Just a quick update from the OCAH Government Affairs committee on what has been happening in the legislature this year. The summary below will tell you what’s happened so far and a little about the few remaining bills that appear to be of interest to our membership. In addition to the below we will be watching the budget reconciliation, “JCAB” process where in years past “shell bills” – bills with no language just a title – that are kept alive are converted into substantive legislation that affects our members and our mission. If you’d like to discuss any of the below bills further please feel free to contact the chair of the Government Affairs Committee, Scott Nixon.
After the snow storm delayed some of the House and Senate’s happenings, the legislature was back last week working for the Feb. 25 deadline for bills to be out of committee in the chamber of origin. Last week’s deadline left almost 1,100 bills alive. This number does not include the bills assigned to Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget, which are not subject to deadline. Session started with nearly 3,040 bills. The vast majority of bills not heard in committee last week are now dead for the year. Unfortunately, Representative Nichols’ HB2435 to double the amount of funding for the Oklahoma Affordable Housing Act failed to meet the deadline.
The House and Senate now have their eye on March 11, when bills must be heard on the floor in the chamber of origin. The House has about 290 bills still available for possible consideration. The Senate has just over 300.
OCAH’s 2021 Legislative Tracking Items
This bill will allow certain children under the age of 18 enter into housing contracts. This bill has passed the house (89-4) as of March 2, 2021 and will move on to the Senate. The child must age 16 or older and must have a certification of unaccompanied status from a youth services provided with the Department of Human Services. The child must be homeless or a victim of domestic violence or abuse.
This bill allows a registered apprentice working under the supervision of a mechanical contractor to sit for any journeyman license examination (except unlimited journeyman) without satisfying training or experience requirement if the supervising contractor certifies they have the needed skills.
This bill prohibits courts from extending the terms of tenancy and must grant possession immediately upon entry of judgement. The measure allows a landlord to immediately apply to the sheriff for enforcement of the right to possession upon the entry of a judgement and also limits the amount of a late payment fee to 15% of the monthly rent. The bill also provides that the provisions of the Oklahoma Residential Landlord Tenant Act are enforceable during a catastrophic health emergency.
This bill would allow for a tax credits for landlords up to $5M per year for qualified rental income losses. Each taxpayer would be limited to $1,250 annually. Any unused credits would carryover to the next year. The tax credit would be transferable.
This bill would allow victims of domestic violence or stalking to terminate their residential lease agreements.
This bill relates to municipal code violations and municipal lien foreclosures.
Allows late fee max of 12% stems from a district court case where a landlord was charging a late fee per day.
Additional bills that we have been monitoring will be sent via email.