Priority Legislation Update

Josh Cockroft
OAR Senior Director of Government Affairs

***Update: SB915 has been sent to Governor Stitt Desk for action on May 2.

**Update: Governor Stitt signed SB961 on Friday, April 26.

*Update: Governor Stitt signed SB104 on Tuesday, April 16.

The third reading deadline just passed, meaning we’re reaching the final days of the legislative session, and we have been very fortunate all three of our requests have moved through the process with ease and little opposition. Two of our bills have been signed by the Governor, and the third is on his desk awaiting signature!

SB104: Marketing Clarification Language on Buyer Inducements
SB104 clarifies language on inducing buyers to allow REALTORS®️ to properly market themselves and their businesses. Under current statute real estate licensees may not provide prizes or any other items of value to influence a purchaser or prospective purchaser of real estate. SB 104 maintains real estate licensees may not use these types of items to induce buyers to purchase specific property but clarifies what valuable consideration may be used for marketing purposes, as long as receiving the item is not contingent on individuals making an offer or purchasing a specific property.

Sen. Paul Rosino did a masterful job of guiding this bill through the Senate, and Rep. Mark VanCuren successfully and quickly moved it through the House of Representatives.

SB104 was signed into law by Governor Stitt on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. It will take effect November 1 of this year.

SB915: Remote Online Notarizations
SB915 creates a Remote Online Notarization (RON) process in Oklahoma. Currently, all notarial acts must be performed in-person where the Notary serves as a witness during the signing event. Remote Online Notarizations allow Notaries to perform these services online over secure audio video calls.

The bill unanimously cleared both the Senate Judiciary Committee and a vote on the Senate Floor with Sen. Paul Rosino’s hard work, as well as Secretary of State Michael Rogers’ support and endorsement. After some small changes in committee, Rep. Chris Kannady guided it through a full vote of the House of Representatives, and because of the changes, was sent back to the Senate

SB915 again passed the Senate on May 2 and is headed to Governor Stitt’s desk! He will have 5 days to take action on the bill: either sign it, veto it or allow the bill to become law without signature.

SB961: Home Buyer Savings Accounts
SB961 allows individuals who are first-time homebuyers in the State of Oklahoma to create an Oklahoma Home Buyer Savings Account specifically designed to pay for eligible closing costs (i.e. down payment; escrow account; inspection fees; lender fees; appraisal fees; etc.) when purchasing a single-family residence in Oklahoma. Funds placed in the account are income tax deductible up to $5,000 a year for individual filers and $10,000 a year for joint filers. In addition, earnings on the funds in a Home Buyer Savings Account are excluded from taxable income. An account holder may claim the deduction and exclusion for an aggregate total amount of principal and earnings not to exceed $50,000.

The has been a little longer for this bill, but it is still sailing smoothly! It was double-assigned to both the Senate Finance and Senate Appropriations Committees where it met unanimous approval. On the Senate Floor Sen. Jason Smalley successfully passed it by a vote of 39-4. The measure was assigned to House Appropriations Committee and the Subcommittee on Finance. After clearing both subcommittee and committee successfully, Rep. Tammy West successfully guided this important measure through a full vote of the House of Representatives.

SB961 was signed into law on Friday, April 26, 2019. Individuals will be able to open an account with their individual lending institutions January 1, 2020.