Friday, October 13, 2006

Tulsa CAP's October e-Newsletter

October 2006

SQ 725: Changes to Constitutional Reserve Fund
New Issue Brief Provides Information on State Question Aimed At Aiding At-Risk Manufacturers


Community Action Project (CAP) today released an issue brief, "SQ 725: Use of Constitutional Reserve Fund for At-Risk Manufacturers" outlining the details of the upcoming general election (November 7) ballot question which will ask Oklahomans whether they want to authorize use of the state’s Rainy Day Fund to assist at-risk manufacturers.

State Ballot Question 725 is a proposed constitutional amendment that would make up to $10 million available annually from the state’s Constitutional Reserve Fund (Rainy Day Fund) for incentive payments to help at-risk manufacturing companies that may be forced to close or move elsewhere. Payments would be made to eligible companies fulfilling various specified requirements for up to 10% of the capital costs of new retooling or modernization projects, subject to approval by the Governor, House Speaker and Senate President Pro Tem. Payments could only be made in years when the Rainy Day Fund has a balance in excess of $80 million and when state revenues for the upcoming year are projected to grow.

In addition to providing a summary of the ballot measure, the brief also provides several arguments made by advocates for and against the measure. The information aims to help voters understand both sides of the issue and make an informed decision at the ballot booth next month. You are encouraged to share the issue brief freely with others who may wish to be better educated about this proposed constitutional change.

SQ 725 is the result of two peices of legislation:

  • SB 755 (2005 Legislative Session)
  • HB 1619 (2006 Legislative Session)

Rainy Day Fund
History and Purpose
Umbrella Oklahoma’s Constitutional Reserve Fund, known as the Rainy Day Fund (RDF), was created by a vote of the people in 1985. When revenues exceed certified estimates for a given year, the surplus is deposited in the RDF.

There is a cap in the balance of the RDF of 10% of the amount of general revenue certified for the preceding fiscal year.

Money in the Rainy Day Fund can be spent as follows (SQ 708):
– Up to 3/8 for a shortfall in current year General Revenue collections;
– Up to 3/8 if projected General Revenues collections for the upcoming year are below General Revenue collections for the current fiscal year; and,
– Up to 1/4 upon declaration of an Emergency and legislative approval.

Rainy Day Fund Balances
Rainy Day For more information on the history of the Rainy Day Fund, click here.

For More Information
SQ 725 and State Budget & Tax Information
To access the CAP issue brief mentioned above or to access additional information on state budget and tax issues, see the links below.

State Questions (November 2006 Ballot)
SQ 724
This measure amends the State Constitution to restrict State pay to legislators while in jail or prison found guilty. Affected legislators must return any State pay received for time while in jail or prison.

SQ 725
This measure amends the State Constitution to allow money to be spent from the Rainy Day Fund (RDF) to help at-risk manufacturers. Payments from the RDF must be unanimously approved by the Governor, the Speaker of the House, and the President Pro- Tempore of the Senate. Such spending is allowed in years when there is in excess of $80 Million in the Fund and other conditions are met. Spending is limited to $10 Million annually. The help given to a manufacturer is limited to 10% of its in-State capital investments. (See Issue Brief for more information)

SQ 733
This measure amends the State Constitution to allow beverage package stores to sell alcoholic beverages on election days while the polls are open.

SQ 734
This measure amends the State Constitution to allow the Oklahoma State Legislature to govern the application process for the "freeport expemption" -- a property tax exemption for goods shipped into the state, but that do not remain in the state for more than 90 days.

Learn More

phone: (918) 382-3228

Community Action Project is a Tulsa-based comprehensive anti-poverty agency whose mission is to help individuals and families in need achieve self- sufficiency. CAP’s public policy department aims to promote policies that will benefit low- and moderate- income Oklahomans through research, education and advocacy.


Post a Comment

<< Home