The First Word 4/30/23
The month of April has been a roller coaster of challenges and we are working together to find a path forward. Below we are catching your firms up with all the developments.

  • Statement about OTA decision:
According to a state agency news release, the obstacle is "our inability to enter the bond market," as Secretary of Transportation and OTA Executive Director Tim Gatz stated in a report to the agency's board. Gatz said the agency couldn’t proceed any further with the 15-year, $5 billion ACCESS Oklahoma without access to the revenue bonds.
According to agency officials, recent legal matters pending before the Supreme Court and a pending state investigative audit have hindered access to the bond market. A Cleveland County district judge ruled that OTA “willfully” violated the Open Meeting Act by posting meeting agendas that lacked details on the ACCESS Oklahoma plan. Gatz believes the Turnpike Authority operated in accordance with the Open Meetings Act and has filed an appeal. Two other lawsuits regarding the turnpike expansion plan remain pending.

Our board members approved the statement below and posted it on social media in response to the OTA's decision:
"The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority’s halt to the ACCESS Oklahoma program negatively impacts over 50 Engineering firms and 2,500 Oklahomans affected by this work stoppage. Unfortunately, Oklahoma will fall short on meeting growing transportation demands, jeopardize public safety, and sacrifice economic opportunity and investment in Oklahoma. Oklahoma infrastructure needs must be addressed. ACEC OKLAHOMA's member firms stand ready, willing, and able to provide professional engineering, architecture and land surveying services that improve public safety, employ Oklahoman professionals to serve as a key partner in Oklahoma’s infrastructure— just as we have for over 70-years."

  • Session Update:

SB 762, which creates the Honorable Gary Ridley Interchange passed the Senate last week and now goes to the Governor for his signature.

The Oklahoma Legislature has wrapped up its 12th week of session and still has much to accomplish in the final four weeks. Stalled negotiations over education funding have logjammed the entire budget process. In his State of the State speech, Gov. Stitt called on lawmakers to eliminate the grocery tax and cut personal and corporate income tax rates. House and Senate leadership have said tax cuts cannot be considered until the two chambers and the governor’s office agree on education funding.

Late Wednesday, Stitt unleashed a new tactic directed at the Senate, his veto pen. Stitt vetoed 20 Senate bills Wednesday. He provided the same veto message for each: "Oklahomans elected me to advocate on their behalf and fight for the taxpayer. I take this responsibility seriously, and so I cannot, in good faith, allow another year to go by without cutting taxes and reforming education, both of which we can absolutely afford with our $1.2 billion surplus and over $6 billion in savings. Therefore, until the people of Oklahoma have a tax cut until every teacher in the state gets the pay raise they deserve until parents get a tax credit to send their child to the school of their choice, I am vetoing this unrelated policy and will continue to veto any and all legislation authored by Senators who have not stood with the people of Oklahoma and supported this plan."

Senate Pro Tem Treat replied to the actions of the House and Stitt, saying, “They are playing games and giving false hope.” The Senate met and rejected 2 Stitt appointees for the Department of Commerce and Menal Health and Substance Abuse.

  • Special Thanks to Representative Nicole Miller! She was our guest speaker at our quarterly membership meeting on April 20th and did an excellent job as always!

REPEAL the Five Year R&D Amortization Requirement!

ACEC is seeing movement in the US Congress to repeal the five-year R&D amortization requirement.

Congressmen Ron Estes (R-KS) and John Larson (D-CT) introduced H.R. 2673 to repeal R&D amortization, joining S. 866 introduced in March by Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Todd Young (R-IN). The House bill has a bipartisan group of 65 cosponsors, including 28 members of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, which sends a strong message of support for repeal right out of the gate. The Senate bill currently has an equally strong bipartisan group of 22 cosponsors

You can make a difference on this critically important issue by contacting your member of congress today. Click here to send them a note supporting this grassroots push.
Engage your employees campaign & National PAC Update

National legislative work done through our national PAC is critically important to our industries success. You only have to look at the national issues facing us last year to understand how important it is to successfully lobby and support federal representatives.

ACEC national has a good outlet to solicit donations from leaders of our firms, but they need the permission to solicit employees of member firms. For this reason, ACEC National is performing a request to solicit campaign that require the sign off of principles. If you have questions about this campaign or process, please send us a note.

Additionally, please don't forget, we have a state and national PAC goal we must meet! We have had extra involvement from ACEC National related to in-state PAC giving and more. This is a product of the excellent dedication and generosity of our members.

Finally, don't forget about ACEC's Spring Sweepstakes is now open with a chance to win up to $10,000! You can enter the sweepstakes by clicking on the link here.

ICYMI: ACEC Midwest States Conference: Information!

ACEC OKLAHOMA, Missouri and Kansas will host our annual Midwest States Conference June 7-9 in Springfield Missouri. Registration is $575 for members and $300 for spouses.

You can view the agenda or register for the conference here. The deadline to register is May 17. Room reservations may be made here and the registration deadline is May 22.

What: ACEC Midwest States Conference
Where: Double Tree by Hilton Springfield, MO
When: June 7-9
2023 Leadership for Engineers

Back by Popular Demand! Registration for Leadership for Engineers 2023 is now open! You can complete and application here and submit it to We will accept the first twenty applicants and the cost is $1,995.

Sessions will take place on the following dates:
  • Aug 21-22 Tulsa
  • Sep 14-15 Stillwater
  • Oct 5-6 OKC

We have already had multiple registrants. Act fast to reserve one of the 8 remaining spots for 2023!
2023 ACEC National Convention & Legislative Summit

Registration is now open for ACEC's National Convention! The convention will take place June 11-14 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.

You can view the agenda here. Room reservations are available here.
Early bird registration closes April 16 and provides a significant discount. To view rates, please click here.

Last year we had a great showing and were able to visit each of our federal delegation, and a good time was had by all! Let us know if you plan to attend this year. We look forward to seeing you.
Final Notice: National QBS Awards Call for Entries

Every year, ACEC and NSPE partner to administer the QBS Awards, recognizing public and private entities and/or individuals making exemplary use of the Qualifications-Based Selection process at the federal, state and local levels.  QBS Award winners serve as examples of how well the QBS process works, and they help ACEC and NSPE promote the practice of QBS in jurisdictions that do not use, or underuse, QBS to procure engineering services. 

ACEC and NSPE are now seeking nominations for the 2023 QBS Awards.  The deadline for nominations is COB Monday, May 1, 2023.
Three QBS Awards
A maximum of one QBS Award may be presented in each of the following categories:

·      Federal Government Sector
·      State Government Sector (includes all governmental units under the state level)
·      Nongovernment Sector

Upcoming Events

June 7-9, 2023
Midstates Conference
Double Tree by Hilton Springfield, MO

June 11-14, 2023
Washington DC
Register Now!

Aug 24-25
Leadership for Engineers Session One
Tulsa, OK TBD 
Mike Thompson
President & CEO
220 N.E. 28th Street, Suite 135
Oklahoma City, OK 73105