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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

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For Immediate Release: March 8, 2007

Senator Randy Bass
Senator Randy Bass

Senate Approves Economic Development Bill for Military Communities/Tire Manufacturers

State Sen. Randy Bass has won approval from the full Senate on a bill to help growing military communities meet infrastructure needs. Senate Bill 751 would also extend the deadline originally approved in a 2002 bill designed to help two of the state’s largest tire manufacturing facilities, Goodyear and Michelin. Bass, D-Lawton, said both provisions were important to Oklahoma’s economy.

“Oklahoma’s military instillations have a $6 billion impact on our economy. We are going to see significant growth in our military communities as a result of the last round of federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) hearings—but with that growth comes increased infrastructure needs, including new schools and other facilities. Senate Bill 751 will help meet those needs,” Bass said. “Not only that, but it will help us be prepared for the next round of BRAC hearings which are only three years away. Losing even one of these installations would be devastating. By preparing now, we can prevent that.”

SB 751 contains language creating the “Military Base Protection and Expansion Incentive Act.” The bill would authorize the Oklahoma Development Finance Authority to provide funding for capital projects in the form of loans and lease purchase agreements if a school or municipality certifies that it has the ability to repay those funds.

The bill also contains language pertaining to a 2002 bill to assist the state’s tire manufacturers. The original legislation allowed those manufacturers to receive state funds in connection with the retooling or modernizing of their facilities. Both Goodyear, located in Lawton, and Michelin, which is in Ardmore, took advantage of the program. Bass said the resulting projects are approximately 90 percent complete. SB 751 will enable those entities to get an extension in the event more time is needed to meet the requirements established in the 2002 legislation.

“As public policy makers, it is important to pass legislation that will help protect the jobs we have here in Oklahoma, as well as promote job growth,” Bass said. “This legislation will accomplish that goal.”

SB 751 now moves to the House for committee action.

For more information contact:
Senator Bass' Office - (405) 521-5567

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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