Oklahoma Legislation conducts session to determine spending plan

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 10:54 PM CDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KSWO) - The Oklahoma Legislature will call a concurrent legislative session to allow public input to decide how $1.8 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds are spent.

The concurrent session allows the legislature to return in the interim to enact an ARPA spending plan as agreed to by the Joint Committee on Pandemic Relief Funding.

The joint committee was established last year as an intra-branch partnership process with the executive branch to determine how ARPA funds are to be spent.

The state has $1.8 billion to allocate.

Public committee hearings and project submissions have also been ongoing for months.

The special session call also covers appropriations related to Project Ocean, a transformational economic development project considering Oklahoma for a major manufacturing operation. Under legislation introduced this session, $698 million would be allocated under the Large-scale Economic Activity and Development Act (LEAD Act) to pursue Project Ocean.

Related to Project Ocean, the Fiscal Year 2023 budget agreement reserved $250 million for the Progressing Rural Economic Prosperity Fund (PREP) to help retrofit areas of Oklahoma such as industrial parks to compete for future economic opportunities.

The concurrent session will begin Wednesday and reconvene at the call of the chair sometime in the legislative interim when the ARPA spending plan is final or action is needed related to the LEAD Act or PREP Fund.

The session can remain open until 5 p.m. on Friday, May 27.

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