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Legislative Update

February 2, 2012

 

2012 State Legislation - Overview of Introduced Bills

 

The 2012 session of the Oklahoma Legislature begins on Monday, February 6 at Noon.  Over 2,000 new bills and joint resolutions have been introduced this year.  In addition, a large number of bills remain in the system from last year. 

 

Oklahomans with disabilities and the programs that serve them could be affected by legislation on state government structure, disability programs and staff, health care, education, transportation, employment, mental health, state revenue, taxation, the legal system, community access and services.  Following are just a few of the newly introduced bills of potential interest to the disability community.  For an extended list email jjones@okdrs.gov.  To read a bill go to www.oklegislature.gov, where you can look up bills by number, read them and check status (place in the legislative process).

 

Introduced Bills Affecting People with Disabilities

 

Mental illness; criminal justice

SB-1594

Brecheen

Changing verdicts of “not guilty by reason of insanity” to “guilty but insane.”

 

Mental illness; conviction of crime

SB-1936

Paddack

Providing that any person acquitted of a violent crime based on insanity shall be kept under supervision for a period of five years as the person undergoes observation and treatment,   Providing for reassessment, providing for extending the period of supervision and treatment, and providing for full release of the individual when it is determined that the person does not pose a danger to the public.

 

Mental illness

HB-3002

Newell

Adding “guilty but mentally ill” verdict.

 

Mental illness

SB-1063

Simpson

Amending current law that prevents a person found guilty of murder from inheriting money or property from the victim.  Providing that persons found not guilty by reason of insanity shall not be able to inherit from the victim.

 

Mental health

HB-2478

Scott

Law enforcement behavioral health emergency dispatch system.

 

Medicare and Medicaid

SB-1389

Crain

Requiring an evaluation to determine if persons are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare.

 

Medicaid

SB-1390

Crain

Requiring a plan on Medicaid recipients and emergency room utilization.

 

Health insurance; premium assistance

SB-1397

Crain

Providing for a sliding scale for Oklahoma’s premium assistance program, which is administered by the Health Care Authority.  The sliding scale would reduce an employee’s premium assistance as the employee’s salary increases.

 

Medicaid

SB-1609

Constance Johnson

Directing the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to amend the state Medicaid plan to provide a separate benefit category within the state Medicaid program for complex needs patients.  Stating that the Legislature recognizes the need to provide special attention and supports under the Medicaid program for individuals with complex medical needs, in order to help them remain living at home, avoid costly hospitalizations and secondary complications. 

 

Medicaid

SB-1010

Brecheen

Requires any person reporting a false claim for Medicaid benefits to receive 15 to 25 percent of the recovered amount; requires county OKDHS offices to post signs offering rewards for reports of false claims; provides effective date.

 

Medicaid

HB-2844 and HB-2846 (Jackson)

Ownbey

Nursing Facilities Quality of Care Fee.  Providing that the amount of the Quality of Care Fee shall not exceed what is federally allowable.  Limiting the fee charged to continuum of care facilities.  (Note: The Nursing Facility Quality of Care Fee is assessed of nursing homes and is used to draw federal Medicaid match, providing enriched funds that can be used for a variety of Medicaid purposes including dentures and eyeglasses for nursing home residents, an increase in the personal needs allowance for nursing home residents and durable medical equipment for elderly Medicaid eligible individuals.)

 

Health insurance

SB-1004

Adelson

Requires the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and OSEEGIB to not reimburse hospitals for specific hospital-acquired conditions such as wrong site surgery, air embolism, blood transfusion incompatibility, and others.

 

Health insurance; life-preserving medical care

SB-1695

Sykes

Creating the Nondiscrimination in Treatment Act.  Providing that a health care provider shall not deny to a patient a life-preserving health care service the provider provides to other patients, the provision of which is directed by the patient or a person authorized to make health care decisions for the patient: 1.  On the basis of a view that treats extending the life of an elderly, disabled, or terminally ill individual as of lower value than extending the life of an individual who is younger, nondisabled, or not terminally ill; or 2.  On the basis of disagreement with how the patient or person authorized to make health care decisions for the patient values the tradeoff between extending the length of the patient's life and the risk of disability.

 

Medicaid

SB-1694

Sykes

Dealing with penalties for Medicaid fraud.  DRS is listed among agencies that are obligated to take punitive action against an employee or licensee convicted of Medicaid fraud.

 

Durable medical equipment

HB-2616

Johnson

Creating a sales tax exemption for durable medical equipment.

 

Jobs tax credit

SB-1054

Garrison

Providing an income tax credit for any Oklahoma employer who hires or contracts with a worker for full time work.  The employee cannot have been employed by the employer during the previous year.  The credit would be up to 50% of the person’s first-year wages or compensation, not to exceed $12,500. 

 

Children with visual and hearing impairments

SB-1119

Garrison

Requiring school districts to provide parents of children with visual or hearing impairments with information concerning the programs available at the Oklahoma School for the Blind and Oklahoma School for the Deaf.  Further requiring that school districts providing special education services to students with auditory or visual impairments shall develop procedures to ensure that staff assigned to work with students have effective access to resources and information provided by the Oklahoma School for the Blind and the Oklahoma School for the Deaf.

 

Visually impaired persons; driving; bioptic systems

SB-1354

Burrage

Directing the Commissioner of Public Safety to issue rules allowing for a restricted Class D driver’s license to be issued to individuals with visual impairments who can successfully use bioptic telescopic systems to enable them to drive.

 

Health insurance

SB-1059

Brown

Creating the Health Care Choice Act.  Allowing insurers in other states to market and sell their health and accident insurance Oklahoma.  The Insurance Commissioner may negotiate one or more compacts with other states to allow insurers domiciled in such compacting states to sell specified lines of coverage in Oklahoma without being granted a certificate of authority by Oklahoma.  The out of state insurance companies would not be obligated to comply with Oklahoma laws pertaining to health insurance.  The Insurance Commissioner could decide what provisions and requirements to include in the compacts.  Compacts could be disapproved by a majority vote of both houses of the Legislature or by executive order of the Governor.

 

Health care for the uninsured

SB-1105

Wilson

Making the Health Care authority the administrator for medical charges for care to the uninsured.  Health care providers would be prohibited from charging an uninsured person fees that exceed the Medicare allowable rates or Workers Compensation rates.  Medical providers would transmit bills for services to uninsured persons to OHCA, which would in turn collect charges from the uninsured person and pay the provider.

 

College tuition

SB-1062

Wilson

Requiring legislative approval of any college tuition hikes approved by the State Regents for Higher Education.

 

College tuition

SJR-79

Sykes

A proposal to amend the state constitution to grant the Legislature the exclusive authority to set tuition and fees in higher education.

 

Developmental disabilities

SB-1452

Brecheen

Creating the Task Force on Vocational Services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities.

 

Injured workers

SB-1522

Rob Johnson

This bill modifies the rights of injured workers.  It provides that although an employer may not terminate an employee because the employee files a workers comp claim, the burden of proof is on the employee to prove that was the employer’s reason for terminating him.  Allowing an employer to fire an employee on temporary disability after one year.

 

Education; dyslexia

SB-1565

Paddack

Establishing a dyslexia teacher training pilot program.

 

Schools; related services; students with disabilities

SB-1570

Sparks

Allowing for professional development for related service personnel who provide services to students with disabilities.

 

Medical research and education

SB-1580

David

State Anatomical Board; providing for anatomical donor program registration.

 

Veterans’ employment; tax credit

SB-1632

Marlatt

Providing a tax credit for employing certain veterans.

 

Disability parking

SB-1674

Anderson

Remitting disability parking fines to DPS.

 

Health insurance; cancer coverage

SB-1687

Treat

Requiring health benefit plans to establish equal requirement for different types of cancer treatments.

 

Health care

HB-2271 and HB-2763

Bennett

Creating the Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Act of 2012.

 

Medicaid; OHCA

HB-2273

Cox

Including establishment of prior authorization requirements among the policies that may be set by the Medicaid Prescription Drug Utilization Board.  Also permitting the Health Care Authority to pay certain expenses of the agency administrator and physicians working full time for the agency.  Expenses which could be paid would include medical license fees and continuing education costs.

 

Social services

HB-2300

Peterson

Creating the Department of Human Services Reform Act of 2012.

 

Workers compensation

HB-2316

Key

Creating the Oklahoma Employee Injury Benefit Act.  Providing for an alternative to Workers Compensation Court as a means of determining benefits for an injured worker.

 

Developmental disabilities

HB-2363

Billy

Directing DHS to contract for construction of two eight-bed units at both SORC and NORC each year and to build 20-bed acute care units at each.

 

Health care

HB-2399

Rousselot

Creating the Rural Access to Care Act.  Prohibiting insurance plan discrimination against rural health care providers and facilities when those are the only sources of care accessible to rural residents.

 

 

Transportation

HB-2469

Morrissette

Creating the Oklahoma Transportation Infrastructure Bank.   Projects eligible for funding through this mechanism could include a highway, including bridges, or transit project which provides public benefits by either enhancing mobility and safety, promoting economic development, or increasing the quality of life and general welfare of the public.  "Eligible project" also includes but is not limited to mass transit, such as monorail and monobeam mass transit systems.

 

Stem cell research and treatment

HB-2421

Enns

Adding five dollars to the birth certificate fee to be used to create an umbilical cord blood bank to contribute to stem cell research.

 

Health care; free clinics

HB-2521

Kern

Defining “free clinic” under the Volunteer Professional Services Immunity Act.

 

Autism; health insurance

HB-2529

Brown

Requiring insurance plans to cover treatment of autism as prescribed by the individual’s physician under a treatment plan.  Prohibiting insurance companies from charging premiums, copayments or deductibles that are less favorable than those established for other medical treatment.

 

Disabled parking

HB-2562

Wesselhoft

Directing municipal courts to remit a certain percentage of a disability parking fine to the Department of Public Safety.

 

Assisted living

HB-2566

Wright

With regard to the rights of residents in assisted living centers, providing that resident rights shall include the freedom of choice regarding any personal attending physicians and all other providers of medical services and supplies without a financial penalty charged by the assisted living center.

 

Mental health

HB-2580

Jeannie McDaniel

Adding grandparent to the list of family members who may petition a court to order mental health intervention and treatment for a relative.

 

Patient and resident protection; nurse aides

HB-2582

Jeannie McDaniel

Establishing provisions related to state and federal criminal background checks for nurse aides who provide direct patient care.  Prohibiting employers from hiring direct patient care personnel who have certain criminal backgrounds.  This measure affects residents of nursing homes, assisted living centers, residential care homes, continuum of care facilities and recipients of home health, hospice, personal care through DHS or Advantage and other individuals receiving direct care.

 

Injury prevention

HB-2583

Jeannie McDaniel

Requiring seat belt use by all persons riding in a passenger car, not just front seat passengers.

 

Prescription drugs

HB-2606

Blackwell

Creating the Continuity of Care Act.  This bill requires health insurers provide covered individuals with information on any drug formularies they use and how they can find out what drugs are covered.  The law would not apply to all insurers, and would exclude Medicare supplemental policies, Medicaid managed care plans, workers compensation and specialized policies that are condition specific.  The bill provides that a health insurer can modify drug coverage when a plan renews, with 60 days notice to covered persons.  Insurers would have to continue to cover a drug until plan renewal date, if needed by a patient.  Covered individuals could appeal denial of coverage for a medically necessary drug even if it is not on an approved formulary.

 

Developmental disabilities

HB-2611

Cox

Transferring resource centers to University of Oklahoma University Hospitals Authority and Trust

 

Health care nondiscrimination

HB-2617

Johnson

Creating the Nondiscrimination in Treatment Act.  Prohibiting an insurance plan from denying coverage of health services to a person on the basis of a view that treats extending the life of an elderly, disabled, or terminally ill individual as of lower value than extending the life of an individual who is younger, nondisabled, or not terminally ill.  Medical services could also not be denied based on disagreement with how a patient values the trade-off between extending life and the risk of disability.

 

Prescription drugs

HB-2628

Blackwell

Creating Oklahoma Prescription Drugs Act of 2012.  Shell as filed.

 

Personal care

HB-2640

Schwartz

Prohibiting a health care facility from referring a patient to any home care source that is not licensed.  This would apply to referrals for home care, companions and sitters.

 

Sickle cell disease

HB-2671

Shumate

Services for adults with sickle cell disease.

 

Developmental disabilities

HB-2709

Morrissette

Modifying DDSD Waiver request waiting list eligibility.

 

Employment

HB-2724

Inman

Making it illegal for an employer to allow only currently employed individuals to apply for job openings.

 

Debts; disability exemption

HB-2734

Morrissette

Providing criteria for a court to consider in granting an exemption or repayment modification for a debt owed by a person who has been determined disabled by Social Security. 

 

Prescription drugs; pharmacies

HB-2812

Roberts

Creating the Oklahoma Prescription Medications Reform Act of 2012.

 

Safety; insurance for injuries

HB-2830

Sean Roberts

Providing that an insurer providing motorcycle liability and physical damage insurance shall require any insured motorcyclist over the age of eighteen (18) who does not use a helmet in the operation of a motorcycle to purchase major medical insurance coverage providing for at least Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a crash while operating or riding a motorcycle. 

 

Developmental disabilities

HB-2850

Jackson

Extending date to submit plan to discontinue state-administered resource centers.

 

Employment of persons with criminal histories

HB-2870

Shelton

Providing for a certificate of rehabilitation which may be issued to a person leaving the correctional system and which serves to remove barriers to employment for the individual in some regards, such as in public employment.

 

Vulnerable adults

HB-2893

Pittman

Creating the Vulnerable Adult Protection Act of 2012.  Shell as fled.

 

Sickle cell disease

HB-2896

Pittman

Services for persons with sickle cell disease.

 

Prescription drugs

HB-2946

Derby

Creating the Oklahoma Improvement in Maintenance Medications Act of 2012.

 

Disability tax provisions; state revenue

HB-2947 (Derby) 

As introduced, this measure reduces state income tax and offsets the lost revenue by eliminating a number of income tax deductions, exemptions and tax credits.  This bill would eliminate all individual income tax adjustments, exemptions and deductions, but leave in place business deductions.  It would eliminate the personal exemption, the exemption for blindness, the exemption for low income taxpayers over age 65, the exemption for a limited amount of retirement income and for Social Security retirement income, and it would eliminate the deduction for making a home, vehicle and workplace accessible for a taxpayer with a physical disability who has a barrier to employment.  A similar bill, HB-3038, has 22 initial sponsors (Osborn, Newell, Derby, Murphey, Brumbaugh, Blackwell, Hall, Randy McDaniel, Holland, Cockroft, Faught, Tibbs, Cooksey, Grau, Vaughan, Ortega, Kirby, Jackson, Armes, Denney, Sanders, Wright and Mulready). 

 

Many other tax reform bills have been introduced, but most have no content as yet.  It is expected that some of these bills may be used to carry recommendations from last fall’s interim legislative task force on tax reform, headed by Senator Mazzei of Tulsa. Information on the Task Force report is provided later in this issue.

 

Human services

HB-3062

Steele

Creating the Department of Human Services Restructuring Act of 2012.

 

Dyslexia; teacher preparation

HB-3073

Dorman

Providing for establishment of a dyslexia training pilot program in the Oklahoma higher education system.

 

Human services agencies; administrative consolidation

HB-3082

Murphey

Administrative Cost Consolidation for Human Services. Shell as filed.

 

Human services

HB-3134, 3136 and 3137

Nelson

Department of Human Services Restructuring Task Force Act.

 

State Use Act; employment of persons with disabilities

HB-3144

Nelson

State Use Contract Transparency Act of 2012. No content as filed.

 

Health insurance; cancer treatment

HCR-1021

Banz

Creating the Oklahoma Cancer Treatment Parity Task Force

 

Human services; DHS

HJR-1074

Stiles

Requiring a vote of the people on a proposal to abolish the Oklahoma Public Welfare Commission and provide that the Governor shall have authority over the agency and appoint the director.

 

Introduced Bills Affecting State Agencies and Employees

 

State agency directors

SB-1908

Russell

Requiring that regardless of any other section of law, all agencies of this state that provide for a position of Director or any other such title that designates a person as the primary executive of the agency that is not currently appointed by the Governor or holds the office by statewide election shall have such Director or primary executive position appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and that person shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

 

Governor appointing authority

HB-3045

Osborn

Providing that in addition to any appointments created by expiring terms or vacancies provided by law, the Governor shall have the power, subject to the confirmation by the Senate, to appoint and replace any gubernatorial appointments on any agency, board, or commission.

 

State employees

SB-1046

Newberry

Providing that on and after the effective date of this Act, all current and future state employees shall serve at the discretion of the hiring agency, and agencies shall not convey any right or expectation of continued employment to any employee.  The hiring agency could terminate an employee at any time with or without cause. 

 

State employee health insurance

SB-1097

Brecheen

Stating that it is the intent of the Legislature that Oklahoma adopt a “consumer driven” health insurance plan for its employees.  This plan would be modeled after Indiana’s system of high deductible insurance in combination with a Health Savings Account from which the employee pays his/her own routine health costs.  The purpose would be to save money for the state and give state employees choice. 

 

State agencies; administrative rules

SB-1258

Sparks

Requiring legislative approval of certain administrative rules.  The Legislature’s failure to specifically approve an agency rule would constitute disapproval of such rule and it could not become effective.

 

 

 

State employee travel; Trip Optimizer

SB-1428

Wyrick

Provides an exemption from the Trip Optimizer system for employees of agencies, boards, commissions or entities which do not have access to a state-owned vehicle or do not have a dedicated vehicle at their assigned work location and cannot lease or rent a vehicle within a ten-mile radius of the their assigned departing location.  These employees would not be required to utilize the Trip Optimizer system with regard to their travel expenses.

 

State employee travel; Trip Optimizer

SB-1890

Bass

Providing an exemption from the Trip Optimizer system for employees of agencies, boards, commissions or entities subject to the provisions of subsection A of this section where the place of employment is located in a municipality with a population of less than two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) according to the latest federal decennial census shall not be required to utilize the Trip Optimizer system.

 

State employee travel; Trip Optimizer

HB-2862

Hoskin

Providing that state employees who perform field work shall be exempt from the Trip Optimizer system.

 

State government

HB-2197

Murphey

Creating the Strategic Cost Reduction and Saving Act.

 

Administrative rules

HB-2240

Faught

Creating the Administrative Rules Update Act of 2012.  Shell as introduced.

 

Administrative rules

HB-2241

Faught

Expanding on last year’s legislation that requires any state agency rules deriving their authority from title 59 of the Oklahoma Statutes to be approved by the legislature, to include any rules deriving their authority from title 63.

 

State agency budgets

HB-2327

Lockhart

Requiring that each state agency shall prepare its budget work program containing a contingent or alternative budget which does not include the expenditure of any federal funds.

 

State employment

HB-2328

Lockhart

Requiring that any person applying for employment with the state or any political subdivision of the state shall sign an affidavit of noncollusion stating that the individual is not in collusion with any elected official in Oklahoma to gain employment with the state or a political subdivision of the state.

 

State government

HB-2520

Murphey

Government Reorganization Act.  Shell as filed.

 

State agencies; purchasing

HB-2969

Thomsen

Creating the Legislative Task Force on The Oklahoma Central Purchasing Act.  The Task Force shall review and evaluate The Oklahoma Central Purchasing Act, including, but not limited to, bidding process and procedures, deadlines, and the appropriate or inappropriate involvement of the Legislature and agency directors.

 

State government; consolidation

HB-3053

Steele

Creating the State Government Administrative Process Consolidation and Reorganization Reform Act of 2012; consolidating certain agencies into the Office of Enterprise and Management Services.  Renaming the Office of State Finance and specifying its divisions and functions.  Placing the Merit Protection Commission and State Bond Advisory in this agency. 

 

State employee pay and benefits

HB-3041

Osburn

State employee benefits; salary increase; sales tax revenue apportionment; longevity pay plan; flexible benefits allowance.  Providing that if funding allows, on July 1, 2013, state employee pay will be raised to 86 percent of the market-based amount.  To pay for the increase the legislature would take $20 million a year that would otherwise go into the General Fund and put it in a State Employee Market Compensation Fund.  When the Fund has enough in it to warrant raising state employees to 85% of market compensation, it could be expended for that purpose.  The bill modifies the longevity pay schedule, and provides that if an employee receives a “meets standards” or better on the performance evaluation, the longevity amount will be increased.  Longevity pay is lowered in some cases for employees who do not “meet standards.”  Longevity pay adjustments are linked to the Consumer Price Index.  The benefits allowance is frozen at the 2012 level for one year, following which the allowance would be the greater of the 2012 level or an amount equal to the premium cost of Health Choice High, plus dental, disability and basic life premiums.

 

State employee benefits

HB-3056

Steele

Making the plan year for state employee benefits match the state fiscal year, from July 1 to June 30.

 

State employee retirement

SB-1392

Crain

Creating the State Retirement System Reform Act.

 

State employee retirement

SB-1394

Holt of Senate; Randy McDaniel of House

Modifying the confidentiality protection of state retiree information.  Stating that except for the retiree name, age, amount of contributions paid in, amount of benefit, amount of credited service and documents verifying service, all other information in a retiree’s file is confidential. 

 

State employees; public retirement system

HB-2322

Randy McDaniel

Deleting language that required the public retirement system Board of Trustees to include a cost-of-living assumption in its annual actuarial valuation.  Some changes also to retirement for elected officials.

 

State employee pension system

HB-2427

Enns

Oklahoma Pension Legislation Actuarial Analysis Act; definition; cost-of-living adjustment.   This appears to modify legislation passed last year placing restrictions on state pension system legislation.  This bill modifies the definition of a “Non-fiscal” retirement system bill to allow the definition to include a measure which would provide a cost-of-living increase to retirees if the pension system liability is funded at 80% and would remain funded at this level after granting of such a COLA.

 

State employee retirement system

HJR-1091

Randy McDaniel

Constitutional amendment related to state employee retirement systems.

 

State employee retirement system

SJR-65

Sparks

Calling for a vote of the people on a constitutional amendment requiring the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System to have a funded ratio of 90 percent or greater by 2045.

 

State employees; ethics; political expression

HB-3131

Nelson

Prohibiting public employees from certain actions regarding legislation.  Stating that no public employee employed in this state by a governmental entity having authority to issue, revoke, suspend or deny a license, permit or certification to a person shall directly or indirectly coerce, attempt to coerce, command, advise or direct a person who is seeking or has a license, permit or certification issued by the governmental entity, to pay, lend or contribute money, time, effort or anything else of value to any party, committee, organization, agency or person for political purposes or to support, oppose, express or refrain from expressing facts or opinions on proposed or pending legislation, regulations, rules or ordinances affecting the governmental entity or its employees.  Further providing that no public employee shall retaliate against any person for exercising his or her rights or for participating or not participating in permitted political activities as provided in Ethics Commission Rule 257:10-1-4 or for supporting, opposing, expressing or not expressing facts or opinions on proposed legislation, regulations, rules or ordinances.

 

Schools and education issues with potential impact for students with disabilities

 

NOTE:  School testing measures are watched for possible impact on test accessibility.  Other school-related bills are watched for potential effect on students with disabilities whether attending special schools, public schools or other educational programs.

 

Bills reported under the general Disability Legislation section include:

SB-1119 – OSB and OSD

SB-1565 – Dyslexia

SB-1570 – Related services personnel

HB-3073 - Dyslexia

 

School testing; testing accessibility

HB-2755

McPeak and Jordan

Enacting the Freedom to Succeed Act. Providing for alternative testing to qualify students for high school graduation.

 

School testing

SB-1033

Paddack

Modifying requirements for demonstration of subject-matter mastery for purposes of high school graduation.

 

School testing

SB-1093

Coates

Allowing students to take the ACT to graduate from high school as an alternative to the subject mastery tests now required.

 

School testing

SB-1815

Stanislawski

Eliminating certain assessments required to complete certain grades.

 

School testing; college preparation

HB-2544

Nollan

Creating the ACE/ACT Task Force on Preparing Students for College.  The Task Force shall study ways to align testing under the Achieving Classroom Excellence Act of 2005 and subsequent amendments and testing under the ACT, in order to prepare students for college.

 

School testing

HB-2545

Nollan

Delaying requirement for students to demonstrate mastery of state academic content standards.

 

School testing

HB-2668

Jordan

Definitions used in the Oklahoma School Testing Program Act

 

School testing

HB-3099

Williams

Repealing certain end-of-instruction testing requirements for graduation.

 

Children with disabilities; education

HB-3090

Nelson

Modifying the Llindsay Nichole Henry scholarship program. 

 

Schools; virtual education

SB-1816

Stanislawski

Creating the statewide chartering commission; allowing commission to sponsor online virtual providers for full-time education

 

Schools; graduation requirements

SB-1818

Halligan

Requiring four years of math in order to graduate from high school.

 

Schools; student safety

HB-2514

Kern

Providing that a concealed handgun may be carried onto private elementary or private secondary school property by a person who is licensed pursuant to the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, provided a policy has been adopted by the governing entity of the school that authorizes the possession of a concealed handgun on private school property.

 

Schools; student safety

HB-2417

Enns

Providing that regardless of state law prohibiting the carrying of guns onto school property, a concealed handgun may be carried into a public or private elementary or secondary school by a person who is licensed pursuant to the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, provided a policy has been adopted by the board of education of a public school district or the governing entity of a private school that authorizes the carrying of a concealed handgun into the elementary or secondary school.

 

Education funding

SJR-77

Holt

Calling for a vote of the people to amend the state constitution to add:

Section 9.  The State of Oklahoma shall not accept any federal education funds for elementary and secondary education which require the state to implement a federal education program or achieve standards established by the federal government as a condition of receiving federal education funds.  The provisions of this section shall not prohibit the state from accepting block grants, funds provided by Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as amended, funds provided by the National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, or funds provided by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

 

Education; students with disabilities

HB-2596

Holland

Creating a task force to study mandates on public schools.

 

State Government Funding

Tax Structure Changes Recommended

 

In fiscal year 2010 Oklahoma’s personal income tax collections accounted for 32.1% of state tax collections and provided a major source of funding for state government programs, including those that serve Oklahomans with disabilities. Corporate income tax accounted for 3.1% of revenue in 2010, while sales tax made up 26.2% of taxes collected.  Together, these revenue sources make up a substantial part of the funding used to provide state services.  Ideas to restructure Oklahoma’s taxation system are continually under discussion.  In the fall of 2011 a legislative task force developed a serious framework for tax system reform and many elements of that framework are now being introduced in specific legislation.

 

The Task Force on Comprehensive Tax Reform was chaired by Tulsa Senator Mazzei.  The panel issued a report with recommendations including:

  • Reducing corporate taxes.
  • Reducing the top personal income tax rate.
  • Offsetting the lost revenue from the reduced income tax by ending many tax deductions and credits.
  • The ultimate goal is end all state income tax.
  • To do this, state services must be reduced and made more efficient.  Sales tax revenue would need to increase.  The report projects this will happen if the top income tax rate is reduced or all income tax ended.  The sales tax base would need to be studied in comparison to other states with no income tax, to see how they structure their sales tax.

 

The Report provided estimates of money that could be saved by eliminating a number of existing tax deductions, exemptions and credits.  Estimates of savings from eliminating a few of the provisions affecting individuals with disabilities include:

  • Blind exemption - $130,722
  • Physical disabilities deduction for accessibility modifications - $40,682
  • Age 65+ low income – $474,303
  • Personal exemption – $132,699,190
  • Low income property tax relief – $226,000
  • Sales tax relief (for very poor)  – $43 million
  • Earned Income Tax Credit – $31.8 million

 

A few of the measures introduced to accomplish some of the Task Force recommendations include, in addition to HB-2947 (previously noted):

 

Income and sales tax

SB-1435 (Mazzei) Income tax, sales tax and credits: modifying apportionment of sales tax; modifying income tax rates; eliminating various tax preferences.

 

Income tax; state revenue

SB-1437 (Mazzei) Income tax; modifying tax rates; providing for contingent rate change; requiring determination by State Board of Equalization.

 

Sales tax; state revenue

SB-1447 (Mazzei) Eliminating exclusions and exemptions from sales tax.

 

Income tax; state revenue

SB-1571 (Jolley) Modifying income tax rates for specific time periods; limiting ability to claim certain tax preferences.

 

Income tax; state revenue

SB-1572 (Newberry) Income tax; modifying tax rates for specified years; eliminating certain tax preferences after specified date.

 

Income tax; state revenue

SB-1623 (Mazzei) Income tax; modifying rates and brackets for certain time periods; modifying ability to claim certain tax preferences.

 

Taxes; tax credits; state revenue

HB-2978 (Dank) Revenue and taxation; tax credits; criteria; restrictions.  The bill provides that only tax credits that create or preserve jobs may be enacted, and that tax credits may not be transferred to another entity.

 

Taxes; tax credits; state revenue

HB-2979 (Dank) Tax credits; transferability.

 

Taxes; state revenue

HB-3038 (Osborn, Newell, Derby, Murphey, Brumbaugh, Blackwell, Hall, Randy McDaniel, Holland, Cockroft, Faught, Tibbs, Cooksey, Grau, Vaughan, Ortega, Kirby, Jackson, Armes, Denney, Sanders, Wright and Mulready)  Revenue and taxation; individual income tax; rates; reductions; deductions and exemptions; tax credits; sales tax revenue apportionment.  This bill would eliminate all individual income tax adjustments, exemptions and deductions, but leave in place business deductions.  It would eliminate the standard deduction, the exemption for blindness, the exemption for old age, the exemption for a limited amount of retirement income and for Social Security retirement income, and it would eliminate the deduction for making a home, vehicle and workplace accessible for a taxpayer with a physical disability who has a barrier to employment.  Same as HB-2947 by Derby.

 

Tax reform; state revenue

HB-3061 (Steele) Tax Reform Act of 2012.  Shell as filed.

 

Taxes; state revenue

HB-3085 (Murphey) Omnibus Tax Reform Act of 2012.  Shell as filed.