The First Word 5/31/23
The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Wednesday the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority did not violate the state’s open meetings law, overturning a lower court ruling that declared officials willfully violated requirements when it unveiled the ACCESS Oklahoma toll road expansion plan.  Oklahoma Supreme Court overturns OTA open meeting act violation ruling (

Last week, the Oklahoma Legislature completed the first session of the 59th Legislature. Lawmakers finalized and passed a $12.9 billion budget for FY2024, sending it to Gov. Stitt on the final day of session. The budget leaves $3.6 million in reserves.

The legislature convened a special session on May 17th to allow more time to finalize the budget, if needed. The special session also will enable lawmakers to return in June to override any of Gov. Stitt’s vetoes on budget bills or related pieces of legislation.

In his State of the State address, Gov. Stitt called for cuts to the corporate and personal income tax and the elimination of the state’s grocery tax. He did not get either one and is considering calling lawmakers back to the Capitol.

FY24 Budget
More than 50 pieces of legislation, including the general appropriations bill, were included in the budget package. All of the budget bills were handled in the continuing special session. View the general appropriation summary here. Commitment to transportation funding remained for ODOT remained strong from the legislature and Governor.

After months of wrangling between the House and Senate, the lawmakers approved $785 million in new education funding. The historic budget includes $500 million for the school funding formula to include pay raises for certified staff and six weeks of paid maternity leave for teachers and staff. In addition, monies for a three-year literacy program and school security are included in the package.
The education package is tied to an income tax credit for students who attend private school or are homeschooled. Parents with students attending private school will be eligible to claim up to $7500, depending on their income. Homeschooling parents are eligible for a $1000 tax credit.
Just over $1 billion was appropriated to higher education, a 14.9% increase.

Tax Reform
Lawmakers eliminated the franchise tax, saving businesses around $55 million annually, putting Oklahoma at a competitive advantage over Texas. Also eliminated is the “marriage tax,” which will treat married couples fairly, saving them around $14.7 million annually.

The legislature allocated the final $56 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The projects will address critical needs like expanding broadband services, increasing access to health and mental health care, including children needing long-term care and treatment, assisting hunger programs, replacing and updating water and wastewater systems, and strengthening workforce development in critical fields like nursing and healthcare.


16 bills were filed which would adversely impact OTA...the only bill becoming law by Rep. Danny Sterling HB 2263 to give equal appointment authority to the House Speaker, Senate President Pro Tempore and the Governor, who, if the bill becomes law, will appoint two members each to the six-member board. Currently, the Governor appoints all six members. “House Bill 2263 would evenly divide the appointment power between the House Speaker, Senate President Pro Tempore and the Governor to bring more transparency to the board,” said Sterling. This bill was overridden along with 18 others and it is likely to still face some legal challenges.
Please RSVP if You Plan to Attend ACEC'S Fundraising Reception Supporting Congressman Frank Lucas
RSVP if you plan to join us virtually!

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.

Though the registration early bird rates and hotel deadlines have passed. You can still register for the conference here.

What: ACEC Midwest States Conference
Where: Double Tree by Hilton Springfield, MO
When: June 7-9
REMINDER: 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 [email protected]. 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 7 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.
To view room 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.

Currently, we have meetings planned with Congressman Lucas, Cole, Hern, Congresswoman Bice and Senator Lankford.
2023 OK Capitol INTERN Tour!

We will receive a guided tour by head of the Oklahoma Historical Society, Trait Thompson on June 22nd at 1:30 PM. We will meet at the ground floor rotunda around the bronze seal. Parking is free and available on the south side of the building. The tour is for 20 attendees...members if you would like to join the interns please register.

This event is free and open to our membership and has been a great reward for ACEC OKLAHOMA member firm interns.
Upcoming Events

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

June 8, 2023 1 PM
Zoom or Double Tree by Hilton Springfield, MO

June 11-14, 2023
Washington DC
Register Now!

June 22, 2023 1:30 PM
Guided Intern Capitol Tour
Oklahoma State Capitol

June 28, 2023 5:00 PM
Fundraiser for Congressman Lucas

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