On Wednesday evening, the Senate approved revenue measures (House Bill 1010XX and HB 1011XX) to fund an average $6,100 teacher pay raise (HB 1023XX).read more.
Senate Democratic Leader John Sparks released the following statement on Senate passage of a revenue package to fund teacher pay raises:
“The votes in the Senate tonight were an important step, but this should be the beginning of our efforts, not the end.read more.
The Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday passed a historic revenue package to fund a $6,100, or 16 percent, pay raise on average for Oklahoma teachers. That increase moves Oklahoma from seventh to second highest in the region in average teacher pay and is the largest teacher pay raise in the history of the state.
The Senate gave unanimous approval Wednesday to legislation to keep wind farms from interfering with the flight paths of military installations. Senate Pro Tempore Mike Schulz is the author of the bill that he said would protect the work and mission of Oklahoma’s military bases.
The annual Breast Cancer Awareness Day will be held at the state Capitol on Tuesday, April 3. The educational event is free to the public and provides information on prevention, treatment, support groups and other pertinent topics.
“Senate Republicans agree that teachers deserve a significant pay raise, which is why 85 percent of Senate Republicans voted last week in favor of a 12.7 percent teacher pay raise. A 12.7 percent raise is two-and-a-half times more than what West Virginia teachers received, and would rank Oklahoma No. 2 in the region for average teacher pay. Many of the revenue ideas Senate Republicans support are within the OEA revenue plan announced today. read more.
State Senator A J Griffin announced this week she will not seek re-election after the completion of the 2018 legislative session. The Guthrie Republican has served in the Senate since 2012.
State Senator Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, has proposed a three phase plan aimed at providing pay raises for state teachers and state employees.
Late Wednesday evening, the State Senate passed a pay raise bill that would provide a 12.7% pay increase for all state teachers and state employees (SB133), but then failed by two votes to garner enough support on HB 1033xx, the legislation that would have funded those raises.
Senator Darcy Jech, R-Kingfisher, issued the following statement:
“I’m frustrated we didn’t have enough votes to fund the mechanisms that would have provided the 12.7% teacher pay raise. I was hopeful we’d have enough bipartisan support to pass the measure.”read more.
The full Senate gave unanimous approval Tuesday to a bill aimed at stemming Oklahoma’s opioid crisis. Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, is the principal author of Senate Bill 1446, which addresses the core problem in this epidemic—the over-prescription of opioids.
“Senate Bill 1446 addresses the opioid crisis by limiting the initial prescriptions,” Sykes said. “Furthermore, the prescribing physician and the patient must have a plan for subsequent opioid prescriptions.”
Oklahoma leads 25 other states in the percentage of citizen’s personal income spent on welfare but is only higher than eight other states in the percentage spent on education funding. Sen. Josh Brecheen wants the state to shift its funding priorities.
Senate Republicans on Monday unanimously elected Senator Greg Treat to lead their caucus and the Oklahoma Senate.
Treat, R-Oklahoma City, was elected pro tem designate, meaning Republicans intend for him to be the next leader of the Senate. Treat will succeed Pro Tem Mike Schulz, who is term limited. In addition to leading the Majority Caucus and setting its agenda, the pro tem oversees the operations of the Senate.
Oklahoma has long protected schools, day care centers and parks with “zones of safety” aimed at keeping convicted sex offenders away from potential victims. But a case in Bristow brought attention to a loophole in the law—a loophole Sen. James Leewright, R- Bristow, and Rep. Kyle Hilbert, R-Depew, are working to close this legislative session. Senate Bill 1221 was approved unanimously by the full Senate on Monday.
Sen. Paul Rosino, R-Oklahoma City, issued the following comment regarding Gov. Mary Fallin's executive order directing the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to develop a work requirement in the state’s Medicaid program:
On Friday, Sen. Paul Scott and Sandra Shelton, Public and Government Affairs Liaison for the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission, made a presentation about Women in Aviation & Aerospace Day at the spring board meeting of The Ninety-Nines, Inc. at their International Headquarters in Oklahoma City. The pair were advocating for other states to create their own commemorative day.read more.
Senate Democratic Leader John Sparks released the following statement on behalf of the Senate Democratic Caucus:
“It is an observed custom of the Senate that a guest chaplain be invited to deliver a brief five minute sermon to the Senate on the last day of session for the week. This morning, Pastor Bill Ledbetter of Fairview Baptist Church in Durant, who has served as guest chaplain for the week at the invitation of Senator Josh Brecheen, delivered a sermon which was hateful and promoted his personal political agenda.read more.