[Oasfaa] State Legislative update

Fair, Bryce bfair at osrhe.edu
Fri Apr 10 15:34:41 CDT 2009

As of the end of this week, the Oklahoma Legislature has reached another deadline, this one for legislation to be passed out of committee in the opposite house (House bills passed out of Senate committees and vice-versa).  It looks like we are now down to only three remaining bills related to Oklahoma's Promise out of 13 originally introduced.  In addition, it appears that none of the bills creating new tuition waivers or transferring tuition authority back to the Legislature are still alive at this point.  However, it's always important to remember that an issue can often be resurrected by amendment to another bill.

Following are the three remaining OKPromise bills.  HB 2249 and SB 982 contain provisions related to recommendations that came out of the OKPromise Task Force last fall.  I've noted where there are differences from the Task Force recommendations.

SB 982 - by Sen. John Ford, R-Bartlesville and Rep. Todd Thomsen, R-Ada
*	In its current form, the bill would modify the income limit at the time of application so that the parents' Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) less the amount claimed for personal exemptions must $43,000 or less.  This would remove consideration of untaxed income and would adjust for family size.  The original version of the bill set the dollar amount at $40,000 in a effort to keep the change cost-neutral.  On the Senate floor, however, Sen. Ford amended the amount to $43,000, which would ensure that all persons currently eligible to participate in the program would remain eligible under the new proposed income limit calculation (a single parent with one child could have $50,000 AGI less two exemptions at $3,500 each and meet the $43,000 limit).  At the $43,000 level, this change is still an expansion of eligibility for the program just not as much as the $50,000 level recommended by the Task Force.
*	Would base OKPromise college retention requirements on institutional academic standards.  Would delete the statutory college GPA requirements scheduled to go into effect in 2010-11.  (This is a recommendation of the Task Force.  This provision got the most questions and comments of concern in the House committee discussions.)
*	Would delay the implementation of a second income limit at the time the student enters college until 2012-13. (Task Force recommendation.)
*	Would require recipients of the OKPromise award to reside in Oklahoma after college one year for every year they received the award.  The requirement would have to be fulfilled within the first ten years after college.  Students not completing the residency requirement would have to repay the award.  (This provision was not recommended by the Task Force.  After rejecting this specific proposal during the Task Force deliberations, the Task Force recommended that the Legislature further examine this issue to avoid potential excessive administrative expense and complexity.)
*	Would limit the OKPromise award to only the nonguaranteed tuition rate at state system institutions.
*	Requires the Legislature to review the income limit every three years with the goal of providing eligibility for 50% of Oklahoma families.
Current text:  http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/2009-10bills/HB/SB982_hflr.rtf
Status:  Passed Senate Appropriations Committee; passed Senate 45-0; Passed House Committee on Higher Education and Career Technology, 9-3.

HB 2249 - by Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore and Sen. David Myers, R-Ponca City
*	Would modify the initial income limits so that the parents' Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) less the amount claimed for personal exemptions must be $43,000 or less (removes consideration of untaxed income and adjusts for family size; as introduced the amount was $50,000 but was amended in floor substitute; current language same as SB 982 above).
*	Would limit the OKPromise award to only the nonguaranteed tuition rate at state system institutions.
*	Contains some "clean-up" language to synchronize the implementation of special second income limits for adopted students with the second income limit for all participants (if and when the second income limit is implemented).
Current text:  http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/2009-10bills/SB/hb2249_sflr.rtf
Status:  Passed House floor 96-3; to Senate Appropriations Committee; passed Education Subcommittee; Passed full Senate Appropriations Committee; pending Senate floor consideration.

SB 354 - by Sen. David Myers, R - Ponca City and Rep. Dale DeWitt, R-Braman
*	As introduced, the bill would have required that that the current $50,000 per year income limit be calculated based on a three-year average of the family income for all applicants.  The bill was amended in committee to allow applicants to use either the current year income or a three-year average.  This optional three-year average language has also been amended into SB 982 and HB 2249.
Current text:   http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/2009-10bills/HB/SB354_hflr.rtf
Status:  Passed Senate floor 44-0; to House Appropriations and Budget Committee; Passed House Subcommittee; passed House Committee; pending House floor consideration.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Bryce Fair 
Assoc. Vice Chancellor for Scholarships & Grants 
Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education 
Phone:  (405) 225-9162 
Fax:  (405) 225-9230 
E-mail:  bfair at osrhe.edu 

Mailing Address: 
P.O. Box 108850 
Oklahoma City, OK  73101-8850 

Street Address: 
655 Research Parkway, Suite 200 
Oklahoma City, OK  73104 

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