United States Senator for Oklahoma James Lankford held a Community Conversation last evening in the Altus City Hall Council Chambers.
There were approximately 80 people in attendance who had the opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns.
The Altus Times asked Lankford a series of questions in a private one on one interview, immediately following the Community forum.
Oklahoma being an area prone to natural disasters the Altus Times asked Lankord what his role was in securing funding to recover from natural disasters and securing money for our state? The Senator answered, “Every family has an emergency fund in the case of an emergency, and the Federal Government must apply an emergency fund into the main budget as well. FEMA does contribute, but only up to $31,000 which is not enough to rebuild a home or for a farm. I work directly with FEMA to follow all the rules and guidelines and encourage families to have their own insurance.”
The question of job growth was then directed to the Senator. “In the past, government regulations have been cited by major employees as the reason they’ve moved their operations outside our area. What are you doing to help companies consider making moves to Oklahoma?”
Lankford replied, “Oklahoma has a lot offer through our laws consistency and tax structure. We have a lot of amenities by having a strong drug-free workforce, show up and do well, positive legal liabilities, along with good education skills. Aerospace is also very popular to our state, especially around Altus, along with Altus Air Force Base, oil and gas, and of course agriculture. All of these help to attract companies. When I’m in D.C. and I have the chance to talk to a company, I share all of this, and steer them to call upon our state legislators.”
Lankford was then asked what Oklahoma can do as a state to help grow our economy. “Have good transportation, good internet coverage, very fast broadband, and a positive infrastructure,” replied Lankford. “Oklahoma has good water and electricity, which is needed by many companies for their manufacturing. A lot of times companies are not familiar with what Oklahoma has to offer, or receive bad information. Connecting new companies to existing companies is a awesome way to help grow.”
Lankford was then asked his views on Social Security recipients not receiving a cost of living adjustment this year. He said, “Economic growth is a must, and the younger individuals need to plan for retirement because currently their only plan of is depending on social security.”
Lankford felt his biggest challenge of the legislative year would be “playing politics instead of policy, which does not solve problems.” Current projects that he is heavily working on include solving the social security disability fraud and waste problem, Government regulations, and maintaining and protecting our National Defense.
See the Wednesday edition of the Altus Times for questions and answers from those attending the meeting.
Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221 ext. 2077