2020 LEGISLATION AEROSPACE, TECHNOLOGY, DEFENSE & TELECOMMUNICATIONS
HB 4018: Creates the Rural Broadband Expansion Council, which will study and recommend how to improve broadband access across the state. Authors: Speaker Charles McCall and Pro Tem Greg Treat Effective Date: May 22, 2020
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TAXATION & RETAIL
SB 1075: Allows businesses participating in the Quality Jobs Program in 2020 to remain eligible despite their inability to meet certain statutory requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. Authors: Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Kevin Wallace Effective Date: May 21, 2020 SB 1362: Allows economic development projects to increase the amount of net leasable space for retail projects that include grocery and specialty food stores to qualify for local government matching payments. Authors: Sen. Dave Rader and Rep. Scott Fetgatter Effective Date: July 1, 2020
ENERGY & NATURAL RESOURCES HB 1048: Allows a landowner to retain the rights to groundwater when surface rights are acquired through eminent domain. Authors: Rep. Danny Sterling and Sen. Julie Daniels Effective Date: Nov. 1, 2020 HB 3619: Prohibits a city, town or county from adopting estate development building or construction ordinances, rules or codes restricting or prohibiting connections to utility providers lawfully operating in the state. Also prohibits the adoption of rules or codes that would discriminate against any utility provider. Authors: Rep. Terry O’Donnell and Sen. Mark Allen Effective Date: Nov. 1, 2020 SB 1225: Amends the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act to require certified projects and pre-engineered projects to consult with the statewide one-call notification center. Expands the information an excavator must provide to an operator and limits the proposed area of work to 500 feet in incorporated areas and one mile in unincorporated areas. Gives public agencies access to the record of underground facilities. Authors: Sen. Mark Allen and Rep. Terry O’Donnell Effective Date: Nov. 1, 2020
SB 1875: Creates the Oil and Gas Produced Water and Waste Recycling and Reuse Act. Operators are the owners of water and waste produce from oil and gas production and have the right to the water and its proceeds for any subsequent uses. Limits civil liability for subsequent use of recycled water. Authors: Sen. Dave Rader and Rep. Terry O’Donnell Effective Date: Nov. 1, 2020
HEALTH CARE SB 1046: Expands Medicaid coverage to a newly eligible population (low-income adults) and designated a funding source for the program. Authors: Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Kevin Wallace Status: Vetoed SB 1837: Creates the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact, which recognizes the licensure of audiologists and speech-language pathologist in certain states. Authors: Sen. Dave Rader and Rep. Josh West Effective Date: Nov. 1, 2020
HUMAN RESOURCES & LABOR LAW
Several measures were filed this year to increase minimum wage and mandate paid parental, sick and medical leave. These measures died early in session. A bill to reform to occupational licensing was moving through the legislative process before COVID-19 shut down the Capitol. The legislature is expected to take the issue up again in 2021. Freezing Unemployment Benefit Wage Charges: The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) waved Benefit wage charges to experience rated employers for allowed claims of unemployment benefits that are directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic will be waived until Dec. 31, 2020.
LEGAL REFORM SB 1946: Establishes immunity from civil liability for businesses that have been open or are reopening pursuant to state or federal guidelines from facing lawsuits related to COVID-19 exposure. Authors: Sen. Greg Treat and Rep. Charles McCall Effective Date: May 20, 2020 SB 1947: Creates the COVID-19 Product Protection Act. Exempts those that: Design, manufacture, label, sell, distribute, or donate a qualified product during and in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency from civil liability if they do not make said products in the ordinary course of business. Utilize a qualified product from civil liability.
Insulation from civil liability does not apply to those who: Had actual knowledge a product was defective. Those acting with deliberate indifference to or conscious disregard. Acting with deliberate intent. Applies to any claims arising on or after the emergency declared by the governor related to COVID-19 by Executive Order 2020-07 on March 15, 2020. Authors: Sen. Greg Treat and Rep. Charles McCall Effective Date: May 20, 2020
TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE SB 1269: Directs the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to adopt a comprehensive state flood plan to inform state and local flood control policy. Authors: Sen. Dave Rader and Rep. Lonnie Sims Effective date: Nov. 1, 2020 SB 1403: Gives the State Auditor and Inspector authority to perform an operational audit of each circuit engineering district in Oklahoma.
to select how the course will be delivered (on site, virtually, in partnership with another district or at a local career technology institution). Authors: Rep. Rhonda Baker and Sen. Gary Stanislawski Effective Date: Nov. 1, 2020
BAD FOR BUSINESS, BAD FOR OKLAHOMA HB 1403: Authorized the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) to determine and adjust the mean instream flow for treasured streams in Oklahoma. Authors: Rep. Justin Humphrey and Sen. David Bullard Status: Dead HB 2760: Reduces the Affordable Housing Tax Credit by $2 million Authors: Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Kevin Wallace Status: Vetoed
SB 1595: Effectively eliminated the five-year ad valorem tax exemption for qualified manufacturers. Oklahoma businesses stood to lose over $160 million in tax incentives without any warning. The State Chamber was successful in getting the bill WORKERS’ COMPENSATION vetoed. Authors: Sen. Chuck Hall and Rep. Brad Boles Effective date: July 1, 2020
HJR 1028: In 2019, the legislature tasked the Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) with reviewing the medical provider fee schedule. The WCC hired a national firm specializing in fee schedules to make recommendations for revising Oklahoma’s current fee schedule. After receiving public comment, a new fee schedule was approved by the WCC and submitted to the legislature. Authors: Rep. Jon Echols and Sen. Kim David Effective Date: July 1, 2020
Authors: Sen. Greg Treat and Rep. Kevin Wallace Status: Vetoed SB 1890: Mandated employees of small employers and those not offering employee retirement plans be automatically enrolled in a state-sponsored individual retirement account administered by the state treasurer. Authors: Sen. John Montgomery and Rep. Marcus McEntire Status: Dead
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT HB 3369: Caps the percentage of state aid a sponsoring school district can retain from a charter school for administrative services rendered to 3 percent. Authors: Rep. Jon Echols and Sen. Kim David Effective Date: Nov. 1, 2020 HB 3400: Requires public high schools to offer at least 4 advanced placement (AP) courses to students beginning with the 2024- 2025 school year. Local boards of education will have the flexibility
HAVE QUESTIONS? Contact the State Chamber Government Affairs Team
2020 SESSION SUMMARY This session was extraordinary but left all involved longing for the ordinary. The legislature shut down on March 17 after COVID-19 made its way to Oklahoma. The well-structured legislative process was scrapped for a “figure it out as we go” approach which left most legislation dead. However, a few pieces of legislation made it to the finish line this year.
VETO – Line-Item
VETO – Overrides
$7.7 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2021
4 percent cuts to most agencies
2.5 percent cut to education
Access the budget breakdown here
UNPRECEDENTED AUTHORITY The Catastrophic Health Emergency Powers Act was used for the first time in state history this session to grant unprecedented authority to Gov. Kevin Stitt to assist in the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It expired on May 30.
STATE QUESTION 802 Adds a provision to the Oklahoma Constitution to expand Medicaid to those over 18 and under 65 with an annual income at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty line. Status: Approved by voters