Friday, May 19, 2017

Once again, budget negotiations have heated up the Capitol this week, with several press conferences held, fingers pointed, and negotiations stalled. Both the House and Senate considered their own “big” revenue raising bill, though neither chamber seems to be yet on board with the proposal offered by the other chamber.

Time is running out, as revenue-raising measures are constitutionally prohibited from being introduced during the last five days of session. It’s looking more and more likely that a special session will be called, unless the House can announce an agreement by the end of the day.

Outside of the budget, there are not many education policy bills remaining. However, 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. 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 last week by a vote of 20-5. The measure has not yet been heard in Senate JCAB. Please call your Senator and ask that this bill be heard!

  • 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 the House floor on Monday by a vote of 63-34. It did not reach the 76 vote threshold needed to pass revenue-raising measures, thus it would have to be approved by a vote of the people in order to become law.

  • HB 2377 by Rep. Leslie Osborn (R-Mustang)
    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 the House floor today by a vote of 68-6.
    • HB 2417 by Rep. Leslie Osborn (R-Mustang)
      HB 2417 is a new teacher pay raise bill introduced this week in House JCAB to replace the language in HB 1114, which was not heard in the Senate prior to the 3rd reading deadline. It establishes a three year plan that would include a $1,000 teacher pay raise next year, followed by an additional $2,000 raise the second year and an additional $3,000 raise the year after that, for a total of $6,000 across the board.
      • HB 2417 passed the House JCAB Committees this week but has not yet been considered in Senate JCAB.

    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 was signed by the Governor this week and takes effect on July 1, 2017.

    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 was signed by the Governor this week and takes effect July 1, 2017.


    Oklahoma Legislature: