OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A huge incentive package has been signed into law to lure a major company to the MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor, Oklahoma.
It is known as the LEAD Act.
It would create a $698 million incentive package. The company would be required to add 3,500 new jobs in four to five years and invest up to $3.6 billion in Oklahoma.
The House passed the bill on the floor with support from Democrats but not all Republicans.
“I’m listening to the businesses that are already there and it’ll devastate the businesses that are already doing manufacturing in the park,” said Rep. Tom Gann, R-Inola.
Gann’s district covers Pryor. The lawmaker said the businesses there do not support the LEAD Act because it doesn’t help their current needs.
“We have businesses in the part right now that are paying $74,000 a year right now for some of the jobs that they have, but yet they can’t find employees,” said Gann.
The Republican tried to ask questions during the House floor vote, but House Appropriations Chair and coauthor of the LEADS Act Kevin Wallace called a vote to cancel all questioning and debate, which did pass.
“We have discussed this topic ad nauseum, and we’re having the same questions over and over again,” said Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond. “I think that the appropriations chairman decided that it was time to move forward with the bill.”
Martinez said Oklahoma needs incentive plans for businesses because other states do the same.
“If we want to sit out and just say we want Oklahoma to remain exactly the same as it’s always been, we’ll die as a state,” said Martinez.
The new jobs to Pryor would be in the range of $70,000-$80,0000, said Martinez.
Governor Kevin Stitt signed the bill into law Thursday afternoon.
He’s optimistic about the future of attracting big business to Oklahoma.
“Like I said, in my state of the state, the future belongs to Oklahoma and we’re really getting on the map as the right place to set up shop,” said Stitt.