October Legislative Affairs

Aaron Meek & Dave Hampton

Hampton and Milligan

On September 15, 2015, the Oklahoma House of Representatives, led by Rep. Chris Kannady, conducted a hearing for Interim Study 15-011, which deals with issues related to 2015 SB213—the failed bill that sought to require county clerks to sell their electronic records to any party at a statutory rate and that precipitated the partial shutdown of OKCountyRecords.com earlier this year. Several county clerks were present at the hearing along with Chad Warmington, President of the Oklahoma Oil & Gas Association. The clerks voiced their concerns over funding for their offices, and Mr. Warmington testified that the oil & gas industry supports increased access to online records. So, while SB213 in its current form will remain dead, it appears that Rep. Kannady, the county clerks, and OKOGA are now interested in collaborating to craft reforms to the clerks’ funding model while also encouraging them to increase access to online records.

From the OKOGA Weekly Highlights for September 18, 2015:

Study examines county clerks' funding. Rep. Chris Kannady does not expect he will attempt to advance a bill related to county clerks' records in its current form. He plans to look for ways and possibly file legislation that would improve funding for the clerks' offices. Chad Warmington, president of the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association, said he understood the clerks' concerns about access their records, and that everyone wants better access to the records. Warmington called the current funding model for the clerks' offices "outdated.” A funding solution is needed, because it is important that records are digitized and available on line.

Also, over the summer, the City of Norman adopted new regulations governing drilling operations within city limits. The full regulations can be found in Chapter 13, Article XV, of the Code of Ordinances. It is yet to be seen how Norman’s regulations and those of other cities will interact with SB809, which went into effect on August 21, 2015, and allows municipalities to enact reasonable drilling restrictions as long as they do not effectively ban drilling operations.

If you know of legislative or regulatory activity that you would like the Legislative Affairs Committee to analyze and discuss, please let us know by contacting Aaron Meek at meek@hampton-milligan.com or (405) 235-5620.