Monday, April 17, 2017

It was a short week at the Capitol due to Good Friday and the Easter weekend; however it was still a busy week of committee meetings. Thursday marked the deadline for House and Senate measures to be reported from committees in the opposite chamber, and several education-related bills passed out of committee this week. Below is a brief summary of a few of the bills with potential to impact our association. If you have questions about any of the information provided below, please contact our office, or you may contact Skye McNiel, 918-645-1289 or by email at or Hayley Jones at (405) 524-1191. 

I. Ad Valorem: HB 1010 by Rep. Weldon Watson (R-Tulsa)

HB 1010 amends the ad valorem tax code to require all county assessors to value property using the Oklahoma Tax Commission Business Personal Property Schedule, which shall uniformly be applied statewide in all counties. The measure excludes property classified as agriculture-related personal property.
  • HB 1010 was laid over in Senate Finance this Tuesday, marking the second week in a row that the bill wasn’t heard. Because it wasn’t heard in committee by yesterday’s deadline, this measure is now dormant for this session.
II. 4-day School Week:  HB 1684 by Rep. Harold Wright (R-Weatherford)

HB 1684 requires school districts who choose to implement 4-day school weeks submit a detailed plan to the SBE outlining goals of the 4-day week .
  • HB 1684 was amended in the Senate Education Committee this week to provide that school districts tracking instructional time by hours rather than days will now be required to provide a minimum of 170 instructional days. The measure passed committee and is now eligible to be heard on the Senate floor.

III. Teachers Retirement: SB 428 by Sen. Jason Smalley (R-Stroud)

SB 428 allows TRS members who retired as active classroom teachers to be eligible to be reemployed as an active classroom teacher with no limitations on earnings for a period of three years beginning July 1, 2017. 
  • SB 428 passed the House Common Education Committee on Monday and is now eligible to be heard on the House floor.

IV. State Board of Career and Technology Education: HB 2316 by Rep. Charles McCall (R-Atoka)

HB 2316 amends current law to provide that members of the State Board of Career and Technology Education serve at the pleasure of the Governor and may be removed or replaced without cause.
  • HB 2316 passed the Senate Rules Committee this week and is now eligible to be heard on the Senate floor.
V. OHLAP: SB 529 by Sen. Jason Smalley (R-Stroud)

SB 529 modifies the qualifications and criteria required for students to participate in the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program. It requires an award for eligible Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program students enrolled in a postsecondary vocational-technical program offered by a technology center school that meets the requirements to be eligible for federal student financial aid be satisfied for both vocational-technical and college work in which enrolled. It expands to the scope of student ineligible for the program with parents that meet updated income requirements. 
  • SB 529 passed the House A&B Education Subcommittee on Monday morning.

Oklahoma Legislature: