Session notes: The budget bills have all been sent to the governor, but the Oklahoma Legislature still has some work to do.
On Monday, the House is expected to hear a new measure that would regulate virtual charter schools and the final draft of a major overhaul of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority.
Both bills also would have to go to the Senate, which wouldn’t be able to vote on them until at least Wednesday.
The House also has to vote on the final version of a school funding measure that would send $38 million to brick-and-mortar charter and traditional public schools with low property tax bases.
The Legislature must adjourn by Friday but could finish up a day or two early.
Among the bills mostly overlooked in this year’s legislative shuffle is Senate Bill 1057, which passed the House and Senate last week and is now on the governor’s desk.
SB 1057 authorizes tag agencies to issue Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses and IDs and, perhaps most remarkably, allow renewals for up to eight years.
Only a few years ago, the Oklahoma Legislature was on the verge of eliminating the state’s film and television incentive.
Last week it voted to increase the annual limit on what is now a rebate program to $30 million from $8 million.
One reason is that large productions such as “Killers of the Flower Moon” can soak up several year’s worth of rebates all by themselves. Rep. Scott Fetgatter, R-Okmulgee, wanted to increase the limit to $50 million divided into separate funds for large and small projects, but that was too much for the Senate.
The TV series “Reservation Dogs” is being partially shot in and around Fetgatter’s hometown.
Rep. Jason Lowe, D-Oklahoma City, was chosen chairman and Rep. Monroe Nichols, D-Tulsa, vice chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus.
Bottom lines: Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter joined 19 other AGs in complaining to President Joe Biden about his revoking a federal permit that would have allowed completion of the remaining segments of the Keystone XL pipeline. … Oklahoma Progress Now launched LevelField, a political action committee. … A new report by The Commonwealth Fund says expanded Medicaid will gain Oklahoma 31,700 employees in 2022. … The Oklahoma Defense Industry Association announced its formation.
— Randy Krehbiel, Tulsa World