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Local & Regional

Tulsa Regional Chamber Leads Lobbying Trip to D.C.

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The Tulsa Regional Chamber and dozens of local business leaders are in the nation’s capital right now.

Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal said they’re meeting with Oklahoma’s congressional delegation and other federal officials to lobby for policies in the OneVoice legislative agenda.

"We've worked diligently this spring around the state agenda. We're now turning up the heat on the federal agenda between now and the end of the year," Neal said.

The chamber’s agenda contains several federal priorities meant to help northeastern Oklahoma produce an educated and healthy workforce, level the economic playing field, and build critical infrastructure. Some examples are funding graduate medical education through federal health centers to help with Oklahoma’s doctor shortage and accelerating permitting for energy projects.

When it comes to infrastructure needs, the region’s waterways need the most attention.

"The Arkansas River corridor development, looking at much-needed maintenance of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, looking at potential federal funding for our Tulsa levee system," Neal said.

Neal said the new administration is a very different one.

"One that is obviously far more pro-business, far more supportive of business, far more supportive of the — if you will — the national business agenda as well as, certainly, I think, our regional business agenda," Neal said.

Tax reform and health care reform are also expected to be big topics of discussion. The chamber group is meeting with Oklahoma's congressional delegation, House leadership, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.