Economic Development Day Gives Statewide Professionals a Chance to Discuss 2012 Legislative Agenda

State Sen. Jolley Named Legislative Advocate of the Year

OKLAHOMA CITY – Members of the statewide organization of economic developers met at the state Capitol today to tout their top three legislative issues this year: economic development incentives, workforce development training and workers’ compensation reform.



The Oklahoma Professional Economic Development Council (OEDC), an affiliate of The State Chamber of Oklahoma, has a pro-business, pro-jobs agenda that supports Gov. Mary Fallin’s efforts to improve Oklahoma’s overall business climate, attracting more jobs and investment to the state.

OEDC’s Economic Development Day at the Capitol featured remarks from Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb, President Pro-Tempore Brian Bingman and Speaker Pro Tempore Jeffrey Hickman. The program also included discussion of OEDC’s 2012 legislative agenda with lawmakers.



“With all the issues our elected officials will be inundated with this session, it is vital that we stress the importance of economic development to the future of Oklahoma,” said Lyle Roggow, president of the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation and Chair of OEDC.



Gwendolyn Caldwell, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at The State Chamber of Oklahoma, also discussed key legislative issues for the session as well as the importance of economic developers getting actively involved in promoting pro-business legislation both at the Capitol and with their local leaders back home.



“It’s really important for The State Chamber to build strong collaborative partnerships with organizations, like OEDC, that influence the law-making process,” said Caldwell. “We’re excited to be a part of this event and share information on the key legislative issues we think are important for this session.”



During the program, Oklahoma Senator Clark Jolley, (R-Edmond) was named 2011 Legislative Advocate of the Year by OEDC. This award, selected annually by the OEDC membership, recognizes one legislator for outstanding support of economic development legislation.



“It is an honor to recognize someone who has been so active in assisting with economic development growth in our state,” said Roggow.



Jolley joins a list going back to 1996 of distinguished past recipients including Rep. Skye McNiel, former Speaker of the House Chris Benge, former Senate President Pro-Tempore Glenn Coffee, and former Rep. Daniel Sullivan.



Following the program, members of OEDC took their 2012 agenda to legislators to discuss the importance of the key economic development bills and the impact those bills have on job growth and business in Oklahoma.



“Local economic developers are best able to educate lawmakers on how policy affects businesses in tangible ways in their communities,” said State Chamber President Fred Morgan. “It is critical that we build on the pro-growth momentum started last legislative session, which is why it is so important that The State Chamber and our grassroots partners like OEDC work together to keep this year’s session focused on jobs and the state’s economy.”



For more information about OEDC, or for a full list of Legislative Advocate of the Year Past Recipients, visit www.oedc.net.



###