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Legislative Report—2008 Wrap Up

HB 3397// Representative Cargill and Senator Coffee—Tuition lock legislation.
Representative Cargill's bill will amend last year's tuition lock legislation. This bill clarifies that the guaranteed rate is subject to a 115% of the regional average limitation. The nonguaranteed rate will be subject to a 100% of the regional average limitation. The bill also has a provision for students who are required to withdrawal from an institution due to their service in a branch of the Armed Forces. The student, if participating in the guaranteed tuition rate program, upon reentering the institution will pay the same amount he/she was charged at the time of withdrawal. Additionally, Governor Henry is advocating a “trigger” provision, which would suspend the tuition lock in a declining appropriation year. However, this provision is not in the current legislation. This bill also exempts 2- year institutions from the tuition lock regulations.

SB 1585// Senator Jolley and Representative Ingmire-- Establishes the audit due date for higher Ed. facilities to be moved to Oct. 31 st of each year. Currently, each institution is required to submit an audit to Office of State Finance. This legislation moves the date to Oct. 31 st.

SB 1442//Senator Ballenger and Representative Shoemake— Changes the name of Oklahoma State University Technical Branch at Okmulgee. Representative Ballenger's bill would change Oklahoma State University Technical Branch at Okmulgee to the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, Okmulgee .

HB2462 Representative Ingmire and Senator Schulz-- Changing the membership of the Quartz Mountain board of trustees. Representative Ingmire's bill would change the membership of the Quartz Mountain board of trustees to a board that represents a consortium of higher education institutions. The board will consist of nine members. Six members will be appointed by the governor and the remaining three will be college presidents from the following universities: Western Oklahoma State College, Cameron University , and Southwestern Oklahoma State University. The board will be responsible for developing programs and courses which utilize the facility and its resources.

HB2882// Representative Shelton and Senator Morgan—Creates a Board of Trustees for Langston University.  Representative Shelton's bill creates a Board of Trustees for Langston University , Oklahoma City and Langston University, Tulsa. The board shall consist of nine members. Seven members will be appointed by the Governor. The additional two members will be appointed from the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges as ex-officio members. The Langston board will advise the president on issues concerning supervision and management of the campuses.

SB1398// Senator Anderson and Representative Murphy— Oversight for the Master Lease Program Sen. Anderson's legislation creates a limitation on the master lease program. The bill stipulates a new monetary limit for personal property acquired and legislative oversight for real property financed through this program. The legislation caps the amount of monies available for personal property lease transactions to 50 million dollars. For real property, the legislation requires institutions to have a list of desired projects approved by the Governor, Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore. The list will be submitted within the first 7 days of the legislative session. The legislature then has 45 days to either disapprove all or some of the projects by concurrent resolution. If the legislature fails to act within the 45 days, the proposed projects are then deemed to be approved.

HB2793// Speaker Benge and Senator M. Johnson—Change to tax sheltered annuity accounts. This legislation directs employers who offer tax sheltered annuity accounts to provide an approved list of vendors eligible to receive employee contributions. The legislation also allows an entity to revoke a current vendor's eligibility until the vendor reestablishes approval from the institution, board or agency.  

SB1038// Senator Nichols and Representative Randy Terrill— Conduct a comprehensive review of the Oklahoma's Promise program during the 2008 legislative interim. The legislation will delay two of the changes implemented last year to the Oklahoma 's Promise program. The legislation will delay the second check on a family's income level, currently, if the income is too high the student becomes ineligible for the program. The bill will also delay the new GPA requirement where a student must achieve a certain grade point average during college to continue in the program. The bill also contains language extending the amount of time a student serving in the military may enroll in college and still use their Oklahoma 's Promise scholarship . An Oklahoma 's Promise recipient who enters a branch of the armed forces and is ordered to active duty before starting college will not be subject to the requirement of starting college within three years of leaving secondary education.

HB2242//Representative Ingmire and Senator Crutchfield - Allows the OSRHE to receive reimbursement funds for food, lodging, ect. when hosting conferences or training sessions. This legislation will allow the OSRHE to enter into contracts to pay for food and lodging in order to hold conferences, seminars and conduct training for individuals outside the Agency.

SB1795// Senator Johnson and Representative Tad Jones –Allows lottery monies to be released to OSRHE at first of each month SB 1795 allows the OSRHE to receive appropriations from the OK Education Lottery Trust Fund around the first of each month to ensure the Agency can make timely debt service payments. Currently, the statue does not require the OK Lottery to disseminate funds on a monthly basis to OSRHE, however, for FY07 and FY08 the lottery has approved monthly payouts to the Agency. This legislation changes the statue to require the OK Lottery to make the monthly payments.

SB1373// Senator Johnson and Representative Miller—Endowed Chairs This legislation authorizes an increase in the amount of bonds the OK Capitol Improvement Authority may issue and sell on behalf of the endowed chairs program. The legislation designates a $100,000,000 to address a portion of the accumulated back log. The legislation also creates a July1, 2008, cut off date for any additional funds to be donated and still receive at dollar to dollar match. Additionally, the remaining backlog must be paid off before the state will match donations made after the July 1, 2008 cut off date. After July 1, 2008, new guidelines will be instituted for the program. The guidelines include:
a) One –to-one match for private donations of $250,000 or less
b) Four –to-one match ($4.00 private funds for $1.00 of state funds) for private donations greater than $250,000
c) An annual state match cap of $5,000.000
d) The 5 million cap is further broken down so that $4,000,000 each year may be used for the combined benefit of comprehensive universities, and $1,000,000 each year may by used for the combined benefit of the other eligible institutions.

SB1202// Senator Johnson and Representative Miller—Appropriations bill for Endowed Chairs Debt Service. The legislation appropriates to the OSRHE approximately 4.89 million dollars to cover the bond debt service for six months.   The agency will receive from the Special Cash Fund of the State Treasury the sum of Two Million Nine Hundred Sixty-four Thousand Eight Hundred Ninety-eight Dollars ($2,964,898.00). •  The agency will also receive from the General Revenue Fund of the State Treasury the sum of One Million Nine Hundred Thirty-four Thousand Five Hundred Sixty-seven Dollars ($1,934,567.00).

HB3239// Representative McNiel and Senator Corn—Tax Credit for Engineering Graduates   The legislation provides tax credits, not to exceed $5,000 a year for up to five years, to engineering graduates who sign on with Oklahoma aerospace companies starting Jan. 1.   The bill also gives tax credits to aerospace companies that hire engineers, with a larger credit for graduates of Oklahoma schools.

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