President Fred Morgan hosts weekly Roundtable guests including Oklahoma's business leaders and legislators. This week, Mike West, Owner of Keystone Labels is the guest.

Watch at our new time, 10:00 a.m. Sunday mornings on Cox channel 3 or 703 in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa Metro areas. The show is also available 24-hours a day on Cox On Demand. Become a fan on Facebook for all the latest updates, behind the scene pictures and more! To see all past episodes, visit our website!

FEDERAL

What Now, Mr. President? (Published: November 7, 2012 in Knowledge@Wharton) The election is over. After three feisty debates, hundreds of campaign stops, billions spent on ads and countless candidate "robo-calls," America has re-elected Barack Obama as Commander in Chief. Now the real work begins. The economy is eking out a half-hearted recovery, and housing is slowly beginning to perk up. However, unemployment remains at a stubborn 7.9%, investors are skittish and businesses are still reluctant to spend.

What should Obama prioritize over the next four years? “The first thing [the President] needs to do is solve the immediate short-term fiscal cliff problem," says Wharton finance professor Franklin Allen. "The second is to put us on the road to long-term fiscal sustainability," which will probably involve a reform of Medicare. Third, he suggests, is to decide how to reform the corporate and personal tax codes. And fourth: figure out what to do about the mortgage market and government-supported enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”  To read the full article, click here.
Contact Mike Seney

Approaching The Fiscal Cliff Now that the elections are over, all eyes seem to have turned towards the impending fiscal cliff. A new report by Inforum/University of Maryland, Fiscal Shock: America’s Economic Crisis, finds that the United States is already struggling due to Washington’s failure to address the pending fiscal cliff. The Pew Center on the States is finalizing a report that will evaluate the specific impact on the states of the fiscal cliff, looking both at the effect of sequestration on revenue sharing and the expiration of dozens of temporary federal tax provisions on state tax systems. That report is expected to be released in early December.
Contact Mike Seney

NATIONAL

Growth Grants Available To Small Businesses As many small business owners know, having financial backing is extremely important to achieving business goals and contributing to company growth. The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) offers financial backing for micro-businesses and entrepreneurs in the form of growth grants. NASE is a not-for-profit organization that has helped micro-businesses across the country succeed since 1981.

In 2011, NASE contributed more than $82,000 to micro-businesses through their growth grants program. In total, NASE’s growth grants have contributed $600,000 to entrepreneurs and small-business owners across the United States. Please visit NASE to find out more about their Growth Grants.
Contact Matt Robison

As Chinese Costs Rise, More Manufacturing Returning To U.S. Rising wages and currency rates, among other factors, have narrowed the gap between manufacturing costs in China and the United States, with the result that several U.S. companies are now bringing manufacturing jobs home to America. In a report titled, The U.S. Manufacturing Renaissance: How Shifting Global Economics Are Creating an American Comeback, Harold (Hal) L. Sirkin, Justin Rose and Michael Zinser of the Boston Consulting Group explain why predictions about the death of U.S. manufacturing have been wrong in the past – and why the present is no different.  Click here to read the full report.
Contact Mike Seney

CALENDAR

Is Your Company One Of The Best Places To Work In Oklahoma?  Join this statewide initiative brought to you by okcBIZ magazine. The program is dedicated to identifying and recognizing outstanding employers in the state. In order to receive recognition, you must apply! Application deadline is February 8, 2013. For more information & to register, visit the website.

CONGRATS

Rogers State University Receives 2012 Governor’s Arts Awards The Oklahoma Arts Council has announced that Rogers State University Public Television will be honored with a 2012 Governor’s Arts Award for its contributions to the arts in Oklahoma. In addition to offering programs supporting the university’s educational mission, RSU Public TV has been widely acclaimed for carrying high-quality cultural content and award-winning original programming.

 

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The State Chamber of Oklahoma is a statewide, nonprofit business membership organization that serves as the most credible legislative voice for Oklahoma's business community at the state and federal capitols. We work on behalf of the Oklahoma business community to affect legislative change and create a pro-growth climate with a statewide unified voice. We build meaningful coalitions and collaborative partnerships that influence the law-making process. We have the ability to leverage impactful relationships with political leaders to achieve legislative results.
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