Rep. McBride Comments on HJR 1092, other Legislation he Authored during 2014 House Session
OKLAHOMA CITY – With the 2014 Legislative session now in the rear-view mirror, now is a time for reflection on what passed – and didn’t – over the course of the spring.
“This past session was highly productive, but also highly disappointing,” said McBride, R-Moore. “The House addressed a lot of important concerns but also neglected some areas I thought were pretty surprising.”
McBride authored a handful of important measures that survived the legislative process and have either already been signed into law or soon will be.
House Bill 3184, better known as the Roofing Contractor Registration Act, authorizes the Construction Industries Board to enforce the bill’s provisions, which focus on rulemaking authority and strengthening of violations of the act. It also authorizes the board to establish education standards and the establishment of the Committee of Roofing Examiners to oversee education-related standards.
When it comes to determining the maximum fair cash value on a homestead subject to ad valorem taxes, House Bill 3188 amends the definition of improvement of said structures. Improvements made to a residence or business structure in the aftermath of damage due to natural disasters such as tornadoes, hail or fire will not be considered when valuing the maximum cash amount related to ad valorem taxation. Square footage expansion determinations would be considered separately by the county assessor’s office.
Another, House Joint Resolution 1092, died in the state Senate on the final day of session just a day after seeing a resurrection vote in the House.
“That resolution was so important to the people of Oklahoma,” McBride said. “To think we went an entire session – the first full session after the terrible storms of 2013 – without any legislation to protect our children from severe storms while at school is absolutely unacceptable to me. It’s a shame to me that special interest groups put anything ahead of our children’s safety, but they did and the first House vote and the state Senate vote reflected that.
“The failure of HJR 1092 was very disappointing to me. But I plan on keeping the focus on our school kid’s safety moving forward, especially via the Shelter Oklahoma Schools initiative. With HJR 1092 not moving to the ballot this fall, the only way Oklahomans will be able to voice their support for school shelter construction is by supporting non-profit ventures such as this. Because of that, I will continue to support Shelter Oklahoma Schools this year until I can file new legislation for the 2015 session that will help to protect our children.”
Other measures either authored or co-authored by McBride that did not survive the legislative process were House 2312 (providing immunity for risk assessment by professionals after storms), House Bill 3394 and Senate Bill 2071 (making looting in disaster areas a felony) and Senate Bill 1768 (allowing for school districts to set an Aug. 1-April 30 school year).
“Many of the bills I authored or co-authored this session dealt with the safety and security of our children and communities in the wake of severe storms,” McBride said. “While I am pleased about the legislation I helped pass, some of the measures that failed absolutely should not have gone down. And because they did, our fellow citizens will now have to go another year without getting help when it comes to student safety and security, accurate volunteer damage assessment and harsher punishment of looters in the wake of severe storms. That is all very unfortunate, but I want Oklahomans across the state to know I will continue to fight for these issues in the future.”