Chamber, partners announce OneVoice agendas
At a press conference on Friday, Tulsa Metro Chamber leaders and regional OneVoice partners announced the 2011 OneVoice state and federal Legislative priorities.
Topping the state federal agenda were:
1. Support a Supplemental Hospital Offset Payment Program Acts (SHOPP) or other options to maximize federal opportunities for Medicaid, to achieve the Upper Payment Limit (UPL) for hospitals and to provide durable, consistent and predictable funding for Medicaid and indigent care providers.
2. Support legislation allowing municipalities to diversify their sources of revenues to fund essential local government operations.
3. Oppose cuts to education funding and oppose further reductions in the cap on annual property tax valuations.
“Adequate hospital funding has been on our agenda for years and this year it’s the top priority because of the critical need and impact on the entire state, not just the Tulsa region,” said Mike Neal, Tulsa Metro Chamber president and CEO. “We are partnering with several organizations including the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber to support measures that will ensure our hospitals remain open and able to provide the best medical care for our state’s population.”
Also on the Chamber’s state agenda is the reinstatement of the aerospace tax credit, which recently passed the Senate Finance Committee and is now headed to the Senate floor.
"Strengthening one of our region's most prolific and charitable industries and one of Oklahoma's top three economic engines is a positive leap toward recovering from the recession," said Neal. "The creation of more high paying jobs in turn encourages Oklahoma students to pursue a higher education and provides greater opportunity for them to stay in Oklahoma, raise families and invest in their communities. Because of this tax credit, many large aerospace and aviation companies now call Oklahoma home and reinstating this credit is critical to keeping some of our largest employers here and continuing to attract other companies of their caliber."
The Tulsa Metro Chamber will continue to monitor and advocate for the reinstatement of the aerospace tax credit along with numerous other pro-business legislation as they move through the House and Senate.
To read the latest on the aerospace tax credit, please see the following stories:
Bill to restore aerospace tax credit applauded
Oklahoma State Senate panel OKs aerospace tax credits
Leading the Chamber’s federal priorities is to support U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe’s request for funding for implementation of the Arkansas River corridor master plan.
“We, along with our partners, have and will continue to advocate for river funding at every opportunity until we see this natural asset developed and utilized to its full potential,” said Neal. “The Arkansas River is a tremendous, untapped resource that could be used to greatly impact the value of our community and surrounding communities, and we are determined to see that happen.”
Other top federal priorities announced at the press conference include:
• Attain approval of SHOPP, which provides new state funds to be matched with federal funds to stabilize Medicaid enrollment, benefit and reimbursement efforts.
• Support timely reauthorization of the federal surface transportation programs.
For the complete list of state, federal and Tulsa Metro Chamber priorities as well as a list of upcoming government affairs events, please visit OneVoiceTulsa.com.
For local news coverage of the OneVoice agendas, see the following stories:
• Metro Chamber and local officials announce Legislative agenda, health care at the top
• Tulsa Metro Chamber sets OneVoice Legislative priorities
• Chamber agenda
• Hospital funding at top of chamber’s legislative priorities list
• Tulsa Metro Chamber alliance reveals legislative agenda
Chamber takes federal priorities to Washington
The Tulsa Metro Chamber and a record 65 regional partners attended the annual Washington, D.C. Fly-In trip last week to the nation's Capitol to meet with the congressional delegation and advocate on behalf of the Tulsa region for the passage of pro-business legislation.
In a press conference Friday announcing the OneVoice Legislative Agenda, Dr. Gerard Clancy, president of the University of Oklahoma - Tulsa and chair of the Tulsa Metro Chamber, commented on the positive outcomes and challenges still to face as a result of the trip.
"The delegation was very pleased to learn about Oklahoma's proactive move to develop the Supplemental Hospital Offset Payment Program Acts (SHOPP) in order to gain additional funds from Medicaid to support health care in Oklahoma," said Clancy. "In addition to the support of our requests, we feel very confident that we can count on victories in 2011 in the areas of opposition to cap and trade legislation and a carbon tax; opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act; and efforts to control the Environmental Protection Agency's implementation of its Ozone Emission Standard.
"There is a great deal of concern about the growth in U.S. spending and the national debt. Everybody agrees that we must reduce our federal deficit," he continued. "Quite frankly, we are going to have a challenge with how our country will continue to fund health care, transportation and other major initiatives.
"In the areas of transportation, it's clear the current funding mechanism for our federal highway system is broken. However, there is a consensus that this Congress will not pass an increase to the motor vehicle fuel tax. Everybody also agrees that the U.S. can't continue indefinitely with temporary transportation bills. This prevents states from funding critical transportation needs and undertaking proper long term planning, which maximizes efficiency."
With decreased funding available across the board, the goal of the OneVoice Agenda and regional partners is to get the region's needs in front of state and federal lawmakers and communicate to them with one voice where support is needed and what they can do to help the region progress.
Prior to the Tulsa Metro Chamber's arrival in D.C., President Obama addressed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday. His speech entitled "If Business and Government Fulfill Their Responsibilities, America Will Win the Future," focused on innovation, education and infrastructure and can be viewed in its entirety here.
For more on the D.C. Fly-In, see story below:
Tulsa Metro Chamber lobbies in D.C.
City prepares for thousands of visitors
The University of Tulsa, Tulsa Sports Commission, VisitTulsa and partners throughout the city are working diligently to prepare Tulsa for an excellent showing when an estimated 70,000 – 100,000 basketball fans will be in town for the 2nd and 3rd Rounds of the NCAA Tournament, March 18-20.
“There is an incredible amount of energy and excitement surrounding this event, but also an incredible amount of planning, prepping, fundraising and work that has to happen to ready Tulsa for an event this size,” said Ray Hoyt, Tulsa Sports Commission executive director. “We have a tremendous opportunity though to not only show thousands of visitors how wonderful Tulsa is, but also to show large event organizers that Tulsa can support their program. However, for this to be a success we need everyone’s support.”
As the host university, TU has taken the lead on the event management communicating directly with tournament organizers on transportation, facility and logistical needs and requirements as well as marketing, ticket sales and promotions. The TSC is partnering with TU and community leaders to inform, educate and connect city officials and community groups to help address needs and budget limitations through donated services, funds and volunteers.
“We are talking to everyone and want everyone to feel like this is their event, their community and their chance to shine,” said Hoyt. “We currently have plans in place for shuttles to run through downtown and out to our entertainment districts so basketball fans can get the full Tulsa experience. And we’re encouraging all Tulsa businesses to think about ways they can create an entertaining atmosphere and take advantage of the influx of visitors who will be in town that weekend.”
The tournament schedule allows for two practice days and two game days with games being played on Friday, March 18 and Sunday, March 20 leaving Saturday, March 19 free for visitors to explore Tulsa.
Tickets are $237 each and are good for a reserved seat for six games played in three sessions. Each ticket is an all-session ticket. No single-session tickets are being offered for sale at this time and it is anticipated that this event could sell out on the basis of the all-session ticket. To purchase tickets, visit NCAA.com/MBBTickets.
For more information on the tournament and how you can get involved, contact the Tulsa Sports Commission at (918) 560-0293.
For local news coverage, see below:
Countdown to tipoff: Tulsa preps for NCAA Tournament with four weeks until selection Sunday
Chamber works to close education gap in Tulsa
As part of the Chamber’s strategic plan, the Chamber is focused on advocating for rigorous standards for all students to ensure Oklahoma produces students ready for the 21st century economy. This includes focusing on closing the education gap.
“We can’t afford any child to fall through the cracks,” said Susan Harris, senior vice president of education and workforce for the Tulsa Metro Chamber. “Tulsa needs every child – regardless of skin color, socio-economic background or any other factor – to receive a rigorous K-12 education so they are prepared for college or post-high school training to then take a high-skilled job in the future.”
According to a recent report from the National Assessment for Education Programs, only 12 percent of black fourth grade males are proficient in reading, compared to 38 percent of white males. Additionally, 12 percent of black eighth grade males are proficient in math, compared with 44 percent of white males. Also revealed in the report is that poverty alone does not explain the vast difference.
Educators and business leaders in Tulsa are invited to a special event to learn more about this gap and what can be done to close it. The School of Education at The University of Tulsa will present internationally known speaker and writer Lisa D. Delpit, Tuesday, Feb. 22. Delpit’s work focuses on the education of children of color and finding ways and means to best educate marginalized students.
The Tulsa Metro Chamber is a sponsor of the event, which is scheduled for 7-8:30 p.m., Feb. 22 in the 219 Helmerich Hall. A reception begins at 6:30. For more information about the event, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 918.631.2718.
Chamber congratulates new, returning school board membersThe Tulsa Metro Chamber would like to congratulate new and re-elected school board members for Tulsa-area school districts following last week’s elections. A number of districts had contested seats, making this year's elections extremely important. Districts voting in the elections included: Tulsa Public Schools; Broken Arrow; Bixby; Liberty; Skiatook; Sperry; Union; and Tulsa Tech.
“School board leaders make a significant impact on the region's quality of life, education and future workforce,” said Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal. “We look forward to working with area school board members to ensure students in the Tulsa region have what they need to rank among the best and brightest in the country.”
The Chamber’s first political action committee-endorsed candidate, Gary Percefull, representing TPS District 1, successfully won a third term on the school board. The PAC raised funds for the campaign and Chamber leaders solicited additional direct contributions to support Percefull. He has been board president and an enthusiastic supporter of Teach for America and the Effective Teacher initiative. Percefull first got involved with TPS through the Chamber’s Partners In Education program.
What we’re working onExecutive
• Making Tulsa’s Future II CEO calls.
• Hosting Regional Chamber Coalition meeting.
• Attending OEDC Economic Development Day at the Capitol.
• Attending Governor Mary Fallin’s Gavel Presentation to GEDMT and GIT chairpersons in Oklahoma City.
• Attending State Chamber’s board meeting and reception in Oklahoma City.
• Hosting a dinner with BNSF.
• Hosting a luncheon with Tulsa City Councilors.
• Hosting the Tulsa Regional Legislative Reception.
• Attending the Youth Services of Tulsa Black Canvas 2011 honoring Gary Paxton.
• Hosting the Congressional Forum featuring Congressman Frank Lucas.
• Attending an Empowermint webinar.
• Attending the THLA meeting.
• Meeting with Reining Classic organizers.
• Meeting with Cherokee Cultural Tours.
• Working on setting up appointments in D.C.
• Attending the Society of Government Meeting Professionals luncheon.
• Continuing preparations for 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 2nd and 3rd round games.
• Processing Housing Bureau requests for the Appaloosa Horse Club Nationals show.
• Monitoring state and federal legislation.
• Attending state chamber government affairs committee meeting.
• Attending state chamber legislative reception.
• Presenting at Regional Chamber Coalition meeting.
• Presenting at Tulsa’s Future II Oversight committee meeting.
• Hosting Congressional Forum featuring Congressman Frank Lucas.
• Attending the Tech Venture Summit.
• Training the next group of the CEO Roundtables.
• Attending the Schusterman Conference on GLBT inclusion at OSU-Tulsa.
• Meeting with the City of Tulsa’s Entrepreneurship Committee on the 2011 Global Entrepreneurship week planning.
• Hosting the monthly meeting of the TIPS President’s Council of Networking group leaders in Tulsa.
• Submit Industrial Project RFP.
• Attend NAPE Energy Expo.
• Economic Development presentation to the City of Tulsa Economic Development Commission.
• Speaking at NAIOP meeting.
• Monthly meeting with MOSAIC membership.
• Hosting Small business Council Executive Committee meeting.
• Hosting Small Group City Councilor luncheon.
• Hosting Tulsa's Future Oversight Committee Meeting.
• Hosting Regional Chamber Coalition meeting.
• Attending OEDC Day at the Capitol.
• Attending Governor's Team Meeting.
• Meeting with BNSF officials.
• Making Tulsa's Future II calls.
• Working to develop the agenda for the Oklahoma Aerospace Summit.
Education and workforce
• Recruiting volunteers and training for Oklahoma Scholars programs at Union and TPS.
• Speaking to middle school staff at TPS regarding Oklahoma Scholars.
• Accepting nominations for Partners In Education awards.
• Working on the Partners In Education March newsletter.
• Planning the Partners In Education Recognition Reception
• Planning the Oklahoma Scholars Dinner.
• Attending the Conference for Change.
• Attending Teach For America Summer Institute Reception.
• Working on funding for the College Access Career Readiness program.
• Attending presentation by Dr. Lisa Delpit at TU on closing the achievement gap.
• Coordinating efforts to bring Transportation Workforce Development Program to Tulsa.
• Interviewing executive director candidates for Workforce Tulsa.
• Attending Mosaic/Diversity Business Council meeting.
• Speaking at Tulsa Tech prep meeting.
Tulsa’s Young Professionals
• Beginning work on a new TYPros.org website
• Scouting building options for The Forge.
• Working on an EDA grant for The Forge.
• Submitting a permit application for Street CReD project.
Marketing and Communications
• Drafting content for the downtown website.
• Completing and mailing a direct mail piece for economic development.
• Creating a media relations plan for an upcoming TYPros event.
• Discussing a Tulsa’s Future II investor relations strategy.