Showing: January, 2017

Although the 2017 session has not yet begun, freshman Sen. Joe Newhouse has already determined his focus for the next four years—helping address the need to revisit specific tax preferences in order to better manage public resources. Last month, the Oklahoma Incentive Evaluation Commission released a lengthy report focusing on 11 tax incentives. Newhouse has filed a slate of bills for the 2017 session largely based on the findings of that report.
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Sen Newhouse explains his focus on the budget and tax preferences.

President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz and the Senate Republican Caucus on Thursday unveiled a 2017 legislative agenda with a focus on long-term solutions to build a more prosperous Oklahoma.

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Senate Pro Tem Schulz discusses Senate Republicans agenda.

Every year, state agency heads and their staff come to the Capitol for annual budget hearings—it gives them an opportunity to explain to lawmakers how the dollars they receive are used as well as giving legislators a chance to ask about funding priorities and other related issues. Those hearings are now underway in the Senate.

Senate Appropriations Chair Kim David said this year some of those hearings will take place in state agencies headquarters and facilities, rather than in committee rooms at the Capitol.
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Sen. David discusses budget hearings.

Sen. David Holt has introduced Senate Bill 316, which would provide a $10,000 raise to all Oklahoma classroom teachers over a four-year period beginning this fall. Holt has further introduced 12 separate measures to provide funding options for the raise.

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Sen Holt introduces package of bills to raise teacher pay $10,000.

State Sen. Micheal Bergstrom has filed a bill that would cap tax credits at $25 million statewide for electricity generated by zero emission facilities, including wind energy, and another that could use the savings to provide a graduated teacher pay raise over the next three years.

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Sen. Bergstrom on teacher pay and wind credit tax cap

The Oklahoma Senate on Tuesday convened for an organizational day and, on a unanimous vote officially, elected Sen. Mike Schulz of Altus as President Pro Tempore. Schulz is the first senator from western Oklahoma to lead the Senate in more than 50 years. Senate Majority Floor Leader Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, made the motion nominating Schulz as President Pro Tempore and, in a show of bipartisan support, the motion was seconded by Minority Leader John Sparks, D-Norman.
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