- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 1, 2016

ENID, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma’s Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb said the state needs to focus on diversifying its economy.

Lamb spoke to the Enid Rotary Club on Monday about how the state needs to have a 20-year vision for its economy since commodity prices in the state will continue to fluctuate, according to the Enid News & Eagle (https://bit.ly/2fdR7iw ).

Lamb said the Legislature had a budget hole of $1.3 billion last year, and that a $700 million hole had been forecast for the upcoming session.

“Over 20 percent of our state budget comes from the oil and gas industry and the hydrocarbon industry,” Lamb said. “We will never divorce ourselves nor should we.”

Speaking to Enid Rotary Club, Lamb said Texas became aggressive with public policy, and today there are more Fortune 500 companies in Texas than any other state in the nation. Lamb said Oklahoma’s weather is similar to Texas’, it has similar terrain but they got visionary.

Lamb said being aggressive with policy means being more insulated when commodity prices decrease.

In order to push his 20-year vision, Lamb created the 501(c)3 E Foundation for Oklahoma, with its operations based on pillars covering every public policy: economy, education, energy, entrepreneurship, exporting, efficiency and enduring freedom. Other than the foundation, he also covered topics like tax and rebate incentive programs.

When it comes to possibly running for governor in the future, Lamb said he is “seriously eyeing it,” and “leaning in that direction,” but for now will focus on improving the state from the position he is currently in.


Information from: Enid News & Eagle, https://www.enidnews.com

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