Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: January 17, 2008
Sen. Clark Jolley
Sen. Jolley Files Bill to Create More Funding
for OCAST, EDGE and Endowed Chairs
State Sen. Clark
Jolley has filed legislation designed to jump-start Oklahoma’s
economy and offer an even richer college experience for students
at state campuses. Senate Bill 2103 would generate additional funding
for the Oklahoma for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST)
Program, Oklahoma’s Economic Development Generating Excellence
(EDGE) Fund, as well as endowed chairs at state colleges and universities.
“We all want to do everything in our power to improve Oklahoma’s
economy, creating more and better paying jobs that will improve
the quality of life of the entire state,” said Jolley, R-Edmond.
“My proposal would generate an additional $22 to $25 million
for OCAST, EDGE and our endowed chairs, all of which are helping
create a stronger, more diverse economy.”
Jolley, Co-Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education,
said his bill calls for interest from the state’s Rainy Day
Fund to be divided into three equal parts which will be earmarked
for OCAST, the EDGE fund and endowed chairs.
Oklahoma’s EDGE was created in 2003 with the goal of creating
a blueprint for the state’s future. To date, more than 100
initiatives have been undertaken to implement the EDGE action plan.
OCAST’s mission is the development, transfer and commercialization
of technology in Oklahoma, while endowed chairs help bring in nationally
and internationally recognized professors to state colleges and
Michael Carolina, Executive Director of OCAST praised the legislation,
and said Jolley’s proposal showed visionary leadership in
seeking out new approaches to funding research and development critical
to Oklahoma’s economic future.
“Additional funds entrusted to OCAST will go as quickly as
possible to research and development in ways that bring leveraged
money into our state and provide high-skill, high-wage jobs that
expand our tax base. Those investments also position Oklahoma as
a place where others will look to us as a setting worthy of their
personal investment in promising research,” Carolina said.
“Patient, long-term investment in science and technology created
what we now recognize as the nation’s top research centers.
That approach works the same today as it did when investments were
first made in the Research Triangle Park of North Carolina, the
Austin, Texas research corridor or Silicon Valley in California.
I believe as Oklahomans, we will never regret our investments in
science and technology--our children and grandchildren will reap
the benefits far into the future,” added Carolina.
Hershel Lamirand, president of the Oklahoma Health Center Foundation,
said Jolley’s proposal could be the most significant development
for medical research funding and the creation of new jobs in Oklahoma
in recent years.
“Medical research funding creates jobs throughout Oklahoma’s
economy. The companies that grow out of research discoveries offer
opportunities to college graduates in our state and ripples out
to service providers, suppliers, builders and manufacturers. This
legislation can make Oklahoma the ‘Research Capital of the
Plains.’ It is pro-active, forward thinking and responsible.
Long term funding for Oklahoma’s EDGE is vital to Oklahoma’s
future. And it doesn’t ask taxpayers for additional dollars.
Senator Jolley’s solution is a win/win for everyone,”
Jolley’s legislation will be heard when the 2008 legislative
session begins in February.
“If we truly want to move our state forward, this bill can
help us accomplish that goal—a goal I believe every member
of the legislature can agree upon. It is my sincere hope that they
will support this measure,” Jolley said.
For more information contact:
Senator Jolley's Office - (405) 521-5622