Column by Fred Morgan, President & CEO of the State Chamber, published in the Journal Record on January 4, 2019
With a new year comes not only a new legislative session, but in the case of 2019, a new governor. As we welcome Kevin Stitt to his new role, the business community looks forward to working hand-in-hand with the new administration to pass vital reforms to ensure our state’s longevity.
Stitt has extensive business experience, making him uniquely qualified to deliver on his campaign promise of true reform; something the business community knows is an aching necessity in Oklahoma’s current landscape.
For far too long, Oklahoma has scored near the bottom of key national rankings essential to our state’s economic future. Our state is primed for transformation. But different results won’t occur without different policies and approaches. That’s why, over a year ago, the State Chamber Research Foundation created OK2030: a statewide vision plan to put Oklahoma on top.
As we look to work with the new governor in his new role, it is important to remember what the driving force behind OK2030 is: strategic long-term vision for our state. The first step toward this vision is reforming Oklahoma’s government. Long-term vision and government reform are what the Oklahoma people voted on in November in choosing their governor, and something we are committed to helping him do with OK2030.
We are already off to a great start. We achieved great success last session, passing 35 bills related to 13 key recommendations in the plan. But the work is just beginning. Last month, we released the updated 2019 version of the plan. This version includes feedback gathered at six regional forums held across the state this year. We traveled the state in the hopes of creating an interactive dialogue with citizens of Oklahoma about what they thought our state needed to look like in five, 10 and 15 years from now. We spoke to over 500 people at the forums and were delighted with the level of interest and curiosity the plan has already garnered. The OK2030 plan is broken into four foundations and each has its own role in redefining Oklahoma as we know it.
So, as we enter into 2019 and a new legislative session, the State Chamber is encouraged by the progress toward reform Gov.-elect Stitt’s agenda represents and we look forward to working with his administration to put Oklahoma back on the top by the year 2030.