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Copyright 2008 -- Collinsville, Oklahoma

Collinsville Chamber of Commerce
June 5, 2008
State Representative Earl Sears Legislative Report
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"Standstill" Budget Dominated Oklahoma Legislative Session
"Rainy Day" Fund
Still Untapped
2008 Chamber Officers
Pres: Susan Babbitt
VP: Don Hutchison
Sec/Tres: Billie Francis
Pres. Elect: Cory Slagle
Please provide a list of services and items for sale at your Collinsville business for a database being generated by the Chamber of Commerce. Give your list to Wanda at the Chamber Office (11th & Main) or email to This is for all Collinsville businesses, not just Chamber members.
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Contact Wanda.

Membership Info

Oklahoma District 11 Representaive Earl Sears addressed the Collinsville Chamber of Commerce June 5, 2008.

The Collinsville Chamber's June luncheon meeting was well attended by local elected officials with Collinsville Mayor Stan Sallee, State Senator Randy Brogdon, State Representative Earl Sears and Rogers County Commission Mike Helm in this photo. Tulsa County Commissioner John Smaligo (and several other Tulsa County officials) were also in attendance along with local merchants and citizens interested in Collinsville's future.

Having just completed his 2nd legislative session in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, Earl Sears was excited to announce he was unopposed for another two year term with the filing period closing June 4th.

Oklahoma's $7.1 billion budget (down $114 million from last year) drove most of the recent session in OKC. Sears described it as a "standstill" budget with "no cuts, but also no increases" as every area of state government faces increased expenses. Huge increases in gas prices are obvious to everyone, but the price of asphalt has doubled in the past year at at time when road and bridge improvements have become a high priority. "Oklahoma has faired well" relative to most of the entire nation which is facing an economic downturn.

Rep. Sears gave the following top priorities in his next legislative session:

  • Raises for state employees
  • Increased operations funds for schools
  • Transportation improvement

Miscellaneous Topics:

Earl Sears:

  • State's "Rainy Day" fund still untapped and likely to remain so
  • HB 1739 passed which may change competition between municipal electrical providers (like Collinsville) and outside providers without franchise election requirements.
  • Sales tax holiday (before school starts) extended to include school supplies (was clothing only last year)
  • No change to state income tax reduction schedule
  • "Federal government has failed us" in regards to illegal immigration (HB1804)
  • Student guns on campus and English-only bills stalled
  • State budget shortage is primarily due to corporate taxes being down. Most revenue from oil increases already directly targeted to specific accounts (outside the budget). Education is one of about six such accounts.
  • "Trigger" for transportation funding continues to cause problems
  • $300 million bond issue for roads & bridges
  • Capping state matches for donations to higher education with huge increases at OSU/OU (thanks to Boone Pickens and David Boron's efforts among others). Matching legislation was set when donations were much smaller.
  • "Honored to be your state representative" ... enjoys your visits to the capitol and question.

More Miscellaneous Topics:

Commissioner John Smaligo: Wants state to open "rainy day" fund to help with funding short falls caused by December 2007 ice storm (for the state's 12-1/2% portion to local entities).

Commissioner Mike Helm: Concerned with state finances with state auditor under indictment.
Mayor Stan Sallee: Has been told by Congressman John Sullivan that federal funds for ice storm had been sent to state. Asked for help getting the local portion of that expedited. Rep. Earl Sears: said that one thing he has learned in his short time in state government is that "nothing happens in a hurry".
Next Chamber meet is July 3rd at City Park for City Employee Appreciation Picnic