Senate Appropriations Chair Applauds Passage of HB 4455, Creating the LEAD Act of 2022
Oklahoma Senate - April 22, 2022 6:32 am
Sen. Roger Thompson
OKLAHOMA CITY – The full Senate gave approval Thursday to House Bill 4455, creating the Large-scale Economic Activity and Development (LEAD) Act of 2022, aimed at securing a massive manufacturing facility to Oklahoma which will create a minimum 4,000 direct jobs. Once indirect jobs are factored in, that number could more than double to up to10,000 jobs. Senate Appropriations Chair Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, is the Senate principal author of the measure. The House principal author is Rep. Kevin Wallace, R-Wellston, chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee.
Thompson said the potential economic benefit to Oklahoma is huge.
“The LEAD Act was structured with a fiscally conservative approach, encompassing the lessons this state learned from past economic incentive efforts,” Thompson said. “We have specific benchmarks that must be met before this company receives any part of the rebates we’re establishing within this program. This effort is aimed at attracting a company that will invest a minimum of $3.6 billion and create at least 4,000 new jobs within five years. The ultimate economic impactto Oklahoma is projected to be $26.4 billion. This is a game changer for our entire state.”
Thompson said the Legislature would frontload $698 million into the LEAD fund. In order for a company to receive the 17 percent rebate payment, which would be disbursed at a rate of 3.4 percent a year for five years, the company would have to make a minimum capital investment of $3.6 billion, and create a minimum of 500 jobs the first year, 1,000 by the second year, 2,500 by the third year, then 4,000 by the fourth year, maintaining them into year five. The legislation also establishes metrics for a subsidiary company to receive rebates, which include a minimum capital investment of $500 million.
“The way we’ve developed this program, $698 million is the maximum that can be utilized, meaning no future Legislature would be faced with additional costs. This will be paid out of existing revenue and still leave us with the highest level of state savings in the history of Oklahoma,” Thompson said. “This could well be the most important economic development and diversification legislation we’ve ever had the opportunity to advance, and I’m grateful for the support of members in both chambers.”
HB 4455 now proceeds to Gov. Kevin Stitt for his approval.