OKC City Council Considering Top Priorities For 2020

Tuesday, October 29th 2019, 9:36 am
By: News 9

City council is laying out multiple topics Tuesday that they want to tackle on both the state and federal level when it comes to legislative issues.
On the state level, city councilors will focus on four priority issues, starting first with maintaining local control over local problems.
The council said each year new laws are introduced that effect only a few communities in the state, and those take power away from local authorities.
They'll also be talking about Public Transportation funds and increased demands for public transportation. The council wants to increase the ODOT Public Transportation Revolving Fund, which has been the same $5.75 million since 2006.
Councilors want to preserve funding for the Heartland Flyer Rail service from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth. 
Preserving the existing sales tax base and encouraging efforts to diversify revenue sources for municipalities will also be a top priority. The council emphasized that changes to the sales tax base could have major consequences, and could effect OKC's firefighters and police officers.
On the Federal side, there are four main priorities.
The first focuses on funding to enhance the city's investment into transportation and maintaining programs that provide competitive grants for a wide range of transportation projects.
City councilors also want to secure continued federal grant money for Will Rogers World Airport, which sees more than 4 million passengers a year.
Funding for opportunity zones, like Bricktown and and Boathouse District across OKC will also be a focus. The Federal 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act established these zones to encourage long-term investments.
Local Grant Programs will be a top priority. This includes funding into the Community Development Block Grant, which provides broad base housing rehabilitation services for a low and moderate income households, plus public facilities and services in lower income areas. Since 2010 funding for this program has been cut significantly.