Tulsa Leaders’ Essays: Senator Bill Brown

In the 2015 legislative session, my fellow legislators and I took on the important issue of tax credits. Too often in the past, these have been approved but never revisited to ensure they were resulting in increased revenues as intended rather than just costing the state money. In the 2015 session, we passed legislation that mandates regular, independent evaluations of tax credits and incentives to help us better determine which are working, and which should be eliminated. We also approved legislation to bring reform to specific tax credits for the wind industry.

Another important project was begun in 2015—the long overdue repairs and restoration of our State Capitol building. This fall marked 100 years since the cornerstone was installed. A century later, it is fitting that work is being done ensuring this beautiful building will continue to serve our state for the next hundred years.

2016 will be a particularly challenging year for our state. Low oil prices have had a serious impact on state revenues, on local companies, and on Oklahomans. But we also know these downturns eventually reverse—and there is optimism that recent action in Washington D.C., to allow oil exports will help. In the meantime, we will work to prioritize the resources we have on hand on behalf of our citizens.