Brand New Year … “Brand New State”

To the Editor:

Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote, “Brand new state, brand new state, gonna treat you great.” As part of the prelude to our iconic state song, those words set the tone for optimism and opportunity of a new land.  A strong analogy can be seen in the close of one year and the beginning of another. 

Oklahoma’s 2012 was a very good year collectively. At different periods of time, our great state led the nation in the categories of statewide unemployment, manufacturing job growth and new jobs.  2012 was a very good year here at home. 

For the fourth time in my career, I travelled to all of Oklahoma’s 77 counties in 2012. I hosted small business summits, town hall meetings, and one on one visits in coffee shops, sale barns, and co-ops. The goal?  Seek advice from citizens from all across our state in ways to continue to improve Oklahoma’s economic climate. Even after a victory, coaches practice to make improvements to their team’s performance.  Our state should be as accountable for future success. 

Our victories and successes mentioned above are new. Our goals remain the same: create an economically strong Oklahoma that removes impediments to growth to allow our entrepreneurs to thrive and prosper. That prosperity will precipitate the hiring of more Oklahoma graduates, keep our neighbors in state, stop any brain drain, and increase our per capita income. 

I am excited about the future of Oklahoma. Our goal is to be that brand new state that will treat you great. 
The 2013 legislative session will begin in February. On the table will be debate on workers’ compensation reform, tax cuts discussions, federal healthcare mandates, education reform and a multitude of other important issues.

As policy makers address the issues most pertinent to the future of Oklahoma (and serious reforms are implemented), we will continue to become a place that not only has “plenty of room to swing a rope” but because of increased opportunity – a place of “plenty of hope.”  2013 is a brand new year that I pray will see brand new opportunities for our citizens.  We are blessed to live in the best state with the best people. 

Todd Lamb, Oklahoma lieutenant governor

Todd Lamb, Oklahoma lieutenant governor

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