OK­LA­HOMA CAPI­TOL BOXSCORE

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - NEWS - DALE DENWALT CAPI­TOL BUREAU

Auto sales tax numbers re­leased

The Ok­la­homa Tax Com­mis­sion has col­lected more than $7 mil­lion from the state’s new au­to­mo­bile sales tax since it went into ef­fect in July.

Ac­cord­ing to fig­ures from the com­mis­sion, Ok­la­homa ve­hi­cle buy­ers paid $2.9 mil­lion in July and another $4.2 mil­lion through Aug. 18. His­tor­i­cally, car and truck pur­chases were ex­empted from hav­ing to pay sales tax, but law­mak­ers this year rolled back part of the ex­emp­tion to help raise rev­enue.

Over the first 12 months, Ok­la­homa is ex­pected to col­lect be­tween $111 mil­lion and $123 mil­lion in new rev­enue. Two court cases are pend­ing, how­ever, which could re­verse the Leg­is­la­ture’s ac­tions.

Law­mak­ers are wait­ing on the re­sults of those cases be­fore de­cid­ing how to pro­ceed with a pos­si­ble special ses­sion.

Opi­oid com­mis­sion mem­bers set

At­tor­ney Gen­eral Mike Hunter has named mem­bers of his Com­mis­sion on Opi­oid Abuse, which will be­gin meeting this week.

Mem­bers are State Sen. Kim David, busi­ness­man Bob Howard, phar­ma­cist Cyn­thia Fain, Ok­la­homa Bureau of Nar­cotics and Dan­ger­ous Drugs Con­trol Di­rec­tor John Scully, dis­trict at­tor­ney Kevin Buchanan, Ok­la­homa State Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent Kevin Taub­man, physi­cian Layne Su­bera, state Rep. Tim Down­ing, and Terri White, com­mis­sioner of the De­part­ment of Men­tal Health and Sub­stance Abuse Ser­vices.

A den­tist will be named to the board later, Hunter said. The main ar­eas of fo­cus will be on pre­ven­tion, in­ter­ven­tion, ed­u­ca­tion, treat­ment, law en­force­ment and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. The goal of the com­mis­sion is to re­lease its find­ings and sug­ges­tions for potential leg­is­la­tion in the weeks lead­ing up to the 2018 leg­isla­tive ses­sion.

Agency hands out STEM grants

More than $270,000 in grants from the Ok­la­homa Aero­nau­tics Com­mis­sion will be doled out to 25 or­ga­ni­za­tions that will use the money to teach sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math.

The com­mis­sion said school-age chil­dren will be taught more about STEM ca­reers, pri­mar­ily in the aerospace and avi­a­tion in­dus­tries.

Avi­a­tion Pro­gram Man­ager Cather­ine Taber said the agency had to sort through grant re­quests to­tal­ing more than $640,000.

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