Priority Legislation Update

Josh Cockroft
OAR Senior Director of Government Affairs

The good news just keeps on rolling. We’re well over halfway through the 2019 Legislative Session, and tremendous progress has been made on all OAR request legislation. We have been very fortunate that all three of our requests have moved through the process with ease and little opposition. One of our bills has been signed by the Governor, another is awaiting his signature, and the third is facing one last hurdle before making it to the same place! 

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 will seek to guide it through a full vote of the House of Representatives.

SB915 has passed the House of Representatives, and is headed back to the Senate to approve changes made by a House committee. If passed by the Senate, it will head to Governor Stitt’s desk.

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 successfully, Rep. Tammy West will seek to successfully guide this important measure through a full vote of the House of Representatives.

SB961 has passed the House of Representatives and is on Governor Stitt’s desk awaiting his signature. The Governor has 5 days to sign or veto the bill; if no action is taken it will become law without signature.