President Pro Tempore
Senator Mike Schulz, R-Altus
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: May 26, 2017
Oklahoma Senate Pro Tem comments on 2017
Says REAL ID, energy jobs policy wins during challenging budget
Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Mike
Schulz commented on the 2017 session, saying great policy bookended
a session dominated by a $1 billion budget shortfall.
“The Oklahoma Senate worked this session with the goal of
ensuring the policies we enacted had long-term vision and set Oklahoma
on the path to success now and years down the line. Despite a session
that was dominated by the $1 billion shortfall, the Senate was able
to enact important policies that will help grow our economy, create
jobs and generate wealth, and yield new revenues for the state budget.
The Energy Jobs Act of 2017 will help kick start oil and gas drilling,
allowing the industry to help lead Oklahoma’s economic recovery.
And getting Oklahoma in compliance with the federal REAL ID law
ensures Oklahomans can maintain access to military bases to support
our service men and women and board domestic flights with state
issued ID,” said Schulz, R-Altus.
“The budget process was difficult this year. The Oklahoma
Senate showed its willingness to compromise – passing a revenue
bill that would have meant $514 million in new, recurring revenue
for the state. But without compromise from others in budget negotiations,
we couldn’t reach a deal and moved forward. Initially, 18
– 20 percent cuts were feared at the outset of the year. But
the budgets of common education, the Department of Corrections,
the Department of Human Services, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority,
and the Department of Public Safety were kept whole while other
agency cuts average less than five percent. Like most budgets passed
by the Legislature, the FY’18 budget is not a perfect bill
but it is an incredible accomplishment considering the Legislature
had to deal with a budget hole of $1 billion and some refused to
“This was a challenging session, but I’m proud of every
member of the Oklahoma Senate for their dedication to our state
and willingness to put our state above partisan politics. I’m
proud to lead this chamber and want to thank each senator for their
service to Oklahoma.”
Below is a list of some of the 2017 legislative accomplishments
of the Oklahoma Senate:
• HB 2298 (Schulz): accelerates the sunset date of the zero-emissions
tax credit for wind energy to July 1, 2017, saving the state millions
of dollars in future budget years.
• HB 2343 (David): expands parameters for which the Oklahoma
Tax Commission can target entities for noncompliance with certain
sales tax laws. The measure is expected to generate $17 million
in new revenue.
• SB 170 (Thompson): eliminates the automatic income tax cut
trigger, preserving lawmakers’ ability to pursue income tax
cuts at a future date.
• HB 2311 (Schulz): commission to conduct independent performance
audits of top 20 appropriated state agencies in order to identify
ways in which tax dollars can be used more efficiently and services
delivered more effectively.
• HB 2344 (David): reduces the maximum for the Oklahoma Film
Enhancement Rebate Program by $1 million.
• HB 2348 (David): “decouples” the standard deduction
on state tax returns from federal deductions. The measure is estimated
to raise $4 million currently, and prevent millions in an anticipated
shortfall if the federal government changes the federal standard
• HB 1427 (Leewright): authorizes the creation of a dedicated
division within the Oklahoma Tax Commission to focus solely on out-of-state
vendors who may not be in compliance with Oklahoma tax code.
ECONOMY: A MORE PROSPEROUS OKLAHOMA
• SB 867 (Schulz): Energy Jobs Act of 2017 allows horizontal
drilling in all rock formations, while maintaining protections for
other producers. The bill is estimated to generate millions for
state and local governments, and foster the creation of thousands
of oil and gas jobs.
• HB 1845 (Schulz): brings Oklahoma into compliance with the
federal REAL ID law ensuring Oklahomans can use their state-issued
licenses to gain entry to federal buildings and military installations
and to board commercial flights.
• SB 147 (Schulz): allows concentrated feeding animal operations
(CAFO) to be located within a town if the municipality's governing
body executes a written waiver of the setback for the particular
CAFO, ensuring CAFO’s can continue operations while allowing
municipalities to hold them accountable.
• SB 120 (David): extends the successful aerospace engineers
• SB 211 (Bice): allows Sunday alcohol sales if approved by
• SB 174 (Bice): allows spouses of liquor retail store owners
to own separate stores.
• SB 593 (Schulz): Protects property rights, puts Oklahoma
in line with the other 49 states in regards to private airstrips,
and allows FAA to make the determination of setbacks to keep the
area safe for air travel.
• HB 2186 (Holt) (pending): allows movie theatres to serve
alcohol provided they receive the appropriate permits.
EDUCATION: INVESTING IN FUTURE GENERATIONS
• SB 514 (Stanislawski): creates task force to study ways
to reduce administrative costs and improve financial stability of
school districts. Another effort to ensure more dollars make it
into the classroom to support students and teachers.
• SB 15 (Bice): directs the OSDE and State Regents for Higher
Education to implement a targeted teacher recruiting program.
• SB 84 (Bergstrom): extends the probationary period for a
student who cannot pass the third-grade reading test to the 2022-2023
• SB 244 (Stanislawski): requires virtual charter schools
to track attendance.
• SB 301 (Griffin): exempts children in out-of-home placements
with DHS from the requirement to attend a public school regarding
the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship program.
• SB 445 (Newhouse): Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education
Scholarship Act tax credits.
• SB 529 (Smalley): increases the family income limit for
eligibility under the Oklahoma’s Promise program and expands
the tuition scholarship to include more CareerTech programs.
• HB 1693 (Stanislawski): puts into place a new framework
and basic components for a new A-F school accountability system,
ensuring Oklahoma is compliant with the federal Every Student Succeeds
• HB 1578 (Stanislawski): creates the School Finance Review
Commission which will study all matters related to school finance
in an effort to provide understanding and accountability in school
PUBLIC SAFETY: A SAFER OKLAHOMA
• SB 603 (Treat): requires the Department of Corrections to
administer a risk and needs assessment for each prisoner. The agency
must develop a plan of action based on said assessment. (pending
approval by governor)
• SB 604 (Treat) requires the Council on Law Enforcement Education
and Training to include personal safety planning necessary at the
pretrial stages of a potential criminal case.
• SB 52 (Fry): requires drivers to physically turn over their
driver's license on demand from a peace officer.
• SB 90 (McCortney): requires the sheriff or a CLEET-certified
deputy sheriff to accompany a reserve force deputy sheriff unless
said deputy sheriff received 240 hours of training. Requires them
to complete said training in 6 months.
• SB 252 (Griffin): allows victims impact panel programs to
have multiple presenters.
• SB 273 (Smalley): extends forcible sodomy laws dealing with
public employees to include subcontractors and their employees.
• SB 342 (Holt): creates a task force to examine costs and
fees assessed on persons interacting with the criminal justice process.
• SB 786 (Shaw) reduces charges associated with burglary if
no person is present in the home.
• SB 38 (Thompson): increases the Forensic Science Improvement
Assessment fee from $5 to $10 to support the upkeep of state forensic
• SB 303 (Smalley) authorizes the Oklahoma State Bureau of
Investigation to submit fingerprints to the FBI Rap Back System.
A HEALTHIER OKLAHOMA
• SB 741 (Standridge): subject to the availability of funds,
directs Oklahoma Health Care Authority to develop and administer
a program to encourage participants in the Medicaid program to use
primary care services in lieu of emergency room visits in order
to drive down health care costs.
• SB 765 (Yen): prohibits minors from utilizing tanning beds.
• SB 773 (David): directs the OHCA to initiate a request for
proposal for care coordination models for children 0-18 years of
• SB 828 (Griffin): creates the Nursing Facility Supplemental
Payment Program Revolving Fund under the OHCA which will be used
to make supplemental payments of Medicaid and administrative expenses.
PROTECTING CHILDREN AND SUPPORTING FAMILIES
• HB 1703 (Treat): “Choosing Childbirth Act," which
establishes a program to promote, incentivize, and provide support
for crisis pregnancy centers.
• SB 34 (David): strengthens anti-trafficking laws by stating
"lack of knowledge of the age of the (trafficking) victim"
shall not constitute a defense to human trafficking of a minor.
• SB 217 (Griffin): requires a sex offender who is given a
suspended sentence to report to local law enforcement and the DOC
parole office in their district.
• SB 717 (Griffin): broadens scope of the Child Care Restricted
Registry to include people with a substantiated finding of child
• SB 723 (Griffin): broadens the scope of background checks
for those applying to be child care providers.
• SB 726 (Griffin): subjects physicians engaging in telemedicine
to the same standards in person healthcare experts are expected
to adhere to.
• SB 748 (Griffin): allows DHS to create a pilot program that
focuses on improving socioeconomic outcomes for children in state
• SB 30 (Griffin): requires DHS to publicly post information
regarding pregnancy help centers contingent on funding being appropriated
specifically for this program.
• HB 1894 (Sykes): helps protect vulnerable patients from
being denied life-preserving care by creating a hierarchy of individuals
who can make health decisions for someone that is consistently unconscious,
incompetent or otherwise mentally or physically incapable of communicating.
• HB 1468 (Holt): modified the statute of limitations on criminal
charges so that minors can now charge the perpetrator until their
own 45th birthday.
• HB 1470 (Holt): modifies the statute of limitation on civil
suits regarding sexual assault so that minors can now charge the
perpetrator until their own 45th birthday.
SUPPORTING VETERANS AND MILITARY FAMILIES
• SB 35 (David): allows active military members and those
who are in the Reserves or National Guard who are 21 years of age
or older to carry a handgun without a handgun license. Military
members’ extensive training with weapons makes the requirement
of having a gun license unnecessary.
• SB 227 (Simpson): increases service members’ financial
and contractual rights by allowing members in the Armed Services
or National Guard to cancel services like cell phone contracts,
utilities, and health club memberships without penalty when mobilized
• SB 233 (Simpson): adds provision stating that hourly employees
shall not miss out on the first 240 hours of their pay when called
to active service.
• SB 543 (Simpson): directs ODVA to establish a state cemetery
for veterans addressing a national shortage of space for veterans’
cemeteries and providing a way to honor veterans with a dignified
final resting place.
• SB 730 (Simpson): strikes the requirement for veterans’
centers to implement non-smoking measures by January, 2018.
GENERAL POLICY AND REFORMS
• SB 145 (Fields): allows presidential electors to be chosen
at a party convention, but not necessarily a statewide convention.
Changes the petition requirements to file for an independent bid
of the Presidency to include the number of signatures required to
form a party.
• SB 148 (Fields): states that Oklahomans who renew their
license must be provided with voter registration services as required
by the National Voter Registration Act. Changes of address on the
license shall change the address on the registration.
• SB 153 (Fields): allows state parks to spend monies collected
from entrance or day-use charges at state parks for general improvement
of the park.
• SB 287 (Griffin): directs the Oklahoma Corporation Commission
and Department of Environmental Quality to obtain authorization
from the federal Environmental Protection Agency to administer all
programs regulating oil and gas discharges into the waters of this
• SB 360 (Holt): directs state Election Board to develop a
system to allow voters to electronically change information on voter
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