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Feb 23, 2024
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Gun Safety Bill Passes Committee

Rep. Nick Archer, R-Elk City, passed a bill out of the Appropriations & Budget Committee on Thursday that would encourage responsible gun ownership. Starting from the tax year 2025, House Bill 3427 proposes to provide a tax credit equal to 50% of the purchase price of a gun safe or other qualified lockable storage device, up to a maximum of $1,000. "The idea is to incentivize individuals to store firearms safely," Archer said. "House Bill 3427 is a proactive measure designed to promote responsible gun ownership while preventing firearm accidents, theft and unauthorized access." Archer said the National Rifle Association and the Oklahoma Rifle Association, as well as Everytown for Gun Safety, agree on the measure, a topic that typically divides opinions. "This unified commitment to responsible gun ownership bridges the gap between staunch defenders of Second Amendment rights and advocates for gun violence prevention," Archer said. "I was glad this measure passed easily and look forward to seeing it widely supported on the House floor." HB3427 passed the committee with bipartisan support, with one legislator, a Republican, voting against the measure. It is now eligible to be heard on the House floor.



Feb 23, 2024
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Reps. Smith and Rick West Hold Meetings with Rural Fire Coordinators

OKLAHOMA CITY – Reps. David Smith, R-Arpelar, and Rick West, R-Heavener, held a meeting Feb. 21 with 11 rural fire coordinators from across the state who voiced concerns about new mandatory training requirements from the state fire marshal in accordance with state statutes. The meeting was standing room only in Smith's Capitol office. "Volunteer rural firefighters are rural Oklahoma's first line of defense," Smith said. "They're upset because of some of the rumors they are hearing about what might be required of them going forward. It was important to us that we heard their concerns. Now, we are focused on helping facilitate discussions between the coordinators, fire chiefs and the state fire marshal so everyone can be on the same page about the new training requirements." Smith said the next meeting will include State Fire Marshal Keith Bryant as well as fire chiefs and rural fire coordinators from across the state. The meeting will be public for anyone that wishes to attend, space allowing. It is set for 10 a.m. March 13 in Room 450 in the state Capitol, 2300 N Lincoln Blvd. Smith and West also are discussing holding a potential interim study to examine incentives to help recruit and retain rural firefighters. "These are volunteer positions, but they are vital for the safety of all who live and work in rural Oklahoma," West said. "I'm glad we're going to be able to get everyone around the table to discuss ways to improve conditions for these volunteer firefighters and those they serve."



Feb 22, 2024
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Speaker McCall Praises Final Passage of House Grocery Tax Bill

OKLAHOMA CITY – Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, today issued a statement following the final passage of House Bill 1955, by McCall, which eliminates the state's portion of the grocery tax, through the Oklahoma Senate by a vote of 42-2. The bill was passed by the House 11 months ago, and has been awaiting a vote in the Senate along with an income tax cut.   "This is a truly historic day. With the passage of House Bill 1955, the Legislature has managed to give Oklahomans the largest single year tax cut in state history, returning $411 million to our citizens at a time when they need it the most," McCall said. "I would like to give a tremendous amount of credit to my colleagues in the House who have fought through both regular and special sessions over the past three years to cut taxes and provide relief to the citizens of Oklahoma. Their persistence and willingness to come in on weekends, holidays and during the interim to do the work of the people has led to a policy that will help all Oklahomans." McCall said that the legislation's passage also would not have been possible without the support of Gov. Kevin Stitt and the House's colleagues in the Oklahoma Senate. "I would like to thank Gov. Stitt for his leadership throughout this process and his unwavering support in cutting taxes. He has been an ally and vocal proponent of getting tax relief legislation to his desk, and I am glad the Senate is finally delivering to him a bill that will help all Oklahomans," McCall said.  "I would also like to thank President Pro Temp Greg Treat and our colleagues in the Senate for finally voting this legislation through to the governor's desk. The delay in the vote cost Oklahomans an estimated additional $374 million in taxes, and the lack of an emergency to immediately put the cuts in place will cost our citizens another $200M, but Senate leadership did their best to at least secure passage. The House has sent several tax cuts to the Senate over the last three years only to have them stall and not be heard. Thankfully this legislation has finally passed after 332 days of waiting. Oklahomans are currently facing some of the worst inflation of the last three decades, and the Senate's vote today means that help is finally on the way." McCall added that while passage of the grocery tax cut is a good first step, it is not the final step needed to truly help Oklahomans. "There is continued work to be done to give Oklahomans back more of their hard-earned money. While the grocery tax is a good first step, it is not the only action needed to accomplish that goal. The House always knew this legislation would pass if put up for a vote, and we feel the same way about the .25% income tax cut. The House would still like to see a vote taken on the income tax cut legislation that was passed to the Senate in special session, and will continue to explore every opportunity to lower the tax burden for all Oklahomans." -END- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Daniel Seitz, House Leadership Communications Liaison  Phone: (405) 962-7649 Email: daniel.seitz@okhouse.gov