An initiative to make it easier to do business in Oklahoma is set to go into law after being signed by Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry.
Authored by Guthrie State Representative Jason Murphey and Edmond State Senator Clark Jolley, House Bill 2332 codifies a significant reform which counters current state policy that makes it difficult for state agencies to enter into business contracts with providers if those contracts contain standardized liability provisions.
In the past, Oklahoma law has been interpreted to not allow the state to enter into boilerplate or standardized liability arrangements with vendors.
As part of his work researching Oklahoma`s purchasing laws, Murphey discovered that it was becoming difficult for publicly traded companies to do business with the state because they could not justify entering into the required non-standard contract. One major technology vendor informed Murphey that fewer entities were willing to do business with state government and as a result, taxpayers may have less opportunity for choice and subsequently be forced to pay higher prices.
"I felt it was wrong that an archaic state policy would cost the taxpayers funds," Murphey said. "By simplifying state business policies and procedures, I believe we will save taxpayer dollars."
House Bill 2332 contained a clause which places it immediately into law.
Murphey won approval last year for another major business-friendly initiative - House Bill 1032 - which requires state agencies to allow business to apply for licenses and permits online and enacts a wide-ranging series of purchasing system reforms. "While most of our focus has been to save taxpayer dollars while improving the state`s purchasing system, it is important to note that these same reforms are making it easier to do business in Oklahoma," he explained.
Murphey states that as the state Representative for one of the most rapidly expanding areas, business-friendly reforms are one of his top priorities. Recent census estimates show that the area is one of the fastest growing in the state. "Whether it is retail and residential growth in north Oklahoma and south Logan County, industrial growth along the Seward Road corridor or tourism-related expansion at the north Guthrie exit, House District 31 is experiencing some of the most explosive growth in the state," Murphey said.