Wednesday, May 23, 2018

SoonerPoll on LtGov race: Murphy 7.2%, Pinnell 6.6%



Last night, numbers were released from a SoonerPoll survey conducted for KWTV (OKC's News9) and KOTV (Tulsa's News on 6) on the statewide primaries. Here are the GOP lieutenant governor's race numbers:

SoonerPoll/News9/News on 6 Oklahoma GOP LtGov Poll (PDF link
622 likely Oklahoma voters (321 Republicans), conducted in May [date not availavle]. Overall MoE +/- 3.93%. Numbers in parentheses are from April.

Dana Murphy - 7.2% (10.7%)
Matt Pinnell - 6.6% (5.3%)
Eddie Fields - 3.0% (2.1%)
Dominique Block - 0.9% (3.0%)
Undecided - 82.2% (78.8%)

You can view the full crosstabs here.

On the Democratic side of things, Anastasia Pittman got 12.3%, Ivan Holmes got 10.3%, and Anna Dearmore got 5.2%, while 72.3% were undecided.

Follow these links for the Gubernatorial and Attorney General numbers.

SoonerPoll on AG race: Drummond 26%, Hunter 9%


Last night, numbers were released from a SoonerPoll survey conducted for KWTV (OKC's News9) and KOTV (Tulsa's News on 6) on the attorney general race. Here are the GOP primary numbers:

SoonerPoll/News9/News on 6 Oklahoma GOP Attorney General Poll (PDF link
622 likely Oklahoma voters (321 Republicans), conducted in May [date not availavle]. Overall MoE +/- 3.93%. Numbers in parentheses are from April, brackets January, braces are from September.

Gentner Drummond - 25.9%
Mike Hunter - 9.4%
Angela Bonnila - 3.6%
Undecided - 61.2%

You can view the full crosstabs here.

Gubernatorial primary results are here; Lieutenant Governor are here.

SoonerPoll: Lamb 23.3%, Cornett 20.4%, Stitt 13.5%



Last night, numbers were released from a SoonerPoll survey conducted for KWTV (OKC's News9) and KOTV (Tulsa's News on 6) on the statewide primaries. Here are the GOP gubernatorial race numbers:

SoonerPoll/News9/News on 6 Oklahoma GOP Gubernatorial Poll (PDF link
622 likely Oklahoma voters (321 Republicans), conducted in May [date not availavle]. Overall MoE +/- 3.93%. Numbers in parentheses are from April, brackets January, braces are from September.

Todd Lamb - 23.3% (21.2%) [17.6%] {32%}
Mick Cornett - 20.4% (22%) [23.9%] {29%}
Kevin Stitt - 13.5% (7.8%) [3.4%] {not polled}
Gary Jones - 4.1% (2.6%) [3.4%] {"under 10%"}
Dan Fisher - 3.2%(3.7%) [4.0%] {"under 10%"}
Gary Richardson - 2.9% (7.2%) [9.0%] {"under 10%"}
Other candidate - 1.2%
Undecided - 31.3 (35.5%) [38.7%] {23%}

You can view the full crosstabs here.

On the Democratic side of things, Drew Edmondson got 43.5%, Connie Johnson 13.6%, and 42.9% were undecided.

Follow these links for the Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General numbers.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

OK Farm Bureau's PAC endorses candidates, including Lamb and Hunter

OKAgFund endorses, funds candidates in state elections

The OKAgFund, Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s political action committee, has endorsed 22 candidates and donated to 71 candidates running for election in statewide, state Senate and state House races.

The OKAgFund board met Friday, May 18, to donate a total of $63,000 to candidates and to choose candidates for endorsement based on input from farmers and ranchers across Oklahoma.

Comprised of OKFB members from across the state, the OKAgFund identifies candidates who demonstrate beliefs and actions that are consistent with OKFB’s policies, regardless of political affiliation. While the OKAgFund contributes financially to several state campaigns, an endorsement is the highest level of support the committee gives to chosen candidates.

“With so few people involved in agriculture, we must elect state leaders who value the needs of Oklahoma farmers and ranchers,” said Coy Farmer, OKAgFund chairman. “After careful consideration of all candidates by Farm Bureau members across the state, the OKAgFund is proud to support candidates who we believe will stand for agriculture and rural Oklahoma.”

The OKAgFund endorsed Todd Lamb in the 2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial election along with Mike Hunter for Oklahoma attorney general, Randy McDaniel for state treasurer and Glen Mulready for state insurance commissioner.

Oklahoma Senate candidates receiving an endorsement from the OKAgFund include Roger Thompson, SD 8; Frank Simpson, SD 14; Kim David, SD 18; and Brent Howard, SD 38.

Oklahoma House candidates endorsed by the OKAgFund included Jim Grego, HD 17; Justin Humphrey, HD 19; Charles McCall, HD 22; Kevin Wallace, HD 32; Greg Babinec, HD 33; Sean Roberts, HD 36; John Pfeiffer, HD 38; Todd Russ, HD 55; Harold Wright, HD 57; Rhonda Baker, HD 60; Scooter Park, HD 65; John Echols, HD 90; Lewis Moore, HD 96; and Tess Teague, HD 101.

The OKAgFund is supported by voluntary contributions from OKFB members across the state as an option portion of their membership dues.

Cornett launches new TV commercial


Cornett Campaign Launches Newest Commercial
“Diversify” draws contrast between inaction of state government and Mick’s record as Mayor

OKLAHOMA CITY – Mick Cornett’s campaign for governor on Tuesday released a new campaign advertisement titled “Diversify” which highlights Mick’s leadership in growing and diversifying the Oklahoma City economy.

“While state government squabbled over partisan issues, we used conservative principles to create a pro-business environment and transform our local economy to one of the most-diversified in the country,” Cornett said. “With leadership and vision we can provide certainty in the budget process and attract new industries to our great state so our economy can grow and Diversify.”

Watch the commercial here:


The language in the commercial reads:

It’s time to stop the talking and start solving our state’s problems.  It’s time to fix the mess of our state government. Conservative leadership works. As a mayor, we diversified our economy, creating nearly 100,000 new jobs and nearly10,000 new businesses. To solve our budget crisis, we need a growing economy. Tired of more talk and more taxes? Conservative leadership.  That’s what Oklahoma needs now.

Lamb launches third TV ad


Lamb Campaign Releases Third Television Ad
Primary Election - June 26 

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, May 22, 2018 – Oklahomans for Lamb unveiled its third television advertisement today in support of Republican gubernatorial candidate Todd Lamb. The 30-second ad features excerpts from Lamb’s RENEW Oklahoma plan. In February, the campaign released its first television ad highlighting Lamb’s career as a United States Secret Service Agent, and last month unveiled its second ad featuring Lamb’s daughter, Lauren, talking about her father.

“As I have stated repeatedly on the campaign trail, I have a detailed action plan to address Oklahoma’s many challenges, and I will be ready from my first day in office to execute it,” Lamb said. “As a proven conservative, my RENEW Oklahoma plan outlines what Oklahoma must do in order to prosper. We must restructure the budget process, implement real education reform such as ensuring 65% of every education dollar to the classroom for teachers and students, and diversifying the economy, to name just a few. My plan does not increase taxes and is not based on rhetoric or the topic of the day. It is based in fact. Oklahoma is in the situation it is because of a lack of leadership, and because it has no plan. That will end when I am elected governor.”

Lamb’s RENEW Oklahoma plan outlines five primary initiatives:

  • Reform Government
  • Education
  • Neighborhoods
  • Economic Growth
  • Work


View the ad below:


Oklahomans interested in learning more about the RENEW Oklahoma plan and the Lamb campaign may visit VoteToddLamb.com, telephone the campaign headquarters at 405.252.4289 or email info@VoteToddLamb.com. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

OCPA column: Look closer at Texas on teacher pay


Look closely at Texas on teacher pay
by Jonathan Small, president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA)

The Fort Worth Independent School District has rented ten billboards around Norman, Oklahoma City, Stillwater, and Tulsa advertising starting teacher salaries of $52,000 a year. Instructive.

If we truly care about teachers, students, and student outcomes, then we must be willing to look at how Texas schools approach teacher compensation and especially how that state funds K-12 education.

We must ask, how is it possible that Texas, particularly its large metropolitan areas, can offer such higher teacher salaries? Why doesn’t that state struggle to the degree that Oklahoma does during economic declines, especially during energy sector slumps?

The predominant source of funding for schools in Texas is the property tax. Economic research shows that by far the property tax is the most stable and transparent tax. It is also probably the most accountable revenue source.

Advocates for increased education funding in Oklahoma have repeatedly used Texas’ salaries and spending as their shining example, but they have failed to explain, or even to understand, the Texas system, the property tax and economic growth. Why?

Why aren’t unions, administrators, parent-teacher associations, business leaders, and others advocating for changes to the Oklahoma Constitution to allow local voters to increase the millage levies for their school districts to have more stable funding, or to adopt Texas-style pro-growth tax reform to increase the number of taxpayers, so we can pay teachers more and have more classroom funding?

Think about this. Fort Worth can offer starting salaries of $52,000 a year and Texas has no income tax at all. In fact, former Oklahoma teacher of the year Shawn Sheehan noted the lack of an income tax as a boon after he left to teach in Texas last year.

Texas’ economy is booming. Texas borders Oklahoma’s entire southern border and sandwiches us in between other states with lower personal income taxes.

If we truly care about teachers, students, the most vulnerable, and Oklahoma’s future, then we will work to modernize our property taxes as a part of pro-growth tax reform. Thankfully this session, the Legislature took a positive step forward when it adopted Senate Joint Resolution 70. If passed by voters, this bill will provide greater accountability in how local property tax dollars are spent and allow schools to choose teacher salaries and classroom needs over expensive football turf and exorbitant facility expansions. Although not a cure-all, SJR 70 is surely a step in the right direction.

If we really want to compete with Texas in K-12 funding, then we are going to have to learn from them and implement some of their best practices.

Jonathan Small serves as president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.

Music Monday: Liszt's La Campanella

This week's Music Monday is Paganini Etude No. 3 ("La Campanella"), by the great 19th century Hungarian composer and virtuoso pianist Franz Liszt. One of my favorite piano pieces -- and incredibly difficult to play -- it's performed here by Hungarian pianist Ádám György.



Enjoy!

See below for all previous Music Monday posts. Do you have a song you'd like to suggest for a future Music Monday? Email me at JamisonFaught@MuskogeePolitico.com.

May 14th, 2018: Handful of Weeds
May 7th, 2018: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
April 30th, 2018: Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 ("Heroic")
April 23rd, 2018: Blow Ye The Trumpet
April 16th, 2018: Asturias (Leyenda)
April 9th, 2018: Old Mountain Dew
April 2nd, 2018: His Life For Mine
March 19th, 2018: See, the Conqu'ring Hero Comes!
March 12th, 2018: Choctaw Nation
March 5th, 2018: Hark, I Hear The Harps Eternal
February 19th, 2018: The Olympic Spirit
February 12th, 2018: Olympic Fanfare and Theme
January 29th, 2018: Hail to the Chief
January 23rd, 2018: Waltz in A-Flat Major, Op. 39 No. 15
January 15th, 2018: Bleed The Same
January 8th, 2018: Saint-Saëns' Symphony No.3 'Organ' (Maestoso)
December 25th, 2017: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
December 18th, 2017: I Saw Three Ships (The Piano Guys)
December 11th, 2017:Who Is He In Yonder Stall
December 4th, 2017: Carol of the Bells (Mannheim Steamroller)
November 27th, 2017: Joy to the World!
November 20th, 2017: We Gather Together
November 13th, 2017: Mansions of the Lord
November 6th, 2017: Träumerei
October 30th: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
October 23rd, 2017: In Christ Alone
October 16th, 2017: When I'm Knee Deep In Bluegrass
October 9th, 2017: I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb
October 2nd, 2017: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major (Brahms)
September 25th, 2017: Beethoven's Sonata No. 8 in C minor ('Pathétique')
September 11th, 2017: Have You Forgotten?
September 4th, 2017: Bach's Double Violin Concerto
August 28th, 2017: Noah Found Grace In The Eyes Of The Lord
August 21st, 2017: The Heavens Are Telling The Glory of God
August 14th, 2017: Beethoven's 5th Symphony
August 7th, 2017: 'Lift High The Name Of Jesus' medley
July 31st, 2017: Fanfare for the Common Man
July 24th, 2017: Variations on 'Happy Birthday'
July 10th, 2017: Summer (Presto) from Vivaldi's Four Seasons
July 3rd, 2017: Freelance Fireworks Hall of Fame
June 26th, 2017: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
June 19th, 2017: A Christian Home
June 12th, 2017: Ol' Man River
June 5th, 2017: Choctaw Cowboy
May 29th, 2017: Armed Forces Salute
May 22nd, 2017: Double Bass Concerto No.2 in B minor
May 15th, 2017: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D major
May 8th, 2017: The Army Goes Rolling Along
April 17th, 2017: He Is Alive
April 10th, 2017: Surely He Hath Borne/And With His Stripes/All We Like Sheep
April 3rd, 2017: Here Comes Carolina
March 27th, 2017: 'Spring' from Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons'
March 20th, 2017: Symphony No. 5 ("Reformation") Finale
March 13th, 2017: The Pigeon on the Gate
March 6th, 2017: Finlandia
February 27th, 2017: When I Can Read My Title Clear
February 20th, 2017: William Tell Overture - Finale
February 13th, 2017: 'Romance' from 'The Gadfly'
February 6th, 2017: White Winter Hymnal
January 30th, 2017: Hail, Columbia
January 23rd, 2017: Hail to the Chief
January 16th, 2017: Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy
January 2nd, 2017: Auld Lang Syne
December 26th, 2016: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
December 19th, 2016: I Wonder as I Wander
December 12th, 2016: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
December 5th, 2016: A Christmas Festival
November 28th, 2016: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
November 21st: Beethoven's 'Hymn of Thanksgiving'
November 14th: Hymn to the Fallen
November 7th: This World Is Not My Home
October 31st, 2016: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
October 24th, 2016: 'Mars', from 'The Planets'
October 17th, 2016: My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
October 10th, 2016: Spain
October 3rd, 2016: International Harvester
September 26th, 2016: 'The Imperial March' from Star Wars
September 19th, 2016: Awake the Trumpet's Lofty Sound
September 12th, 2016: Before the Throne of God Above
September 5th, 2016: The Hunt
August 29th, 2016: Liberty
August 22nd, 2016: Summon the Heroes
August 15th, 2016: Bugler's Dream
August 8th, 2016: Olympic Fanfare and Theme
August 1st, 2016: 'Prelude' and 'Parade of the Charioteers' from Ben-Hur
July 25th, 2016: How The West Was Won
July 18th, 2016: Six Studies in English Folk Song
July 11th, 2016: From Everlasting To Everlasting
July 4th, 2016: The Stars and Stripes Forever
June 27th, 2016: Rule, Britannia!
June 20st, 2016: Bugler's Holiday
June 13th, 2016: Ride of the Valkyries
June 6th, 2016: Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54, Allegro Vivace
May 30th, 2016: Armed Forces Salute
May 23rd, 2016: Paid in Full (Through Jesus, Amen)
May 16th, 2016: Overture from 'Carmen'
May 9th, 2016: L'Arlesienne Suite No. 1 - Prelude
May 2nd, 2016: My God Is a Rock
April 25th, 2016: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
April 18th, 2016: Paganini's Caprice No. 24 in A Minor
April 11th, 2016: Fantasia on a 17th Century Tune
April 4th, 2016: Hark The Sound/I'm a Tarheel Born
March 28th, 2016: Rustle of Spring
March 21st, 2016: 'Ode to Joy' sung by a 10,000-voice choir
March 14th, 2016: Hard Times Come Again No More
March 7th, 2016: 'The Suite' from Downton Abbey
February 29th, 2016: Moonlight Sonata
February 22nd, 2016: Liebestraum No. 3
February 15th, 2016: Help Is On The Way
February 8th, 2016: God of Grace and God of Glory
February 1st, 2016: 'My Story'
January 25th, 2016: Israeli Concertino
January 18th, 2016: What Grace is Mine
January 11th, 2016: "Meditation" from Thaïs
January 4th, 2016: Praeludium and Allegro
December 28th, 2015: Appalachian Carol
December 21st, 2015: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
December 14th, 2015: O Holy Night
December 7th, 2015: Christmas Fantasy
November 23rd, 2015: Simple Gifts
November 16th, 2015: Preacher Tell Me Like It Is
November 9th, 2015: Armed Forces Salute
November 2nd, 2015: Amazing Grace
October 26th, 2015: The Harmonious Blacksmith
October 19th, 2015: Liberty Fanfare
October 12th, 2015: The Majesty and Glory of Your Name
October 5th, 2015: Elgar's 'Enigma' Finale
September 28th, 2015: Stayed on Jesus
September 21st, 2015: Great Gate of Kiev
September 14th, 2015: Nearer, My God, To Thee

OK County Sheriff P.D. Taylor endorses Cathy Costello


SHERIFF P.D. TAYLOR ENDORSES CATHY COSTELLO FOR LABOR COMMISSIONER 

    May 21, 2018 --  Oklahoma County Sheriff P.D. Taylor is endorsing Cathy Costello in the Republican Primary for Labor Commissioner.  Taylor is also his encouraging colleagues in law enforcement to do the same.

    “I’m supporting Cathy Costello because she understands that mental health awareness in all sectors of society, including workplaces and public safety, are intertwined,” Sheriff P.D. Taylor says.  “Her platform on mental health awareness and education in the workplace is smart policy and it is long overdue.”

    Sheriff Taylor credits Costello with passing landmark mental health legislation and praises her detailed plans to create a task force dedicated to mental health in the workplace.

    “Our Oklahoma County Sheriff’s deputies encounter people with mental health issues every day and we understand firsthand how these problems affect the workplace,” says Sheriff Taylor.  “Cathy has shown great leadership as she worked to pass Oklahoma’s first Assisted Outpatient Treatment law — a policy which the National Sheriff’s Association has endorsed since 2003.”

     Cathy Costello is a co-founder of several businesses, both domestic and international, and is a sought-after national speaker and advocate on issues of mental health.  She has been instrumental in passing major state and federal legislation to improve how employers address mental health needs in the workplace.

       The Republican primary for Labor Commissioner is scheduled for June 26, 2018 and the general election will be held November 6, 2018.

    For more information on Cathy Costello's campaign for Oklahoma Labor Commissioner, visit her website at www.CostelloForOK.com.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Gov. Fallin recaps successes of 2018 legislative session


Governor Mary Fallin Highlights Successes in 2018 Legislative Session

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today complimented lawmakers for passing criminal justice reform legislation, appropriating a record amount of funding for public schools, and approving a budget for the upcoming fiscal year without cuts to state agencies.

 The $7.6 billion budget puts significantly more money toward education, mental health services, and public safety.

 “The budget includes many of the priorities I have requested lawmakers to approve the past three years,” said Fallin. “It provides for a teacher pay raise and additional funding for public schools as well as increased funding for mental health and corrections to implement criminal justice reform measures.”

“For the first time in years, no agency is receiving a cut. This budget provides a long-term solution to multi-year budget deficits and helps reduce the reliance on one-time funds.”

In all, the governor received 342 measures for consideration during this year’s session. She signed 324 and vetoed 18.

2018 Policy Highlights
Education

“Common education receives a 19.8 percent increase in funding for the upcoming fiscal year, which is the largest appropriation for public schools in state history. The appropriation includes $353 million to fund teacher pay raises that average $6,100 per teacher, which move Oklahoma teacher from last in the seven-state region to second for average annual pay, and from 49th in the nation to 29th. When taking into account the cost of living, Oklahoma teachers will be the 12th-highest-paid in the country. It also has $52 million for support personnel pay raises, $24 million for flex health benefits; $33 million for textbooks, and $17 in new funding for the school funding formula.

“Improving the quality and outcomes in education is the single-most important thing we can do to attract and retain jobs, alleviate poverty, and help Oklahomans have fulfilling and productive lives.” – Governor Mary Fallin

  • House Bill 1023XX – establishes a new teacher salary schedule, the largest teacher pay increase in state history. Teachers will receive a $6,100 pay raise on average in the upcoming school year.
  • HB 1026XX – provides a $1,250 annual increase in pay for school support personnel.
  • HB 3705 – appropriates $2.9 billion, a 19.7 percent increase over last year, for K-12 public education.  This is the largest appropriation to education in state history. Funding contained in HB 3705 includes $353.5 million for teacher pay; $52 million for support personnel pay: $33 million for textbooks: $17 million for the state aid formula; and $24.7 million for flex health care benefits.  The total increase in common education funding for the 2019 fiscal year is $480.2 million.
  • Senate Bill 1171 – establishes work-based learning opportunities, such as apprenticeships and internships, as a duty of the Governor’s Council of Workforce and Economic Development (GCWED) in an effort to improve the state’s talent pipeline.
  • SB 980 – creates a tiered certification program for teachers so that high-quality teachers have the ability to advance in their careers without having to leave the classroom to become administrators.
  • SB 1196 – allows junior and senior high school students to participate in concurrent enrollment program, regardless of location in the state.
  • SB 1370 – Allows high school students to replace one credit of math for a three-hour per school day CareerTech program that is endorsed or aligned to industries in Oklahoma.
  • HB 2009 – requires schools to annually publish a report listing all increases in wages, salaries, rates of pay or fringe benefits and any changes to job class to increase transparency.
  • HB 2860 – requires school districts to provide a link to the State Department of Education’s Oklahoma cost accounting system and school district financial information on their websites to increase transparency.
  • HB 3311 – requires the inclusion of civics in the subject matter standards for history, social studies and U.S. government

Economic Development & Commerce

  • SB 897 – codifies the Incentive Approval Committee for the Quality Jobs program to review all applications for approval and oversight.  This ensures taxpayer interests are represented when Quality Jobs applications are reviewed.
  • SB 923 –implements changes recommended by the Incentive Evaluation Commission for Small Employer Quality Jobs by increasing the maximum number of full-time employees from 90 to 500.
  • HB 3324 – provides for the transfer of 5 percent of the quarterly incentive payments made by the Oklahoma Tax Commission to qualifying establishments related to the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Incentive Act, the Small Employer Quality Jobs Incentive Act and the 21st Century Quality Jobs Incentive Act to the Quick Action Closing Fund.
  • SB 1585 – establishes automotive engineer tax credits by creating several income tax credits designed to incentivize qualified employers and employees in the automotive manufacturing industry.
  • SB 1388 – creates a statewide framework for wireless providers to work with municipalities and others to deploy small cell devices.
  • SB 1475 – creates the Occupational Licensing Advisory Commission, which will review each occupational or professional licensing once every four years and make recommendations to the Legislature.
  • HB 2933 – a product of the Governor’s Task Force on Occupational Licensing, directs licensing boards to grant a one-year waiver of fees associated with licensure or certification to a low-income applicant.

Health & Human Services

  • HB 2932 – establishes Medicaid work requirement eligibility for able-bodied adults without dependents. Directs the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to apply to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a waiver.
  • HB 2825 – directs the Department of Human Services (DHS) to explore opportunities to enhance community partnerships for the purpose of linking Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients with career and technology education and training programs. This will expand opportunities for TANF recipients to participate in and complete employment and training activities.
  • HB 3104 – clarifies that DHS must report any infant who is diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
  • SB 1367 – states that a law enforcement officer may not take a person into custody if the officer was contacted by the person in question for medical assistance (either for themselves or another person).

Public Safety

  • HB 2798 creates the Opioid Overdose Fatality Review Board.
  • HB 2635 – protects the motor vehicle report (driving record) from being expunged after one year and keeps it at the three-year window for insurance and business owners who hire people to drive for companies.
  • HB 2651 – allows for a course of study for students who are training to acquire a commercial driver’s license.  This allows those training sites to include human trafficking material in their classes.
  • SB 1203 – reduces the fine for speeding violations for 1-10 mph over the speed limit to $100.
  • SB 1517 – creates the Task Force on Trauma-Informed Care to create a list of best practices for children and their families at risk of adverse childhood experiences.
  • HB 3300 – the Breanna Bell Act, which protects people with disabilities from sexual assault.
  • HB 1124 – the Justice for Danyelle Act, which prohibits sex offenders from loitering within 1,000 feet of their victims’ home.
  • HB 3328 – Creates the Commission on the Prevention of Abuse of Elderly and Vulnerable Adults.
  • HB 2630 – helps the Department of Corrections (DOC) expand the Global Positioning Satellite Program (GPS by loosening some of the rules that disqualify certain offenders from participating. These requirements apply to low-level non-violent offenders who are better managed in a public setting.
  • SB 904 – allows DOC to fund community sentencing programs across the state.

Veterans & Military

  • HB 3042 – directs Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA) to develop a long-term care facility to replace the Talihina Veterans Center.
  • SB 922 – establishes the Oklahoma Women Veterans Program to ensure that women veterans have equitable access to federal and states veterans’ benefits and services. The program will be overseen by a women veterans coordinator.
  • SB 1053 – authorizes the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs to obtain certification to accept payments and reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Government Modernization & Budget

  • HB 1010XX – provides the revenue to fund a historic teacher pay raise. This is accomplished by an increase of $1 per pack of cigarettes, taxing little cigars at the same rate as cigarettes; raising the fuel tax by 3 cents a gallon on gasoline and 6 cents a gallon on diesel; and raising the gross production tax from 2 percent to 5 percent on all wells.
  • HB 1011XX – puts a $17,000 cap on deductions on adjusted gross income. Charitable contributions and medical expenses are not capped.
  • HB 3603 – authorizes the governor to appoint the executive director of the Department of Tourism.
  • HB 3036 – makes the commissioner of health a gubernatorial appointee, with the advice and consent of the Senate.
  • HB 1024XX - provides a tiered pay raise for state employees, ranging from $750 to $2,000 depending on salary.

Criminal Justice Reform

“Our state prisons are filled to well over capacity so it is crucial that we make some changes to our criminal justice system. These bills will not jeopardize public safety while addressing Oklahoma’s prison population. Too few Oklahomans are getting the treatment they need for substance abuse and mental health issues, and are instead winding up in our criminal justice system.” – Governor Mary Fallin


  • SB 650 – authorizes no more than one nonviolent felony to apply for expungement if they have no new convictions or pending charges within the last seven years.
  • SB 786 – eliminates the mandatory minimum and allows a judge to sentence up to the current maximum sentence of seven years in prison for burglary in the second degree, and creates a new felony offense, burglary in the third degree (defined as breaking into a vehicle), punishable by up to five years in prison.
  • SB 649 – reduces enhanced sentences for certain repeat nonviolent felonies.
  • SB 689 – creates risk and needs assessment as a tool for sentencing.
  • SB 793 – changes the penalties for commercial drug offenses, and distinguishes conduct by possession with intent to distribute, distribution, and manufacturing.
  • HB 2281 – adjusts penalties for numerous low-level property offenses, including larceny, forgery and other “paper crimes.”
  • HB 2286 – creates an administrative parole process for nonviolent offenders who comply with case plans in prison so that the Pardon and Parole Board can focus on more serious offenders, and establishes a geriatric parole release process for inmates who are 60 and older and who have been determined to not be a public safety risk.

Transportation

  • HB 3576 – creates the Oklahoma State Safety Oversight Program to be overseen by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT). It directs ODOT to develop and enforce standards for all private and public rail-fixed guideway public transportation systems statewide that are not administered by the Federal Railroad Administration.
  • HB 2650 – amends the specifications of merging traffic in and near construction work zones allowing for more flexibility within the confines of federal law.  It allows for more efficient methods of traffic control, increasing safety and decreasing congestion.
  • HB 2578 – creates the Aerospace Commerce Economic Services (ACES) within the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. The purpose of ACES is to create a partnership of service providers (similar to CADSQ) to more effectively respond to the needs of the aviation, aerospace and defense industries in the areas of education and training, research, and economic development.
  • HB 2253 – closes a tax loophole by requiring 50 percent of an aircraft’s operations be charter to qualify for the aircraft excise tax exemption.

Energy

  • SB 1576 –   keeps wind farms from interfering with the flight paths of military installations, thereby protecting the work and mission of Oklahoma’s military bases.
  • SB 893 - imposes a cap of $500,000 on the zero emission facilities electricity production tax credit. The cap is only applicable to credits that are earned from electricity produced by means of water, sun or geothermal energy.

Pensions

  • HB 1340 – gives retirees in all of the state retirement systems a one-time payment in varying amounts.
  • SB 527 – gives someone who is disabled in the line of duty with less than 20 years of service the half-pay cost-of-living adjustment.

Agriculture

  • HB 2913 - creates the Oklahoma Industrial Hemp Agriculture Pilot Program to be administered by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry (ODAFF).
  • SB 1600 – increases appropriations to ODAFF, allowing an additional $400,000 in funding to rural fire departments across Oklahoma.


2019 Fiscal Year Budget Highlights

Overview

  • Funds core government services.
  • Uses a low percentage of one-time funds, which will be used to fund one-time costs.
  • Education will have the largest funding increase.


Health and Human Services

  • $22.6 million: Fully funds the Pinnacle Plan and restores provider rate cuts for the Department of Human Services, and money to go to the Developmental Disabilities Services waiting list. This fully funds the Pinnacle Plan, and funds services for Oklahoma’s most vulnerable citizens.

Corrections

  • $17.5 million: for the FY 18 supplemental annualized for the Department of Corrections (DOC).
  • Payroll-even after the $1,500 raise signed into law in March 2018, Oklahoma is 18 percent below contiguous states in pay. The vacancy rate for correctional officers is currently 30 percent, agency-wide, it is 22 percent. These vacancies require employees to work overtime to staff critical correctional officer posts which put a strain on an already overburdened payroll. This supplemental will help DOC address the pay deficit for qualified applicants.
  • Contract beds- Oklahoma currently has more inmates than beds, and many inmates that are sentenced to DOC custody will wait in county jails before being received by DOC. This supplemental will go towards making a timely payment to the counties where these inmates are housed.
  • Health services- costs associated with the over-50-year-old population accounts for 43 percent of DOC’s cost for specialty care, pharmaceuticals, laboratory services etc. Travel to medical appointments with outside providers has increased with an aging population.
  • Critical needs and necessary purchases- aging infrastructure has suffered from decades of neglect, and money is being redirected from planned projects to emergencies.  Repairs to critical infrastructure are a necessary and immediate need.

Criminal Justice Reform
$7.1 million:

  • Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services will receive $4 million to fund risk/needs assessments, and $1 million will go to drug and mental health treatment courts.
  • $2 million to restore provider rate cuts.
  • $111,000 to the Pardon and Parole Board to hire two new field staff positions that were eliminated due to budget cuts. Funding will ensure that work activities, including the processing of pardons and paroles, will not be delayed.
  • $4.8 million: The Department of Corrections Defender Management System-funding for an entirely new system will allow DOC to track and monitor offenders on probation in one system and will allow for shared data regarding offenders to be shared in one database statewide.
  • $500,000: Pay for Success is a proven program to reduce the number of women sent to prison and the resulting impact incarceration has on their children. Oklahoma is using Pay for Success contracting to improve criminal justice outcomes for women, reduce incarceration, and, consequently, lower overall public sector costs. The Pay for Success contract between the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) and Family and Child Services is the 17th Pay for Success contract in the U.S. and the first-ever PFS contract focused on female incarceration.

General Government

  • $53.695 million: State employee pay raise- it has been 11 years since state employees have had an across-the-board pay raise. The amount is staggered according to employee salary.
  • $7.5 million: Higher Education Concurrent Enrollment- provides funding so high school seniors can take college classes for college credit while still in high school. This program saves families money on tuition costs and reduces student debt.
  • $8.36 million: Provides raises to other educators outside of K-12, such as CareerTech, Oklahoma School for the Blind, Oklahoma School for the Deaf and Department of Corrections teachers.
  • $4 million: State Emergency Fund- additional funding needed due to the wildfire outbreak in west and northwest Oklahoma.
  • $500,000: ABLE Commission- will help fund data migration from archaic system to a new, more user-friendly web-based solution, and the number of locations where alcohol is sold is expected to double with new laws, and more agents are needed to monitor locations.
  • $4 million: Closing Fund
  • $2 million: Performance audits-funding will go toward independent auditing firm performing performance audits to ensure that tax dollars are maximized and are being spent on mission-critical needs. First agencies on the list for audits are the Oklahoma Tax Commission, the Office of Management and Enterprise Services,  the Department of Corrections, and the Department of Public Safety.
  • Commerce- $445,000 to Aerospace Commerce Economic Services (ACES)-this initiative aims to grow the aerospace industry, and will help drive further job creation, economic growth and increased tax revenue for the state.
  • Agriculture - $4,000 to rural fire and $1,000 to the Made in Oklahoma program.