Thursday, June 16, 2022

House Republicans send inflation relief bills to Senate, Gov. Stitt applauds

The Legislature continues to work through the "inflation relief" special session. After some initial deadlock, it appears that the Governor and House have mended fences to a degree, but the Senate is a different story.

Two press releases, one from the House on top and one from the Governor below:

House Republicans send inflation relief to Senate

OKLAHOMA CITY – House Republican leadership issued the following statements Wednesday after sending inflation relief bills to the Senate in special session:

"The Senate has spent all its time this week finding reasons not to help Oklahomans with inflation. From starting studies, to refusing to author bills senators already authored in regular session, to deliberately not convening session for action on bills passed by the House and requested by the governor, the Senate has run out of excuses. Oklahomans are tired of waiting. The Senate should act now." - House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka 

"The inflation relief the House delivered can become law as soon as the Senate stops delaying and starts acting. The House desk remains open to receive whichever bills the Senate passes so the governor can sign them into law, contrary to inaccurate statements otherwise. The bottom line is if the Senate was passing bills instead of fabricating false legal excuses, Oklahomans could stop paying state sales tax on groceries come July 1. If senators don't want to help Oklahomans, they should just say so and stop blaming everyone but themselves." – House Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, Esq.

The House sent the following bills to the Senate on Wednesday in the Third Extraordinary Session of the 58th Oklahoma Legislature:

  • HB 1008XXX: Two-year personal income tax reduction from 4.75% to 4.5%, beginning in tax year 2022
  • HB 1009XXX: Permanent personal income tax reduction from 4.75% to 4.5%, beginning in tax year 2022
  • HB 1011XXX: Two-year increase of the sales tax relief credit from $40 to $200, beginning in tax year 2022
  • HB 1012XXX: Two-year state grocery tax moratorium with no restriction on local changes, effective July 1, 2022
  • HB 1013XXX: Two-year state grocery tax moratorium with restriction on local level changes, effective July 1, 2022
  • HB 1014XXX: Permanent state grocery tax elimination with no restriction on local changes, effective July 1, 2022
  • HB 1015XXX: Permanent state grocery tax elimination with restriction on local changes, effective July 1, 2022
  • HB 1020XXX: Inflation relief funding budget adjustment restoring Health Care Authority budget to reflect surplus due to agency receiving larger than anticipated federal matching funds.

Can the bills become law?

According to House legal staff, there is no legal basis to back up false claims that these bills cannot become law. Because the House directed its desk to remain open after the special session Sine Die motion, the bills can be received after the Senate votes on them and sent to the governor for signature. The desk can remain open as long as is necessary. It does not have to close today. All that is needed for these bills to become law are Senate votes to approve them and signatures from the governor, who has signaled his support.


OKLAHOMA CITY (June 15, 2022) – Governor Kevin Stitt released the following statement on the inflation relief passed by the Oklahoma House of Representatives: 

“Oklahoma families need inflation relief now and I am glad the House passed legislation to eliminate the state grocery sales tax and reduce personal income tax, both of which I called for in my State of the State address in February. The Senate has already passed tax cuts this year, so I am optimistic that they will join our efforts to deliver the inflation relief Oklahomans need. Since I called for this special session last month, inflation has increased to 8.6% overall, food costs are up over 10%, and President Biden’s inflation crisis shows no signs of slowing down. Oklahoma families need real relief now.”


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