By Rep. Scott Fetgatter
As promised, I’m giving an overview of a few of the 17 House and Senate bills I authored this legislative session that were signed into law by the governor.
scott fetgatterThese bills are a mix of tax and revenue reforms that clean up our tax incentive structure, that help grow our economy and recruit new jobs to our state, as well as several that create necessary frameworks around the state’s new medical marijuana law, and an important constituent request. All will provide positive benefits for Oklahomans.
First, I want to mention Kaylee’s Law, House Bill 1881, which directs the courts to issue orders of no contact from people convicted of sexual abuse or exploitation crimes to their victims. This bill came from a constituent who was sexually abused as a child and then later contacted by the man serving prison time for the crimes against her. He sent her a birthday card, pictures and newspaper clippings talking about how beautiful she’d grown up to be. This law puts orders in place to protect such victims.
On a much different note, Senate Bill 485 repeals a tax exemption currently enjoyed by sponsors of small business incubators. The bill instead gives the exemption to qualifying tenants of the incubator. When considering tax credits or exemptions, I always have to make sure they are good for the state in terms of total return on investment through the number of jobs that result and the increase in economic activity.
I also ran a few bills that will streamline the tax collection process to help the Oklahoma Tax Commission do their jobs. This in turn benefits Oklahomans through the funding of core state services – such as better schools, better health care, better roads, better public safety services and more.
In addition, I ran several pieces of legislation that will help us better implement and regulate the state’s new medical marijuana industry. These are with an eye toward keeping consumers and the public safe as well as to clarify gaps in the law for those who will be growing, testing or selling this product.
I also want to mention Senate Bill 210, which I carried in the House. The House version of this bill was the one signed into law, but it does the same thing as the bill I carried. This allows private entities to provide up-front financing and to be repaid with public dollars only when certified results are achieved. This program originally provided substance abuse treatment for women who otherwise would have gone to prison. This helped Oklahoma address prison overcrowding and actually turned lives around, reuniting these women with their families and helping them secure jobs. This legislation expands the program throughout state government, encouraging innovative programs and services with private entities but without risk to taxpayer dollars.
This is just a snapshot of the work I accomplished this year at the Capitol. Now, I am studying possible legislation for next year.
My Capitol phone is still being answered during the interim, and I am checking my email. Feel free to contact me at (405) 557-7373 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..