OPMCA Connection
Keeping You Informed!
OPMCA Connection keeps you informed and current on regulations from all state and national agencies as well as laws pertaining to the petroleum marketing/c-store industry.

Candace McGinnis
Executive Director  

Hannah Fite
Director of Member Services  

6420 N. Santa Fe, Suite B
Oklahoma City, OK 73116
Phone: (405) 842-6625 
(800) 256-5013 
Fax: (405) 842-9562
2018-2019 Board of Directors
Tommy Shreffler, Chairman 
 OnCue Marketing, LLC

Jerry Davidson
Pete’s Corporation

Jason Flinn 
Flowers Oil Company

Teresa Hollenbeck
Red Rock Distributing Company

Kurtis Hutchinson
Hutchinson Oil Company

Brian Lohman
ASAP Energy, Inc.

John Netherton
Danielson Fuel Services

Duff Thompson
AVP Metro Petroleum LLC

Rob Toth
Coffeyville Resource
Friday, Nov. 30, 2018
  • Four Things to Watch as Session Approaches
  • Oklahoma VW Settlement
  • Congress Hints at Addressing Tax Extenders Before December 31st 
  • FMCSA Simplifies Qualification Process for CDL Drivers with Diabetes
  • Visa/MasterCard Swipe Fee Litigation Update
  • New Federal Rules and Limitations for Depreciation and Expensing
  • ABLE Approved Training Information
  • Federated Insurance Educational Articles
Political Intel: Four Things to Watch as Session Approaches
With the elections behind us, it's time to look at trends moving into the 2019 legislative session and beyond. Four of the most substantial unknowns will come as a results of the lack of tenure in the Legislature, the increased number of teachers in the Legislature, how the Stitt administration takes shape, and the potential for signature petitions and ballot initiatives. Below is a discussion of these four topics. 
1. The Legislature will be inexperienced in terms of tenure.

Our election recap on November 7 included a map of House seats by party control as well as a map of Senate seats by party control. While these maps distinguish between new members of the Legislature, it does not tell the entire story of recent legislative turnover. The incoming class of 2018 will have the largest number of freshmen legislators since statehood, and the class of 2016 had the third largest number of new members in state history (behind 2018 and 2004 when term-limits first took effect). This map of House districts based on tenure and this map of Senate districts based on tenure highlights the relative youth of this Legislature.

The chart below shows the size of each class based on the year they will reach their term limit in each chamber broken down by political party. To highlight the amount of turnover, 54% of the Senate is either new, elected in a special election or has only two years of experience. In the House, this number jumps to 75% of State Representatives with 2 years or less experience. At the other end of the spectrum, only 5 legislators will reach their term limit in 2020 (Sen. Gary Stanislawski and Reps. Lewis Moore, Charles Ortega, Harold Wright and Mike Sanders) with 11 more term-limited in 2022. This will have implications for every caucus as this turnover has been equally distributed between the parties and chambers. For instance, three-fourths of both the House Republican caucus and the House Democrat caucus have two years or less experience.
Please note that this chart based on tenure includes legislators that were elected in last year's record number of special elections in the class of 2030 alongside newly elected officials. It similarly places legislators moving from House to Senate or returning to the Legislature in the appropriate category (i.e., Sen. Montgomery, Sen. Young, and Rep. Ken Luttrell who served in the House of Representatives from 2006-2010).

Additionally, a list of all new legislators elected in 2018 and the prior official in each district is available here. Our staff is currently working on this election cycle's New Faces at the Capitol booklet that will include short biographies for all new members of the Legislature.
2. The number of teachers or former teachers in the Legislature will be much higher.

Even though two former teachers lost on election night (Reps. Donnie Condit and Karen Gaddis), the number of teachers and school administrators has increased greatly. In the House, three returning teachers (Reps. Rhonda Baker, Mickey Dollens, and Jacob Rosecrants) will be joined by 12 new educators (Reps. Kelly Albright, Ty Burns, Sherrie Conley, Dean Davis, Toni Hasenbeck, Ronny Johns, Melissa Provenzano, Randy Randleman, Trish Ransom, Danny Sterling, John Thomas Talley, and Mark Vancuren). In the Senate, the three incumbent educators (Sens. Micheal Bergstrom, J.J. Dosset, and Ron Sharp) will be joined by four new teachers (Sens. Mary Boren, David Bullard, Carri Hicks, and Brenda Stanley).

While the total number of teachers and former teachers in the Legislature has increased, most teachers' efforts were unsuccessful whether they had support from the education establishment or not. After filing, 74 individuals (not including incumbent legislators) with current or former teaching certificates were identified, and only 16 of those have joined the Legislature. Moreover, the Oklahoma Education Association's so-called Oklahoma Education Caucus featured 14 of 79 candidates (18%) winning races in November, and only 21 candidates of the 47 candidates (45%) supported by the OEA's Fund for Children and Public Education PAC won election. For comparison, 62 of 69 candidates (90%) supported by the State Chamber's We Mean Business PAC won their general elections.

3. How the Stitt administration takes shape could set the tone in the Capitol.

This morning Governor-elect Kevin Stitt announced some key personnel in his administration. Michael Junk, Tulsa's deputy mayor and a former U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe staffer, will serve as Chief of Staff while former State Representative Michael Rogers will serve as Secretary of State. Donelle Harder, deputy campaign manager and spokesperson for Stitt for Governor as well as a former U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe staffer, will be Deputy Secretary of State.
The Oklahoman published a story Sunday  about Governor-elect Kevin Stitt's inner-circle on his campaign, which relied heavily on trusted family and friends. Now, many of those individuals are part of a transition team that will make personnel decisions for agency heads, cabinet secretaries, and administration staff. In two announcements ( here and here ), the transition team members were outlined and include:

  • Marc Nuttle, chair of transition team
  • Matt Pinnell, Lieutenant Governor-elect
  • Melissa Houston, Labor Commissioner
  • Aamon Ross, campaign manager for Stitt for Governor
  • Sean Kouplen, CEO of Regent Bank in Tulsa
  • Mike Mazzei, former State Senator and President of Tulsa Wealth Advisors
  • Corbin McGuire, chairman of Stitt for Governor
  • Geoffrey Long, general counsel for Stitt for Governor
  • Donelle Harder, deputy campaign manager and spokesperson for Stitt for Governor
  • Gen. Rita Aragon, former Oklahoma Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Special Assistant to Governor Mary Fallin
  • Blayne Arthur, Executive Director for the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation
  • Jill Castilla, President & CEO of Citizens Bank of Edmond
  • Michelle Choquette, Chief Human Resources Officer at Gateway Mortgage Group
  • Dr. Amy Emerson, a Tulsa-based pediatrician
  • Brian Hill, founder and CEO of Works24 and The Cedar Gate
  • Fred Mendoza, an Oklahoma City-based business and civic leader
  • Gene McKown, co-owner and president of development for Ideal Homes
  • Monte Tucker, member of the state board of directors of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau

Governor-elect Stitt has also announced seven policy advisory committees and the chairs for each.

  • Economic Growth Committee chaired by Lieutenant Governor-elect Matt Pinnell
  • Education Committee chaired by former State Representative Michael Rogers
  • Government Efficiency Committee chaired by former State Senator Mike Mazzei
  • Health Committee chaired by Marshall Snipes, past chair and current member of the Board of Directors of Integris Health System, Inc.
  • Infrastructure Committee chaired by Robert L. Cummins, Jr. former president of Cummins Construction Company, the Oklahoma Asphalt Paving Association and the Oklahoma Association of General Contractors
  • Native American Committee chaired by Ambassador Neal McCaleb, Chairman of the Board for both Chickasaw Nation Industries and Bank2 
  • Public Safety Committee chaired by Steven Taylor, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma

The Executive Branch Reform Act of 1986  gives the Governor 45 days after assuming office to create a cabinet system with no more than 15 cabinet areas that must include as a cabinet area the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs (the only required cabinet area). For context, Governor Mary Fallin's 10-member cabinet is available here . Additionally, Governor-elect Stitt will have direct appointment of these 13 agency heads:

  • Department of Commerce
  • Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES)
  • Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry 
  • Office of Emergency Management
  • Homeland Security
  • Department of Public Safety
  • Commissioners of the Land Office
  • Department of Human Services
  • Department of Tourism
  • Department of Health
  • Banking Commissioner
  • Multiple Injury Trust Fund
  • Office of Disability Concerns

4. After medical marijuana's success on the ballot in June, there could be more signature petitions and ballot initiatives.
Beyond the medical marijuana proposal that passed in June, neighboring states and red states around the country have seen left-leaning ballot initiatives succeed this year. With a new Governor, any such efforts could have the potential to muddy the waters on other legislative priorities and create uncertainty. Some of the ideas being mentioned as possible ballot initiatives include:

The signature threshold is determined using the total number of votes cast in the most recent gubernatorial election, which set a record this year. This means that while the previous requirement for statutory changes was 65,987 signatures, it will now be 94,911. Likewise, initiatives to amend the state constitution previously required 123,725 signatures and will now require 177,958 signatures to secure a place on the ballot. 

Cordon DeKock
Vice President, Political Affairs
State Chamber of Oklahoma
Oklahoma VW Settlement
Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is announcing a grant that will use 15% ($3.1 million) of the Volkswagen money received by the state of Oklahoma that is earmarked to reimburse up to 80% of the cost to install an electric vehicle charging station in Oklahoma.

More information ChargeOK- Oklahoma Electric Vehicle Charging Grants can be found here .

More information on the Oklahoma VW Settlement and FAQs can be found here .
Congress Hints at Addressing Tax Extenders Before December 31st 
As lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill two weeks ago, PMAA sent a letter last week to House and Senate leadership in support of the biodiesel blenders tax credit that expired at the end of 2017. Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said, "I'm not sure, but there usually is an extenders package, so we'll probably have extenders.” PMAA urged Congress to pass an extension through 2019. Part of the extenders package also includes the nine cents per barrel Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund financing rate (OSLT) which expires on December 31st.  PMAA is concerned that if Congress fails to act on tax extenders before the end of the year, jobbers may end of in the same situation they faced in early 2018 when some refiners continued to charge the tax even though it expired. This created unnecessary and problematic accounting problems throughout the industry. Congress can prevent the confusion from occurring again by extending the OSLT before December 31st. If Congress does not tackle extenders before December 31st but addresses it next year, PMAA urges Congress not to make the tax retroactive. Click here to read the letter and click here for a refresher on the OSLT. 

Tax extenders legislation is normally addressed during the lame duck session. The roughly three-dozen provisions offer tax breaks for a range of interests, including race horses, auto racing tracks, railroad track maintenance, mortgage relief and other credits. Also of importance to petroleum marketers extended retroactively for 2017 is the tax credit for the installation of qualified alternative fuel vehicle refueling property in a home or business; the Alternative Fuels Excise Tax Credit for the use of propane as a transportation fuel, known as the “propane autogas tax credit,”; and the Section 25C tax credit for the installation of qualified highefficiency residential HVAC systems and certain energy-saving home retrofits.

FMCSA Simplifies Qualification Process for CDL Drivers with Diabetes
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is making it easier for CDL drivers with diabetes to stay behind the wheel. The FMCSA issued a final rule recently that revises medical qualification requirements permitting individuals with a stable insulin regimen and properly controlled insulin-treated diabetes to be qualified to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. This rule is important to petroleum marketers because it eliminates onerous cost and administrative burdens imposed by the current annual diabetes exemption process. The final rule also gives the driver’s treating physician far more input into the driver’s medical fitness determination and qualification to drive. 

Under the new FMCSA provision, a certified medical examiner (ME) is now able to grant a CDL driver with diabetes a certificate of medical fitness for up to 12 months at a time. The driver’s treating physician must first provide a diabetes assessment form to the certified ME indicating that the individual maintains a stable insulin regimen and proper control of his or her diabetes. The certified ME is then responsible for determining if the individual meets FMCSA’s physical qualification standards and can operate CMVs in interstate commerce.

The final rule eliminates the diabetes exemption program that required drivers to incur annual costs to renew and maintain their exemptions. The FMCSA estimates this will save the nearly 5,000 diabetic drivers currently holding a medical exemption more than $5 million per year. The final rule will also save new diabetes exemption applicants and their employers approximately $215,000 annually in opportunity and compliance costs related with the exemption program’s waiting period. A copy of the final rule announced today is available at: Driver Diabetes.  

Click here to learn more about FMCSA’s Medical Program Division.  

Visa/MasterCard Swipe Fee Litigation Update
Last week, PMAA filed a brief in the Visa and Mastercard swipe fee litigation now pending in US District Court in New York. Joining PMAA in the brief included the National Association of Shell Marketers (NASM) and SIGMA. The purpose of the brief is to oppose any settlement of the case that shuts out branded marketers from filing claims against the $6.24 billion settlement fund. The settlement class is comprised of all merchants that accepted Visa and Mastercard payment cards from 2004 to the present. The settlement fund is designed to compensate class members for the interchange fees they paid, which were allegedly inflated as a result of certain violations of the antitrust laws by Visa and Mastercard and their participating banks.

It appears that the major oil companies are claiming an ownership right to all the transactions they processed on behalf of their branded marketers, and an entitlement to claim against the fund for all fees paid in transactions occurring at marketer locations and the locations of their branded dealers. In short, it is the position of the majors that they paid the interchange fees on all these transactions, and that they are the exclusive parties entitled to payment from the fund. If this position were adopted by the district court, marketers would be class members in name only. They would not be entitled to file claims under the settlement agreement now awaiting preliminary approval by the court.

PMAA’s brief advises the court, among other things, that marketers paid the interchange fees and that their branded suppliers simply processed the transactions. The principal point asserted in the brief is that marketers accepted the cards and paid the fees, thus entitling them to claim against the fund with respect to card transactions that occurred in the branded distributor channel of trade. The court may hold a hearing on whether to approve the settlement on a preliminary basis, taking into account all the objections filed by various class members and others. PMAA’s objective is to have the court clarify the rights of marketers to file claims against the fund as part of the preliminary approval process.
Click ​ here to read the brief.

New Federal Rules and Limitations for Depreciation and Expensing
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is reminding small business taxpayers that changes to the federal tax code means they can immediately expense more of the cost of certain business property. Many are now able to write off most depreciable assets in the year they are placed into service. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), passed in December 2017, made tax law changes that will affect virtually every business and individual in 2018 and beyond. Among those for business owners are tax rate changes for pass-through entities, changes to the cash accounting method for some, limits on certain deductions and more.

Click ​ here ​ to read the compliance bulletin.

ABLE Approved Training Information
The Oklahoma Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association is excited to announce that an ABLE Commission approved training course for Alcohol and Tobacco sales is now available!

This course will prepare all employees to sell singe-strength beer and wine, and tobacco to customers, meeting standards set forth by ABLE. The new online training service is free and available to all Association members.

The link to the ABLE Training is: http://www.ok-able-traning.com/
  • Username - OPMCA
  • Password - AbleCompliance2018

Once the training course is completed by an employee, the following steps will need to be done:
  • Type in the name as presented on ABLE license application (the certificate will self-date)
  • Once filled out, print the certificate
  • An employee's supervisor MUST sign the certificate for verification purposes
  • A copy of the signed training certificate MUST be filed at the location(s) the employee works at along with the ABLE issued license

As the laws are currently written, before October 1, 2018 an employee can receive a license without completion of a training program. However, on or after October 1, 2018, all new employees and any employee who has had a license expire will need to apply for a new license from the ABLE Commission; the employee will receive a temporary 30-day license before their permanent license is issued. Once the temporary license is obtained, they will have 14 days to complete an approved training program authorized by the ABLE Commission and receive proof of completion.
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Driving for the Weather: Be Smart, Be Prepared, Be Safe
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Required to Hire Non-English Speaking Candidates?
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Its Your Life
Year End Tax Planning for Pass-Through Entities
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