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Governor's Closing Fund Advances in Legislature (Apr 27, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's governor would have quick access to taxpayer funds to use as direct cash incentives for businesses considering locating in the state under a bill approved in the state Senate.

The Senate voted 41-4 Wednesday to approve the creation of the Oklahoma Quick Action Closing Fund. The fund is designed to give the governor the ability to close a deal by providing cash to a company or business that's considering locating in the state. A business project that's considered "high-impact" could also qualify.

There is currently no money in the fund.

Sen. Mike Mazzei (MAY'-zee) says Oklahoma needs the fund to compete with neighboring states like Arkansas and Texas for new businesses.

Opponents argue the measure is nothing more than "corporate welfare" that's ripe for misuse.

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