The Woodward News

Local News

July 15, 2014

Hickman reviews legislative work

Woodward, Okla. — Oklahoma Speaker of the House Jeff Hickman dropped by the Woodward Chamber of Commerce luncheon Monday and offered a short update on the past legislative session.

The luncheon takes place every second Monday of the month at the Pioneer Room.

Hickman covered his view of the legislative session's successes and added that one of the most important accomplishments of the session was getting Woodward included, retroactively, in the benefits of House Bill 3216.

House Bill 3216 provides relief to those who have suffered damage to their homes from tornados in the region. Hickman and Sen. Bryce Marlatt authored the bill, which enjoyed vigorous bipartisan support. The bill was signed by the Governor in May of this year.

Originally, only those affected by the tornado in Moore were receiving any help because those areas were what the President declared an emergency, Hickman said.

"But it is very important that we not be forgotten in Northwest Oklahoma," Hickman said.

During last session, Hickman and Marlatt were able to have Woodward included, he said.

The bill provides for certain tax and fee reliefs to those whose home or property was destroyed in a tornado, such as new car registration fee credits for those who had to repurchase a car due to loss in a storm, according to the act.

Other considerations include tax credits to those who have to rebuild or repair homes damaged in qualifying tornados, according to the text of the act.

Hickman also addressed the audience regarding the leadership roles now being held by political leaders from Northwest Oklahoma.

He maintained that having key people from the region in leadership roles will bode well for the area when, due to term limits, the house will gain 25 new freshman legislators at the beginning of 2015.

"This is a significant number of new legislators and that is an issue we will be dealing with in the coming year," he said.

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