More than 50 representatives from Enid turned out in Oklahoma City on Tuesday for the 12th annual Enid Day at the Capitol.

“It was our 12th year to have Enid Day at the Capitol, and we had the largest Enid group that we’ve ever had down there. I think we had about 50 to 60 people from Enid that attended and helped host the event,” said Jon Blankenship, president and CEO of the Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce.

He said representatives turned out from many businesses, the chamber’s board, Enid Public Schools, Northern Oklahoma College, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Autry Technology Center, the city of Enid, Enid Regional Development Alliance, Leadership Greater Enid and others.

The day began with a networking breakfast where Blankenship said they met with legislators and agency officials.

Later on, he said meetings were held with District 41 Rep. Chad Caldwell, District 41 Rep. Denise Crosswhite Hader and District 19 Sen. Roland Pederson.

“One thing I would say is all of them, independently, commented on just the spirit of optimism and enthusiasm at the Capitol these days at the start of this session,” Blankenship said.

A lot of the discussion revolved around education, he said, and Gov. Kevin Stitt’s proposed $1,200 pay raise for teachers, which has passed the House and will be taken up in the Senate.

Blankenship said it appears the Senate wants to put more emphasis on dollars in the classroom, while options are raising the salaries for retired teaches to recruit them back or looking at the funding formula again in an effort to create smaller class sizes for teachers.

There also was praise and good comments directed toward NOC, Northwestern and Autry as part of the state’s college, university and CareerTech system, which Blankenship said delegates realize are “crucial to work force development” in the state.

Enid representatives during the day also met with Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell and Attorney General Mike Hunter.

“It’s clear that he (Pinnell) has a real passion for promoting entrepreneurship and tourism. Not only is he the lieutenant governor, he’s on the Gov. Stitt’s cabinet as secretary of tourism and branding for Oklahoma,” Blankenship said. “He has a lot of enthusiasm and he’s going to be great to work with.”

While the Enid delegation didn’t have much opportunity to discuss health care in its meetings Tuesday, Blankenship said there was a lot of opportunity to discuss it in conversation throughout the day.

Blankenship said it’s going to be interesting to see how the legislation to expand Insure Oklahoma advances. Insure Oklahoma, he said, has been a successful program for the state to deliver health care access to people that otherwise wouldn’t have it.

He added there’s talk about trying to expand the Insure Oklahoma program, and that there’s been legislation introduced that would expand the program.

“We appreciated our legislators meeting with us and helping us host the event, and also appreciated the time of Lt. Gov. Pinnell and also for people taking the time to go down there for an early morning breakfast,” Blankenship said. “To have 50 or 60 people there from Enid to help host it is pretty impressive.”

Story provided by Enid News & Eagle

Written by:  Ryan Miller