By Rep. Scott Fetgatter
If you haven’t heard, YOUR legislature is now in session. Last Monday marked the first day of business for Oklahoma’s 56th Legislative Session. Gov. Mary Fallin kicked things off by delivering her seventh State of the State address. The foundation of the governor’s speech was multiple policies that she believes will help repair Oklahoma’s current budget shortfall.
FetgatterAs members of the House begin researching the proposals and presenting their findings through legislation and committee hearings, it should be noted that just because the governor mentioned a plan during the State of the State doesn’t mean the legislation will actually become law. New legislation will require passage in both chambers before making it to the governor’s desk.
There are a few of the governor’s proposals that I will be looking into to see exactly how they will affect the residents of District 16. Specifically, I am looking at the end of a state sales tax on groceries, the elimination of corporate income tax, adding a tax to services, and the wind tax credit. I do want to make one thing clear – questions have been asked about whether or not an end to a grocery sales tax would hurt municipalities who rely on sales tax revenue to operate – the governor is only suggesting that the state sales tax on groceries be eliminated. Her proposal wouldn’t touch county and city sales taxes.
There has been one piece of legislation that has passed out of committee that I think will make many of you happy. The House has already taken steps to offer identification cards and driver’s licenses compliant with the federal Real ID Act. The legislation, House Bill 1845, passed through committee with a 9-0 vote.
Another piece of legislation that passed out of committee this week was HB1013. This piece of legislation would allow Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to have some of the same prescribing ability as doctors. The aim of this bill is increase healthcare availability in our state. There are some places in our state that are basically “doctor deserts,” and this bill would allow highly trained nurses to provide necessary care.
I have almost got all my pages for this session setup. For those that don’t know, the Oklahoma House has a program where high schoolers come and shadow legislators for a week and even run their own city “Pageville.” During this time, they elect officers for Pageville and enact legislation. It is a great opportunity to get our youth involved in the government process, and I look forward to working with these kids this session.
As always, I consider it a great joy in life to serve you in the Oklahoma Legislature. I have been fortunate to have multiple constituents from District 16 stop by this week. If you are headed to the city, please, come by office 248A and see me. If you can’t make it in person, but you have questions, concerns or feedback, please reach out to my office at (405)557-7373 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..