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Interim studies receive approval

Three Lawton area legislators are among the House of Representative members who have had interim study proposals approved by Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall.

Rep. Jeff Coody, R-Grandfield, Rep. Scooter Park, R-Devol, and Rep. John Michael Montgomery, R-Lawton, all submitted proposals that were accepted by McCall as a way to provide a more in-depth review of topics before the House and Senate return to session in February 2018.

Coody's interim study, on rural fire department subscription dues verification, will be combined with a study suggested by Rep. Glen Mulready on insurance business transfer plans. Coody's proposal said that state law remains difficult for insurance agents, companies, regulators, the insurance commissioner, firefighters and fire departments, and his study will allow all interested parties to provide information and clarification while allowing an opportunity for discussion and suggestions for clarifying the law.

Park's proposal, a study of the use of eminent domain, will be combined with a proposal from Rep. Steve Vaughan, who wants to study improvements of county permitting processes for oil and gas drilling and pipeline crossings.

Montgomery submitted three interim study requests, the maximum allowed for a House member.

His proposal for comprehensive tax reform seeks to compare regional, national and international tax regimes at the state and provincial level to Oklahoma's system and includes details on analyzing tax policy differences, the ability of tax reform to be part of a larger package of reform for long-range strategy, and the ability to collect revenue at various levels.

His proposal for the Oklahoma Legacy/Vision Fund, submitted in conjunction with Rep. Greg Treat, Rep. John Sparks and Rep. James Leewright, will include a study of other oil- and gas-reliant states to Oklahoma, the feasibility of a Vision type of fund, intergenerational tax equity issues, and potential uses of earnings from permanent funds.

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