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Senator to Advocate Raise in State Contribution to Teacher Benefits Allowance

State Senator Kenneth Corn announced today that he is the primary author of Senate Bill 1106, which will pay 100 percent of teacher’s health insurance premiums. Currently the state pays for 75 percent of certified personnel’s health insurance premiums.

The Democrat from Poteau also applauded the recent announcements by Governor Brad Henry and House of Representatives Speaker Larry Adair to also support paying 100 percent of the teacher’s benefit allowance.

“I am very pleased that the leaders of our state are on the same page. Our state educators and administrators deserve the increase in their benefits allowance for their vital contribution to Oklahoma’s children,” stated Senator Corn. “SB 1106 will ensure that our teacher’s health care needs are met.”

Under the provisions of SB 1106, the state will increase teacher’s Flexible Benefit Allowance to absorb 100 percent of the costs of health care premiums according to the cost of the High Option under Health Choice. This will include all certified personnel including teachers, principals, supervisors, administrators, counselors, librarians, nurses as well as other support personnel.

“Oklahoma’s teachers are ranked 47th nationally in teacher pay and this bill will enable teachers to see more of their pay check by absorbing their health care premiums,” Corn said. “I look forward to the upcoming legislative session so that I may introduce this bill to my fellow legislators and eventually have it signed by Governor Henry. Supporting our teachers and public education system has always been a top priority for me and this session will not be different.”

If SB 1106 is signed into law, the increase will take effect July 1, 2004 – the beginning of the next fiscal year. The 2nd session of the 49th Legislature will convene Monday, Feb. 2, 2004.

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Senate Communications Division - (405) 521-5774