Monday, February 18, 2013
When the Oklahoma legislative session begins each February, elected officials begin their work addressing state issues. The people of Oklahoma put trust in those they elect to adequately represent their voice and responsibly govern the entire state.
Traveling Oklahoma as Lt. Governor and as Small Business Advocate, I am provided the opportunity to be on the ground visiting one on one with Oklahomans from various walks of life. In doing so, I hear stories and glean suggestions straight from the source in what will make Oklahoma strong.
My journeys across the state resulted in the release of my second Lt. Governor’s Policy and Issues Report last month, which included relevant policy proposals in the areas of workers’ compensation reform, tax reform, workforce development, unemployment compensation, and tourism. These proposals were recommended directly from Oklahomans who on a daily basis work hard to move this state forward. In drafting the report and presenting it to legislators, my goal is to generate legislation that will produce a growing, thriving Oklahoma. Oklahoma must continue to remain on the competitive edge. We do that through removing barriers to growth, educating a skilled workforce and providing accountability within government agencies and entities.
Among these proposed reforms, business owners across the state made it clear that their biggest impediment and barrier to growth is Oklahoma’s current workers’ compensation system. The call to replace the current workers’ compensation system is an issue we can no longer ignore. Oklahoma is currently the sixth most expensive state to do business. By replacing our current adversarial system, which immediately pits an employee against an employer, with an administrative model of governance we will find savings that will result in more jobs.
In short, policy matters. Oklahoma will see continued growth if we as elected officials approve efficient and effective policy that results in growth and prosperity. The legislative session is in full swing and I am confident that the ideas and suggestions in the 2013 Lt. Governor’s Policy and Issues Report, submitted by Oklahoma voters themselves, will result in much needed reforms. The report can be viewed in its entirety online at www.ok.gov/ltgovernor.
As always, my office is open and ready to assist you in any way we can. I am excited to hear your ideas on how we can increase economic development across the state. Feel free to visit our website at www.ok.gov/ltgovernor, find us on Facebook and Twitter (@LtGovToddLamb) or call our office at 405.521.2161.