Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: February 14, 2006
Sen. Debbe Leftwich
Senate Approves Bill to Save Oklahoma
State Senator Debbe
Leftwich said the Senate has given its final approval
to the Oklahoma Quality Investment Act. The measure
would provide incentive payments to “at risk”
manufacturing companies in an effort to keep those facilities
in the state.
“The bottom line is saving Oklahoma
jobs. We need to make sure that the economic advantages
of keeping those facilities and jobs in our state are
enough to keep us in the game. The incentives offered
in House Bill 1619 can give us the edge we need,”
said Leftwich, D-OKC.
Leftwich, who chairs the Senate Business
and Labor Committee, said the legislation was approved
by the House in the final hours of the 2005 session,
but the clock ran out before the Senate could join in
passing the measure.
“If anything, recent events in
our state have made passage of this bill even more important
than they were then,” Leftwich said.
Under HB 1619, total statewide payments
of up to $10 million could be made from the state’s
Rainy Day Fund if the fund contains at least $80 million
and if the newly created Quality Investment Committee
recommends payment. Incentive payments could be made
to an establishment annually for a five-year period
with the amount not to exceed 10 percent of the company’s
actual capital costs.
In order to qualify as an at-risk manufacturer,
the firm would have to incur costs for retooling or
modernization of at least $1 million within 24 months
of the date payments begin, retain an established minimum
payroll and offer basic health insurance to its employees.
A companion measure, SB 755 which was
approved during the 2005 session, would amend the Constitution
to allow payments to be made from the Rainy Day Fund.
That measure will be considered by voters as a state
question that will be on the November 2006 general election
HB 1619 now goes to Governor Brad Henry
for his consideration.
more information contact:
Senator Leftwich's Office - (405) 521-5557