Huge Economic Development Opportunity for State

By Rep. John Talley - April 25, 2022 6:25 am

The House this week passed a bill that lays the framework for bringing thousands of high-paying technology jobs to our state.

House Bill 4455 would create the Large-scale Economic Activity and Development (LEAD) Act of 2022, providing a 10-year investment rebate program for qualified capital expenses by specific businesses based on their creation of new direct jobs.

The bill comes in response to one of the world’s most prominent, enduring technology brands expressing interest in building the largest Gigafactory in the world in Pryor to produce batteries for electric vehicles. The project calls for 4,000 direct jobs at the Gigafactory and 4,000 additional support positions. The 3.3-million-square-foot facility (76 acres under one roof) represents a $4 billion-plus capital investment in our state.

Landing this deal would turn Oklahoma into a technology hub, and would help all areas of the state by sending the message to other businesses looking for a home that Oklahoma is an important place to consider. With our central location and our focus on building our workforce, Oklahoma is an ideal hub for this industry.

I’ve heard from many constituents who were supportive of this bill. They recognized that this company’s location in Oklahoma would create thousands more indirect jobs through the attraction of suppliers and original equipment manufacturers. A business of this magnitude bringing so many jobs will also result in increased residential development and sales tax revenue.

A bill that I authored in the House was signed into law by the Governor this week. Senate Bill 1248 was introduced by Sen. Tom Dugger and allows counties to pay their employees by direct deposit rather than physical check. Some counties are already doing this, but others felt that current state statute is unclear, and using direct deposit could be seen as a violation of the law. Even though this is a simple bill, it’s important to make sure counties clearly have the authority to do this.

I appreciate Glenna Craig, the Payne County Clerk, for bringing this to our attention and helping us make sure the language of this bill said exactly what it needed to say. If you know of an important issue that needs to be addressed through legislation, please reach out to me so I can look into it.

On Thursday, I got to visit with students from the U.S. History class at Cushing High School, who came to the Capitol after touring the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial. Many of them had never been to the Capitol before, so I gave them a tour and provided an overview of the legislative process.

May be an image of 11 people and people standing

We also reflected on the Oklahoma City Bombing, and a student said that it’s important to talk about this tragedy because we don’t want to repeat these darker episodes of our history. The Memorial offered good insights for the students, who especially appreciated the interactive displays that allowed them to learn more about the victims and their stories. One student commented on the peaceful atmosphere of the grounds. For those who have not yet visited the Bombing Memorial, I encourage you to go when you can take your time and reflect.

The 27th anniversary of the bombing this past week reminds us of the impact of violence and the value of every person’s life, even those we disagree with. In the Legislature, it’s critical to try to understand other people’s perspectives and experiences and listen to them with respect. I appreciate my constituents who take the time to reach out to me, because my goal is to listen to your opinions so we can work together to make meaningful changes for our district and state.

You may contact me at 405-557-7304 or [email protected] Thank you for the honor of serving House District 33!

Rep. John Talley, a Republican, serves District 33 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which covers Logan and Payne Counties.

 

 

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