Current State IssuesFollowing are the key issues for OKAA and the aggregates industry for the 2015 Oklahoma Legislative Session:
- Taxation: Oppose the passage of unreasonable taxation, such as any type of aggregate severance tax, as a means of funding county or other local governing body obligations.
- Transparent and Reliable Permitting Practices: Maintain the ability of stakeholders to participate in the mine permitting process in accordance with constitutional and statutory rights while preserving certainty and clarity to applicants; oppose policy that introduces legal steps that unreasonably extend and/or add significant costs to the permitting process.
- Water Management and Planning: Support protection of private property aspect of ground and surface water laws and OWRB's role in planning; oppose arbitrary policy that limits water's availability for use as defined by current law.
- Fair Regulatory Oversight: Oppose any unnecessary regulatory intrusion into aggregate industry operations.
- Federal Overreach: Oppose proposed EPA rules under the Clean Water Act expanding federal jurisdiction over water, and other such overreaches.
- Transportation Funding: Support full implementation of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Eight Year Construction Plan with reasonable and sustainable mechanisms to ensure adequate funding for the state's transportation and infrastructure needs from both federal and state taxes and user fees.
- Legislative Issues: In this day and time, it is absolutely necessary for those in business to be politically active in all levels of government. One of the principal objectives of the association is to work closely with the Oklahoma Legislature to influence legislation and regulations under consideration. As industries become more regulated, there must be representation of the business and free enterprise viewpoint. OKAA provides representation to its members through the Governmental Affairs Committee, which updates membership on important Oklahoma political issues by tracking and reviewing current legislative and regulatory rulemaking processes.
- In addition, two areas of specific interest for the Governmental Affairs Committee will be environmental and safety. For the aggregates industry, these two areas are always concerns due to their ever changing and evolving nature.
OKAA supports development of a new vision for our nation’s surface transportation system. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the law creating the National Interstate Highway System in 1956 and it was largely designed and constructed during the 1960s and 1970s, at a time when the population of the United States was approximately 200 million. » Read More
OKAA supports the cultural ideal and experience of America: freedom to choose where to work, live and travel. OKAA believes the American dream of home-ownership and the ability to choose an urban, suburban or rural domicile and workplace is still viable and worthwhile. Quality growth that takes a commonsense approach to protecting endangered species and the environment depends on local land-use planning, reduction of congestion... » Read More
OKAA supported the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act (MINER) passed by the 109th Congress. OKAA has opposed subsequent supplemental mine safety legislation that would further increase penalties and liability. With more than 10,000 above-ground and below-ground aggregates operations, one-size-fits-all programs are not optimum to enhancing safety and can lead to safety hazards. » Read More
OKAA supports a continued federal role in research and development – specifically research into aggregates. Aggregates make up 94 percent of asphalt and 80 percent of concrete, thus research on aggregates is essential to finding and ensuring the most efficient and long-lasting pavements. » Read More
OKAA opposes legislative proposals to repeal the percentage depletion allowance on hard rock minerals or other minerals. Repealing percentage depletion for aggregates would increase the cost of constructing public works and infrastructure by raising mining costs that would be passed on in higher prices to the end users of aggregates. » Read More
OKAA believes that the most valuable resource of the aggregates industry is its more than 110,500-person workforce. OKAA supports increased investment in industry-led safety, health and training programs, which are paramount to building, maintaining and the continued growth of a quality workforce. » Read More
OKAA continues to participate with government, industry and community leaders nationally and here in Oklahoma on a wide range of important topics affecting the economic health and vitality of Oklahoma. We welcome a productive dialogue at any time.