The week in review: April 28, 2017

From Caldwell and Associates

Times were tense at the Capitol this week as the last legislative deadline before Sine Die arrived. Thursday was the deadline for House and Senate bills in the opposite chamber to receive hearings.

Budget negotiations continued behind the scenes. Any revenue raising measures will require Democratic support to pass.  Democrats are demanding an increase in the gross production tax from two percent to at least five percent before supporting any revenue measures. They appear to have some support from Republicans on the issue of gross production taxes.

The Senate Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget (JCAB) met Thursday and passed 12 of the 13 measures considered. It was an important meeting, signaled by the presence of staffers from Gov. Mary Fallin’s office.

The House JCAB also met Thursday, passing 13 measures and laying over 10.

A list of JCAB measures is available here.

Over the next four weeks, bills will continue to move through the legislative process. A budget agreement must be reached by Sine Die on May 26 to avoid a special session. 

Legislation Summary

Two priority measures for the Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma advanced this week.  

Gov. Mary Fallin signed HB1304. Authored by Rep. Casey Murdock and Sen. Darcy Jech, the bill modifies definitions within the Oklahoma Swine Feeding Operations Act. It allows municipalities to issue a waiver of the setback requirements for swine feeding operations and extends the waiver to changes in ownership of the property. The bill takes effect Nov. 1, 2017.

SB0147 passed the House 73 to 9. Authored by Sen. Mike Schulz and Rep. Casey Murdock, the bill modifies the Oklahoma Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Act. It allows municipalities to issue a waiver of the setback requirements for animal feeding operations and extends the waiver to changes in ownership of the property. It now heads to the governor.

A complete list of measures monitored for the Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma is available here.