Week 14 

Budget battles continued at the Capitol as the clock is ticking and lawmakers are running out of days to introduce revenue-raising measures. Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget (JCAB) meetings were held throughout the week with a handful of revenue-raising measures garnering support, but no major budget deal was introduced.

There is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, however, as both House Speaker Charles McCall and House Minority Leader Scott Inman told the press House leadership is working towards a bipartisan agreement to increase revenue and fund the FY 18 budget.

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 smcniel@okacte.org or Hayley Jones at (405) 524-1191. 

I. State Budget and Funding:

  • HB 2386 by Rep. Leslie Osborn (R-Mustang)
    HB 2386 restores the definition of teacher that was changed in last year's HB 3218 and which affects several areas of education law, including the TRS offset statute, among others. This bill reverts the definition back to the previous version, which states a teacher means any person employed as a district superintendent, principal, supervisor, a counselor, librarian, school nurse, or classroom teacher, or one who serves in any other instructional, supervisory, or administrative capacity.
    • HB 2386 passed the House JCAB Committee by a . The measure has not yet been heard in Senate JCAB.vote of 20-5

  • HB 2372 by Rep. Leslie Osborn (R-Mustang)
    HB 2372 creates a new cigarette tax of $1.50 per pack, revenue to be directed towards healthcare.
    • The measure has an estimated net revenue positive of $215M for FY 18.
    • HB 2372 passed both the House and Senate JCAB Committees  and is now eligible to be heard on the House floor. 

  • HB 2377 by Rep. Leslie Osborn (R-Mustang)
    1. HB 2377 moves up the sunset date for numerous gross production tax incentives to July 1, 2017; requires claims for rebates to be made by September 30, 2017; and delays rebate payments until after July 1, 2018.
      • The measure has an estimated net revenue positive of $46.3M for FY 18.
      • HB 2377 passed both the House and Senate JCAB Committees and is now eligible to be heard on the House floor.
    • HB 2404 by Rep. Leslie Osborn (R-Mustang)
      HB 2404 removes the State of Oklahoma and its political subdivisions and agencies from a list of entities exempt from sales tax. The measure also specifically names the institutions of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority and OMES as entities that would no longer be exempt from sales tax.
      • HB 2404 was scheduled to be heard in JCAB but was laid over.


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

    SB 428 allows TRS members who retired as active classroom teachers, who have been retired and receiving a benefit for at least one year, and who have not been employed by any public school district during that one-year period, 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 Senate floor and has been sent to the governor for approval.

    III. 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.

    • The House rejected Senate amendment to HB 2316 and the measure has been assigned to Conference Committee on Administrative Rules.
       

    IV. 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 Senate floor and has been sent to the governor for her approval.

     
      RESOURCES:

    Oklahoma Legislature:   http://www.oklegislature.gov/index.aspx