Governor Stitt Signs $700 Million LEAD Act
News 9 - April 26, 2022 6:22 am
OKLAHOMA CITY –
A near $700 million economic incentive package is now law just a week after Governor Kevin Stitt proposed the legislation.
Governor Kevin Stitt signed the LEAD Act Monday in hopes of attracting some big companies to Oklahoma.
RELATED: Gov. Stitt Expected To Sign LEAD Act In Hopes Of Attracting Large Corporations
House author representative Kyle Hilbert (R-Tulsa) says job creation is a big driver behind this legislation.
Companies have to create thousands of jobs to receive millions in rebates.
“The company that is looking to come here, they wouldn’t be looking at the state of Oklahoma if they didn’t feel confident that we had the workforce to meet the demands that we are looking for. I think it’s a great opportunity as well for the workforce that we have here in the state of Oklahoma to up-skill,” representative Hilbert said.
Although the Governor has not yet announced which companies are being considered, lawmakers tell us both Panasonic and Canoo are considering Oklahoma for future manufacturing sites.
Canoo, which has already announced plans for a facility outside Tulsa, would also benefit from the bill.
Employment benchmarks in the LEAD Act include hiring at least 500 people by year one, 1,000 by year two, 2,500 by year three and 4,000 in years four and five.
“If they don’t meet the demand for, and the requirements in the legislation, then they don’t receive the incentive. In that situation the funds will be set aside in an account that the state still has possession of, that we will then be able to use for other priorities if the employment metrics are not met,” Representative Hilbert said.
Representative Hilbert also carried legislation to increase higher education funding for certain careers.
“Specifically for those workforce critical occupations, such as engineering, IT related jobs, nursing, especially, and education. if we want to meet the workforce of the future, we’re going to have to invest, and invest in those workforce critical areas,” he said.