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Lt. Governor Todd Lamb spoke at the Poteau town hall meeting Monday on his tour of the 77 Oklahoma counties. The issues talked about were the impediments in Oklahoma's economic growth. According to Lamb, his goals were for him to represent the entire state, and not just a few counties.
He also spoke of raising the bar so the state can compete in economic development, job creation, and job retention with other states such as Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, and Missouri. Actions have been taken to help make Oklahoma more competitive by issuing a cut in Oklahoma personal income tax from 5.5 percent to 5.25 percent.
LeFlore County, and Poteau were said to be a very important part of the economical equation, because a large portion of Oklahomans drive across the state line to seek employment in Arkansas. It was stated that in the last session great strides were made in the public policy that are going to have an impact on the economic development of Oklahoma, such as a one-stop-shop that allows entrepreneurs to go into business with less regulations and much less paperwork. This has helped create several jobs all over our state, Senator Mark Allen was a leader of that particular movement.
Several attendees of the meeting had input and voiced their opinions.
Topics which were discussed included: tourism, over-regulation, lengthy red tape for new businesses, tax credits, transportation and the lack of public regional broadcast. Other questions that were brought up were the hindrance of commuting by two lane highway on one of the most traveled local roadways. Lamb stated that the SH 112 was part of an eight year plan to widen major thoroughfares.
Other members that addressed economic issues with Lamb included : Jeff Shockley, Poteau Mayor, Lundy Kiger, AES Shady Point and Karen Wages, CEO Poteau Chamber of Commerce.