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Oklahoma Legislature bill status

The status of some of the major legislation in the 2003 session of the 49th Oklahoma Legislature as of Feb 7:

HB 1106 by Balkman _ Beer License Fees. Would increase license fees for low-point beer retailers from $10 to $100 a year and dedicate revenue to community-based substance abuse clinics. Passed by House Commerce, Industry and Labor Committee; sent to full House.

HB 1122 by Trebilcock _ Teacher Income Tax Credits. Would create income tax credits of up to $500 a year for public school teachers who spend their own money on classroom materials, equipment and supplies. Referred to House Revenue and Taxation Committee.

HB 1153 by Pettigrew _ School Consolidation. Would provide financial incentives for Oklahoma's more than 540 public school districts to consolidate. Passed by House Common Education Committee; referred to full House.

HB 1278 by Kirby _ Oklahoma Lottery for Education Act. Would schedule a vote of the people to create a statewide lottery to support public education. Referred to House Revenue and Taxation Committee.

HB 1406 by Toure _ Wrongful Conviction. Would authorize claims under the Government Tort Claims Act for wrongful criminal felony convictions resulting in imprisonment and limiting recovery to a maximum of $200,000. Referred to House Judiciary Committee.

HB 1436 by Smithson _ Standard Tax Deduction. Would amend the amount of the state standard tax deduction to match the federal tax deduction to compute state income taxes. Referred to the House Revenue and Taxation Committee.

HB 1748 by Nations _ College Tuition. Would authorize Oklahoma's two comprehensive universities, the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, to set tuition based on the average charged by schools in the Big 12 Conference. Other colleges and universities would set tuition based on the average of state-supported institutions in adjacent states and other methods. Referred to House Higher Education Committee.

HJR 1010 by Vaughn _ Cigarette Excise Tax. Would schedule a statewide vote of the people on a plan to increase the excise tax on a pack of cigarettes by $1 per pack to $1.23, and dedicate the additional revenue to tobacco use prevention and cessation programs and health care. Referred to House Revenue and Taxation Committee.

SB 18 by Pruitt _ Sexually Oriented Businesses. Would permit county commissioners to regulate sexually oriented businesses and enforce regulations by civil action. Referred to Senate General Government Committee.

SB 211 by Crutchfield _ Sales Tax Holiday. Would create a sales tax holiday during the first weekend in August that would exempt the state sales tax on articles of clothing that sell for less than $100 and providing for counties, cities and towns to create similar sales tax holidays. Referred to Senate Finance Committee.

SB 252 by Wilcoxson _ Volunteer Immunity. Providing protection from liability to volunteers, even if they perform similar services to the public for a fee. Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee.

SB 415 by Snyder _ Income Taxes. Would create a mechanism for reducing the state income tax rate. Referred to Senate Finance Committee.

SB 550 by Coffee _ Income Tax Exemption for Retirees. Would exempt retirement pay from state income taxes. Referred to Senate Finance Committee.

SB 829 by Shurden _ Cockfighting. Would authorize a county-option mechanism to permit voters in select counties to suspend the statewide prohibition against cockfighting in those counties. Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee.

SJR 1 by Milacek _ Fuel Taxes. Would set up a statewide vote of the people on a plan to raise state fuel taxes by 5 cents a gallon on gasoline and 8 cents a gallon on diesel fuel with the revenue dedicated to transportation needs. Referred to Senate Transportation Committee.

SJR 11 by Johnson _ School Taxes. Would create a constitutional amendment to authorize elections within local school districts on a plan to raise the cap that can be levied for local support of schools. Referred to Education Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
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