The Edmond Sun

Local News

February 7, 2013

Report details Oklahoma positives, negatives

EDMOND — Oklahoma continues to lag behind other states in the areas of workers’ compensation, education and health care, according to a new report.

The recently-released 2013 Accountability for a Competitive Economic (ACE) book, published by the State Chamber Research Foundation, is a snapshot of Oklahoma’s business climate compared to that of other states. It examined business climate and competitiveness, economic development, innovation and technology, workforce development and infrastructure.

State Chamber Research Foundation President Fred Morgan said that by analyzing how Oklahoma is performing in these arenas, leaders can focus their efforts in areas where improvement is needed and acknowledge areas of accomplishment.

Morgan said his organization’s 2013 goal is to reinforce the positives that make Oklahoma great and work to change negatives that prevent progress.

Positives include Oklahoma’s low unemployment rate, its No. 1 ranking among the states in cost of living and its No. 4 ranking in the cost of doing business, according to the 2013 ACE book. The state ranks second for percentage of job growth and seventh overall in support of economic freedom.

Perhaps more importantly than recognizing positives, leaders must acknowledge the areas where Oklahoma is lagging behind and work to improve in them, Morgan said.

Earlier this week during her 2013 State of the State address to lawmakers, Gov. Mary Fallin said Oklahoma is strong in part due to its small business owners and its innovators in oil and gas production, farming and ranching, bioscience and medicine and aerospace and aviation.

Barriers to growth, the governor said, include excessive workers’ compensation costs. Fallin said she has asked the Oklahoma Department of Commerce to develop a state plan to help take its economy to the next level.

“I want to focus our state on industries that have the greatest potential for wealth generation and job growth,” Fallin told lawmakers.

Data shows that aerospace and defense, energy, agriculture and biosciences, information and financial services, and transportation and distribution offer the greatest potential to raise income levels and create better jobs, Fallin said.

In response, Senate Minority Leader Sean Burrage offered a different point of view.

“The governor did a good job of delivering a speech that had a few bad ideas in it,” Burrage said.

They include the call for a reduction in the state income tax from 5.25 to 5 percent without a way to pay for it, Burrage said. He said he also didn’t hear how much it would cost, and that it would divert revenue from roads, bridges and education. Currently, education funding is a disappointing $200 million below 2009 levels, Burrage said.

According to the State Chamber, state spending on education ranks 33rd when compared to personal income, but 48th when per pupil spending is compared to the rest of the nation. Education is an economic development driver in Oklahoma, Morgan said.

According to the State Chamber, Oklahoma experiences almost double the number of permanent partial disability workers’ compensation claims than every other state in the region and more than double the national average. This results in higher costs for Oklahoma business owners.

Health care continues to strain business budgets, and uncertainty tied to the looming implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is only compounding the issue, according to the 2013 ACE book.

Oklahoma ranked fourth in the nation in percentage of residents without health insurance, which means higher premiums for every business and health care consumer in the state.

Mike Seney, executive director of the State Chamber Research Foundation, said it is vital that business leaders, legislators, state officials and the public know where Oklahoma excels and where it need to focus efforts to improve.

“These issues directly impact Oklahoma businesses’ bottom lines,” Seney said.

For more information about the State Chamber of Oklahoma, visit www.okstate

chamber.com.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

1
Text Only
Local News
  • jc_OUChuck Spicer.jpg OU Medical Center expands with new ER

    OU Medical Center Edmond is expanding its services. A new freestanding OU Medical Center Emergency Department will be built at the Veranda Shopping Center, Lisa Wilson, CEO of OU Medical Center Edmond, announced Thursday.
    The emergency department will be located just outside the border of the City of Edmond at Northwest 150th Street and Western. Construction costs are estimated at $5.5 million.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nick and Karen 2.JPG Massey speaks to Summit Rotary

    Council member Nick Massey, standing here with Edmond Sun Publisher Karan Ediger, spoke to Summit Rotary Tuesday on the subject of the City’s electronic sign laws. Summit Rotary Club meets at 7 a.m. Tuesdays at Oklahoma Christian University, 2501 E. Memorial Drive. For more
    information about the club, call 405-CUEARLY.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Keep these tips in mind for May gardening

    Here are a few things to keep in mind as you head into your May gardening routine. Keep ahead of the weeds. We are always happy for the rain, but wet ground can keep us out of the garden and that allows weeds to grow by leaps and bounds. Now is the time to guard tender plants such as tomatoes, eggplant and peppers against sudden late frosts. During the first part of May you may be planting beans, early corn, okra and late potatoes. You also may be replacing tomato plants lost to late frosts. Finish setting out cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, beets, etc.
    Here are some things to do:

    April 24, 2014

  • Jurors hear evidence in mercy killing murder trial

    Testimony is underway in the trial of a Logan County man accused of murdering his wife by placing a plastic sack over her head and causing her to suffocate.
    On June 13, 2013, Logan County District Attorney Tom Lee filed a first-degree murder charge against Mark Schemm, 53, of Crescent, who told an OSBI agent in court records he killed Monica Schemm, his wife, because she asked him to kill her.

    April 24, 2014

  • Man faces civil suit in motorcycle fatality

    A local man awaiting disposition of a criminal charge stemming from the death of an Edmond motorcyclist now faces a civil suit, court records show.
    On Sept. 24, 2013, Edmond Police Officer Milo Box was dispatched on a call regarding a collision at the Santa Fe-Country Wood Lane intersection, according to the report filed by Box.
    Box stated Daniel Bricker, 54, of Deer Creek, was traveling northbound in the inside lane of Santa Fe while Erron Heise, 39, the motorcycle driver, was stopped and waiting to turn left onto Country Wood Lane.

    April 24, 2014

  • Sheriffs accuse state of ducking out on prisoner promises

    State efforts to save time and money by shuffling prisoners more swiftly through the system are riling local sheriffs who are losing money because of the efficiency program.
    A change in Department of Corrections practice is landing a “significant hit” on two-thirds of Oklahoma counties, which depend on reimbursements to house state inmates locally, said Ken McNair, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association.
    “The sheriffs are now in a position where they have to make adjustments to their budgets,” he said.
    Sheriffs converged on the Capitol on Tuesday, filling the Senate gallery, in part to protest efforts to remove inmates from their custody. The change will cost the sheriffs — but save the state — millions each year.

    April 24, 2014

  • OK officials account for disaster spending

    Nearly a year after deadly tornadoes hit central Oklahoma, officials announced that they have spent close to $9.4 million in private donations on relief efforts.

    April 24, 2014

  • north 1.jpg U.S. News ranks city high schools in state’s Top 10

    All three Edmond high schools are ranked among the Top 10 in the state in a prestigious national list.
    U.S. News & World Report, which publishes annual rankings, ranked Edmond North No. 3 in Oklahoma and No. 437 nationwide. Memorial ranked No. 6 in Oklahoma and No. 847 nationwide. Santa Fe ranked No. 8 in Oklahoma and No. 1,075 nationwide.
    “This recognition serves as validation for our students, parents and staff members at all levels who work together relentlessly in pursuit of academic excellence, Edmond Public Schools Superintendent David Goin said.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • OC expands to 5 academic colleges

    Oklahoma Christian University will expand from three to five colleges beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.
    OC’s five academic colleges will be the College of Biblical Studies, the College of Business Administration, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Natural and Health Sciences.
    “Our academic and leadership teams have been planning, praying and discussing how to build on OC’s legacy of exceptional success in science, engineering and business,” said Scott LaMascus, vice president for academic affairs. “Our new colleges will focus on growth in these areas and implement strategic planning to help us serve more students.”

    April 23, 2014

  • N Front Door 3.jpg FBI seeks suspect in robbery of local bank

    Police and FBI agents are investigating the robbery of a local bank by a suspect wearing a fake mustache and goatee, a spokesman said.
    FBI Special Agent Martinus McConnell said the robbery occurred Tuesday morning at the Arvest Bank, 2025 Sonoma Park, Edmond.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Grumpy Cat Not Impressed at "Idol" Is Shaquille O'Neal the World's Best Ex-Athlete? Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 2 BASE Jumpers Set World Record Screaming 2-year-old gets psyched at Penguins game Pineda: Put pine tar because he didn't want to hit anyone Beyonce on Her Biggest Influence Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Clerk catches on fire after man throws Molotov Cocktail into Brooklyn store Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India
Poll

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

Agree
Disagree
Undecided
     View Results