LINCOLN TO LOCAL: STOP AD VALOREM TAX INCREASES
What happens when cities have access to ad valorem taxes? After HB 1374 passed the House this week, John Collison explains the implications of the bill and how Oklahoma Farm Bureau members can stop it in the Senate.
THE WEEK’S TOP HEADLINES
Cities, towns could receive property taxes if bill passed through House becomes law:
The bill would allow levies of up to 5 mills on residential property for the support of fire and police protection [Tulsa World].
Perdue had a long wait for a short confirmation hearing – and nailed it:
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed concern that Trump has not made rural or agricultural issues a priority since taking office, despite the downturn in the farm economy, but Perdue assured them repeatedly and firmly that he would be a strong advocate for the industry, if confirmed [Politico].
Agriculture leaders slam Trump’s USDA budget cut proposal:
Agriculture leaders including lawmakers from President Donald Trump’s Republican Party on Thursday criticized his planned 21 percent cut to discretionary spending at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, saying it could take a toll on the rural communities that helped elect him last November [Reuters].
White House prepares sweeping review of trade deals:
Trump is expected to sign an executive order on reviewing all trade deals, formalizing an administration pledge to reexamine all agreements between the United States and its trading partners [Politico].
Prognosis is grim for rural hospitals in Oklahoma:
Aging, shrinking rural communities, combined with Oklahoma’s decision not to expand Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act and cuts to Medicaid reimbursement rates, have created a financial crisis for many of the state’s smaller hospitals [The Oklahoman].
Senate plan for teacher pay raises hinges on fuel tax hike:
The Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday passed a measure that would increase teacher pay. But the funding mechanism, an increase in the motor fuel taxes, must start in the House, said Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, the author of the bill [Tulsa World].
BILLS WE’RE WATCHING
This week was a deadline week, as all bills and joint resolutions had to advance from original chambers by yesterday. The bills that were passed in both chambers now switch.
HB 1374 by Rep. Weldon Watson and Sen. David Holt: Allows municipalities to increase ad valorem taxes for the creation of public safety districts.
HB 1013 by Rep. Josh Cockroft and Sen. AJ Griffin: Improves access to health care services by eliminating requirement that nurse practitioners sign a collabortive agreement with a physician.
HB 2301 by Speaker Charles McCall and Sen. Frank Simpson: Provides income tax exemption to qualifying doctors practicingmedicine or osteopathic medicine in rural Oklahoma.
HB 2298 by Speaker Charles McCall and Speaker Pro Tem Mike Schulz: Ends the zero-emissions tax credit July 1, 2017.
SB 147 by Sen. Pro Tem Mike Schulz and Rep. Casey Murdock: Creates an exception to the concentrated feeding operation ban if a municipality’s governing body executes a written waiver of the for a particular operation.
SB 593 by Sen. Pro Tem Mike Schulz and Speaker Charles McCall: Creates numerous provisions regarding notice about construction of a wind facility; removes prior notice requirements; clarifies the name of a pertinent act.
MEET THE LEGISLATOR: REP. KYLE HILBERT
A member of the Oklahoma House freshman class, Rep. Kyle Hilbert represents House District 29 which includes parts of Creek and Tulsa counties. In the video, Hilbert explains his priorities for the session including a bill to bring more revenue to the state.
March 24: Pontotoc County Farm Bureau Legislative Dinner – Ada
March 28–April 2: OKFB Congressional Action Tour – Washington, D.C.
March 29: Ag Day at the state Capitol