Bill Requiring Fiscal Impact Statements on SQs Passes House Committee

Mike Seals - March 25, 2021 11:43 am

OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill that would require initiative petitions to indicate if the proposed measure will have a fiscal impact on the state, and if so, name the potential funding source passed the House Appropriations & Budget Committee on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 947, by Rep. Tammy West, R-Oklahoma City, and Sen. Paul Rosino, R-Oklahoma City, would require the fiscal information to be contained on petitions seeking signatures to bring state questions to a vote of the people on a statewide ballot.

“Several of the state questions that have passed in recent years have come at great cost to state taxpayers,” West said. “Voters, of course, would still be allowed to petition for whatever measures they choose, but this would require they state the potential impact to taxpayers and specify the source of such funding. If taxpayers are going to be asked to raise taxes to pay for something added to state law, they should be made aware.”

SB 947 specifies that if a proposed measure would require a legislative appropriation, which might require the imposition of a new tax, increase of an existing tax or elimination of existing services, that such language be included on the initiative petition. The measure expands the word limit for a ballot title on an initiative petition to 300 words if the proposed measure has a fiscal impact on the state. Currently, ballot titles are limited to 200 words.

SB 947 passed committee on a vote of 32-6. It is now eligible to be considered by the full House before being sent to the governor for his consideration of signing it into law.

Tammy West serves District 84 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes part of Oklahoma County.

 

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