Oklahoma Prosperity Project releases results from economic candidate survey

Oklahoma City_Press Release_A voter's guide showing where Oklahoma candidates stand on economic issues was released today by the Oklahoma Prosperity Project of The State Chamber. The survey, which went out in June, is designed to reflect a candidate's positions on questions related to strengthening Oklahoma's business climate, making Oklahoma more competitive in the global market and growing good jobs.  It can be found at www.okprosperity.com.

For the first time in its four-year history, the Oklahoma Prosperity Project's survey was sent to Congressional candidates. As always, it was sent to state House and Senate candidates.

"Candidates always say they are for business and the legislation that builds the Oklahoma economy," said Kris Rush, director of the Oklahoma Prosperity Project. "But this survey allows them to show where they stand on key questions that will grow our state. Every candidate who responded to the survey should be applauded."

Rush said while laws written in Oklahoma set the tone for the state's business environment, Congressional issues also affect Oklahoma businesses. The decision to send surveys to Congressional candidates was made because it is important to let Oklahomans investigate how both state and federal candidates will tackle economic issues, Rush said.

Oklahoma's Research Institute for Economic Development (RIED) tracks elected officials actions after they are elected. When RIED was founded in 2000, only 34 percent of Oklahoma's Legislature earned a passing grade of 70 percent or higher on business issues. Seven years later, 79 percent of Democrat and Republican legislators have a pro-business grade.

"It's exciting to see how many more legislators understand what it takes to grow Oklahoma's workforce and economic base," Rush said. "While other states continue to struggle, our state Legislature has raised its economic IQ and Oklahoma is the better for it."

There are 21 open seats in the state Legislature this year; 16 in the House and five in the Senate. The state Legislature survey asked 38 questions in fields ranging from workforce development, education and health care to taxes and transportation infrastructure. The Congressional survey includes 43 questions with topics ranging from education and immigration reform to free trade agreements and the environment.

The Prosperity Project is a nonpartisan election education service sponsored by The State Chamber of Oklahoma. More than 1,200 leading Oklahoma companies - representing more than 482,000 employees - and 90 local chambers of commerce and trade associations are involved, encouraging their employees and members to go to the polls informed. It does not endorse candidates.

The Prosperity Project simply assists Oklahomans to register to vote, learn about the candidates and issues that affect Oklahoma's economy and workforce, and vote on Election Day. For more information on the Oklahoma Prosperity Project, visit www.okprosperity.com.