Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman said Monday that the reinstatement of Oklahomas No Child Left Behind waiver ensures the states education reform efforts will continue. "With the federal governments politics now out of the way, Oklahoma can take the next step and develop high standards that prepare our students to compete in the new global economy. Todays schools house the next generation of Oklahomas workforce. As a result, the academic standards we develop will directly impact our job market and economy for years to come. read more.
A group of 35 state legislators released an open letter Thursday voicing concerns about the possibility that many tax relief measures passed in Oklahoma over the past decade could be overturned, should the state Supreme Court rule that tax reductions must meet the guidelines of State Question 640.
Sen. Brian Crain is promoting legislation for the 2015 session to secure critically needed additional education funding in Oklahoma by creating separate trusts for higher and common education through two 30-year, $2.5 billion bond issues.
The innovative solution to Oklahoma's efforts to secure permanent additional education funding would raise money over 30 years to create the trusts, which would provide money for education in addition to standard appropriations.
Friends, family and supporters looked on as newly elected and reelected members of the Oklahoma State Senate took the oath of office on Tuesday in the Senate chamber. Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, President of the Senate, presided over the ceremony. The oath was administered by the Honorable John Reif, Chief Justice-Elect of the Supreme Court.read more.
Jason Smalley is now officially on the job as State Senator for District 28. The Stroud Republican was sworn in during a ceremony at the Capitol on Tuesday as friends, family and other supporters looked on from the Senate gallery.
“I am extremely grateful to the citizens of District 28 for entrusting me to be their voice in the Senate,” Smalley said. “I’m looking forward to promoting legislation to help create more jobs for our district and our state, expand our economy and generate more resources for education, public safety, and other core services.”read more.
Following the swearing-in of new and returning Senators on Tuesday, Senate Republicans met in caucus to elect their leadership team for the 55th Oklahoma Legislature. Without opposition, Sen. Brian Bingman was reelected as President Pro Tempore-Nominee of the Senate. Bingman also announced that Sen. Mike Schulz will continue to serve as Majority Floor Leader for the 55th Legislature. Majority Caucus Chair Bryce Marlatt and Majority Caucus Vice Chair A.J. read more.
Oklahoma's school districts can redirect more funding to teachers and classrooms by streamlining and consolidating administrative costs, offering parents more choices for their children and eliminating waste, said Sen. Kyle Loveless.