Oklahoma governor signs bill for massive corporate subsidy

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed a bill to authorize up to $700 million in state subsidies to lure an unidentified major manufacturer to the state, his staff said Monday.

Stitt and lawmakers who crafted the Large-scale Economic Activity and Development, or LEAD, Act have not identified the company they are targeting, but the Japanese broadcast network NHK recently reported that the Panasonic Corp. is considering both Kansas and Texas as potential locations for an electric-vehicle battery factory.

The governor last week urged lawmakers to approve the incentive package, hinting that the incentives targeted a company associated with the electric-vehicle industry.

The bill the governor signed authorizes rebates of up to nearly $700 million in state funds that could be disbursed to a company that reached specific benchmarks, including at least a $4.5 billion capital expenditure and the creation of at least 4,000 new jobs within the first four years of the project.

“We have specific benchmarks that must be met before this company receives any part of the rebates we’re establishing within this program," said Republican state Sen. Roger Thompson of Okemah in a statement.

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