The first session of the 58th Legislature begins Monday, Feb. 1st with Governor Stitt’s State of the State address at noon, where he’ll outline his priorities for the new session. If you’d like to watch the Governor’s address, you can view it on the House website, www.okhouse.gov, by clicking “Video/Audio” on the right side of the homepage.
This year, representatives filed over 1,900 bills. Below are 8 bills that I have filed and will be making a priority in this upcoming session that I wanted to share with you:
HB1058: This bill modifies current municipal audit requirements and would lead to better financial transparency for taxpayers by putting tighter accounting checks and balances in place for cities with a population of less than 2,500. I’ve worked very closely with the State Auditor’s office and we feel that this bill will be a very positive step forward for municipal financial governance, accountability and taxpayer transparency.
HB1059: This bill authorizes local tag agencies to issue commercial driver licenses (CDL) renewals, replacements, change of addresses, and downgrades of Class A, B, or C licenses. These changes will streamline the process for customers and reduce the large backlog and long waiting times at the Department of Public Safety (DPS).
HB1060: This bill eliminates the double sales taxation that companies pay when they transfer assets between companies within the same ownership. This pro-business bill would help all businesses of all sizes.
HB1061: Oklahoma’s Victim Compensation Fund is funded by fees from offenders of violent crimes. Victims of violent crimes can apply for funds to help offset or pay for medical or even funeral costs resulting from the violent crime they were a victim of. Currently, unused fees from this fund goes back to the state’s general budget at the end of the fiscal year. HB1061 would keep the unused funds in the Victim Compensation Fund for future victims of violent crimes.
HB1062: Currently, disabled veterans or their surviving spouse can receive a veteran homestead exemption in Oklahoma if they own their house and the land that the house sits on. However, there are unique situations where a municipality may own the property, such as lake property, but the house is owned by the disabled veteran, which prevents them from receiving the homestead exemption. This bill fixes the loophole in the law and allows a disabled veteran or their surviving spouse the ability to receive the homestead exemption if they own their home that is located on land owned by a municipality.
HB1063: This bill would give county governments the option to retain a data processing or I.T. technician after the term of office of the board of county commissioners employing the technician. The current statute needs modernization because it doesn’t give the counties the option to retain employment. We need to give the local county government the ability to make that employment decision at the local county level instead of the state mandating what they have to do.
HB1064: This bill modifies the current county elected official salary formula model and increases the base salary cap from $44,500 to $49,500. The current cap of $44,500 was set back 23 years ago and a $5,000 increase, which is approximately 10%, over 23 years is a very fair and reasonable adjustment.
HB2389: Many communities in Oklahoma’s oil and gas regions have expensive road repairs due to the excessive heavy traffic from oilfield activity. This bill allows municipalities to receive 1/3 of the county’s current apportionment of the GPT tax if the wellhead is located within municipal limits. The county would receive 2/3 of their current portion. The county would still receive 100% of their apportionment of the GPT tax if the wellhead is located in the county outside of the municipal limits. This solution would give these communities a portion of the GPT tax to help cover road repair costs. This is not a tax increase, but instead a reapportionment of the current tax that we already receive.
As your state representative, I value constituent feedback. If you have any questions or concerns about any bills I filed or bills I may be voting on, please feel free to reach out to my office. Hearing directly from my constituents helps me better understand where my district stands on particular topics, which helps me better represent you.
Thank you for entrusting me to represent you at the State Capitol! God bless!