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

For Immediate Release: April 5, 2011

Sen. Mike Mazzei
Sen. Mike Mazzei

‘Quick Action Closing Fund’ bill heads to full Senate"

The Senate Finance Committee has given approval to legislation designed to help Oklahoma better compete for major economic development projects and the jobs that go with them. House Bill 1953, by Sen. Mike Mazzei and Rep. Skye McNiel, has been a top priority this session for Gov. Mary Fallin.

“Oklahoma has a great package of economic development incentives, but we’re lacking a very important item,” said Mazzei, R-Tulsa. “About 30 other states have a special closing fund to attract high impact projects by providing resources for infrastructure and capital needs. If we want to remain competitive, we need this same tool in our toolbox.”

Under HB 1953, the Department of Commerce will administer the fund. The program will include a “claw back” provision so that the state will be reimbursed if the project does not generate projected results. Although no public funds will be appropriated this session, the bill does contain a five-year sunset provision that will take effect beginning the fiscal year after the program is funded. The measure also requires disclosure of all payments from the fund on the Department of Commerce website.

Mazzei, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said in the short time Arkansas has had a Quick Action Closing Fund, the program has been credited with creating 3,000 new jobs and $100 million in capital investment. The Texas Enterprise Fund has generated more than 56,000 new jobs and $14.7 billion in capital investment.

“In the last few years there have been several companies that have given serious consideration to locating in Oklahoma, but ultimately picked states that had economic incentives like this proposed closing fund,” Mazzei said. “House Bill 1953 puts the structure for a closing fund in place, so that when we do have additional resources to invest, we can put that money to work generating jobs and investments in Oklahoma.”

HB 1953 now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.

For more information contact:
Sen. Mazzei: (405) 521-5675

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