In Committee this Week

RPT-Designated Priority Bills:

• The House Ways & Means Committee, under Chairman Bonnen, reported out his two tax bills this week on a 7-2 vote as favorably substituted. HB 31 relates to the decrease in the state’s sales and use tax rate, while HB 32 relates to decreasing the rates of the business franchise tax.

• SB4, which has become the vehicle for school choice legislation in the Senate, passed favorably out of committee. It will now head to the Senate floor for consideration.

• SB 1968, the Paycheck Protection bill authored by Sen. Huffman, was passed out of the Senate State Affairs Committee this week on a 6-3 vote. This is designated as an RPT priority, as it relates to the defense of free speech, by protecting workers from subsidizing political campaigns they may not support.

On the Floor this Week

RPT-Designated Priority Bills:

• SB 14 (known as the “parent trigger law”) was passed by the Senate this week. This bill relates to parental empowerment in the education system.

• SCR 1 by Sen. Creighton was voted out of the Senate State Affairs Committee this week. This bill seeks to claim sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution, serving notice to the federal government to halt and reverse certain mandates, and providing that certain federal legislation be prohibited or repealed.

• After being killed on the floor by a point of order by a Democrat earlier in the week, HB 910 (open carry) returned to the House floor and was passed on Friday. As has been their normal tactics, Democrats have continued in their attempt to thwart conservative legislation that has passed House committees with unnecessary and time-consuming points-of-order. Luckily, the House is acting swiftly in correcting any unresolved issues and will have these bills back through their committees promptly.

• HB 1690 (relating to the transfer of the Public Integrity Unit) was delayed on the House floor by a point of order by a Democrat. The point of order was based on a discrepancy between the bill analysis and the text of the bill. HB 1960 has already gone back through the committee process and is now slated for a floor debate on Monday.

• The Senate passed their version of the budget this week. Included in this budget is a slate of proposals that would reduce taxes by a total of $4.5 billion by focusing heavily on property tax reduction. That would translate to an estimated $206 in savings in the first year for the average homeowner.The House has put forth their own tax cut measures that would reduce the tax burden by $4.9 billion. However, the House places a heavier emphasis on reducing the sales tax. That would translate into $179 in savings for the average family of four. Both proposals also include business tax relief through a reduction in the franchise tax. The budgets will head to conference committee to reconcile the differences between the House version and the Senate version. As the leadership in both Chambers work through the differences in proposals, one thing remains clear: taxpayers will be the ultimate winners.


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