Legislative update: Chamber priorities see success as legislative session concludes

Friday, May 28, 2021

The 2021 Legislative Session adjourned Sine Die on May 27. When the session began on Feb. 1, the state was facing grim uncertainty as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to threaten lives and the economy. As recently as December 2020, the projected state budget numbers were ominous. However, substantial monthly increases in economic activity combined with a sharp rise in oil prices led to a dramatic rebound of the state’s financial condition, leaving the state with a budget surplus at the end of session.

House and Senate leaders, along with Gov. Kevin Stitt, admirably navigated though the pandemic and ensured legislative business was conducted safely, effectively, and efficiently. The $8.8 billion FY 2022 appropriated budget represents a 14.3% increase over the $7.7 billion budget for FY 2021. The FY 2022 budget increases K-12 common education funding by $171 million to nearly $3.2 billion, a historic amount, and sets aside more than $800 million in savings to the general revenue fund. The budget agreement also includes $35 million in new economic development funding ($20 million into Quick Action Closing Fund, $15 million for business incubator program) and reductions in the state personal income tax from 5% to 4.75% and the corporate income tax from 6% to 4%.

Our final edition of the 2021 Business Advocate details legislative activity on several Chamber priorities including: 1) preserving key economic development incentive programs; 2) maintaining local control of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department; 3) achieving success on multiple transit fronts; 4) protecting the rights of business/property owners from harmful gun legislation; and 5) working against discriminatory legislation that could impact NCAA tournaments in the state. This report also addresses harmful data privacy legislation that did not advance, notable success on broadband initiatives, full funding for ODOT’s eight-year work plan, continued progress on criminal justice reform, enactment of legislation to fund Medicaid Expansion, and success on several education initiatives, including buildings and infrastructure funding for charter schools.

Get the full update on VeloCityOKC.com