What a week it has been! After over a year of gridlock, the Oklahoma legislature passed the first 76-vote revenue-raising measure since the enactment of SQ 640 in order to fund the first teacher pay raise in a decade. Governor Fallin signed the revenue bill (HB 1010xx) and teacher pay raise (HB 1023xx) into law yesterday evening. Lawmakers have also passed an education support employee pay raise, a state employee pay raise, and an education appropriations bill -- meeting the April 1 deadline for funding education.
for a full listing of legislators and how they voted. Please call these legislators and thank them for their courageous vote!
Though it was a committee week at the capitol, many committee meetings were cancelled as legislators focused on meeting the April 1 deadline in an attempt to prevent a scheduled teacher walkout. Below is an update on where things stand as we conclude this historic week.
The House of Representatives took action Monday night to pass a revenue package (anchored by
) and teacher pay raise (
), education support employee pay raise (
), state employee pay raise (
), and education funding bill (
) for FY 19. The Senate considered these measures Wednesday and Thursday.
In order for the Senate to agree to the passage of the revenue bill (
), however, a deal was reached to repeal the hotel/motel tax provisions of the bill, to be done in a trailer bill (
) voted on by the House yesterday.
After action on the teacher pay bill and revenue package was temporarily stalled yesterday waiting for the House to reach a 2/3 majority (68 votes) in order to suspend the rules to amend the revenue package by removing the hotel/motel tax, the House was able to get the required votes and bring up the amendment in
. After much debate, the House voted to pass
repealing the hotel/motel tax.
The revenue bill (
) moved forward without the hotel/motel tax, which leaves a gap of approximately $50M in the projected revenue package. However, there is talk of replacing that revenue with an internet sales tax, among other options.
Teacher Pay Raise & Revenue Package -- Bill Review
is the teacher pay raise bill. It passed the Senate floor Wednesday night and Governor Fallin signed it into law Thursday evening. What it does:
- Increases the minimum salary schedule by at least $5,000 beginning with the 2018-2019 school year.
- Provides larger raises to teachers with more experience, including a $7,700 increase to the minimum salary schedule for a teacher with 25 years of experience.
- Increases average teacher pay raise for the 2018-2019 school year by about $6,100.
- Includes all certified staff except superintendents
- Includes a provision ensuring all teachers receive the amount of raise for the corresponding step, even those making above the minimum salary schedule
- Includes employer share for TRS and FICA
is the education support employee pay raise bill. It has passed the House and Senate and is awaiting the Governor's signature next week. It would:
- Provide a full-time support employee pay raise of $1,250 in 2018-2019 if the employee is employed in the same school district.
- Dollar amount of salary increase shall be prorated based upon the number of total hours of work performed by a full-time equivalent employee.
is the FY 19 appropriations bill for the State Department of Education. It has passed the House and Senate and is awaiting the Governor's signature next week. It appropriates an additional $50M to education -- $33 million for textbooks and instructional materials and an additional $17 million to restore FY 18 education cuts.
is the 76-vote revenue bill that makes up the largest chunk of the funding package. It passed the Senate floor Wednesday night and Governor Fallin signed it into law Thursday. The bill includes:
- GPT increase to 5% from 2%
- $1.00 a pack cigarette tax
- 3 cent gas / 6 cent diesel tax
Other revenue items:
- HB 1011xx -- Itemized deductions capped at $17,000 excluding medical expenses and charitable contributions (expected to generate approx. $100M in FY 19).
- Governor Fallin signed this measure Thursday.
- HB 1013xx -- Ball and dice gaming expansion (expected to generate approx. $22M in FY 19).
- Passed the House floor on Monday but has not yet been taken up by the Senate