Reforms in administrative costs in education could free up millions of dollars that could be redirected to classrooms, according to Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City. He said a closer look at administrative spending shows Oklahoma needs to be smarter with how education funds are used.
“In the past decade, we’ve seen administrative costs skyrocket by up to 29 percent, but our student population has only increased by 11 percent,” Loveless said. “We need to make sure more of our education funds are going to expenditures that directly benefit students.”
On Monday, the State Senate unveiled a landscape painting depicting the historic event that put Oklahoma on the map, the Land Run of 1889. The work, by Oklahoma artist Wayne Cooper, was sponsored by Oklahoma City businessman Brad Naifeh.
Sen. Josh Brecheen and Sen. Anthony Sykes issued the following statement after Monday’s unanimous vote in favor of HB 3399. The two lawmakers are Senate co-authors of the measure, which was approved on a vote of 11-0.
Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman issued the following statement after Monday morning’s 11-0 vote approving House Bill 3399, calling for the adoption of new English and Math standards created by Oklahomans and preventing direct or indirect federal control over those standards or assessments.
Spending a week paging at the state Capitol helped spark a Plainview High School graduate’s interest in government—and that interest has come full circle, bringing her back to the Capitol to serve as college intern with Sen. Frank Simpson’s office during the 2014 legislative session.
Madison Hobson is a junior at the University of Oklahoma. A 2011 graduate of Plainview High School, she said the selection of a major in public affairs was really inspired by her experience paging for Rep. Pat Ownbey, R-Ardmore, during her junior year.read more.
The Senate Education Committee will consider House Bill 3399 on Monday. The measure provides for the development and adoption of new English and math standards and assessments while prohibiting the State Board of Education from entering into any contract or agreement with any federal agency or private entity that would cede or limit state control.
Sen. Josh Brecheen, R- Coalgate, and Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, are Senate co-authors of the measure.
The full Senate voted unanimously on Thursday for legislation barring cell phone use in Oklahoma school zones. The measure was co-authored by Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman and Senate Minority Leader Sean Burrage.
Senate Bill 1601 makes it illegal for anyone operating a motor vehicle to use a wireless communications device in a school zone. It would not apply to cars that are stopped, drivers using hands-free devices, or emergency calls as outlined in the bill.read more.
The state Senate this week advanced legislation that would encourage water districts and municipalities to expand the state’s supply of water through reuse and conservation.
Senate Bill 1187, authored by Sen. Rob Standridge, establishes state policy to facilitate water reuse projects, and establishes permitting requirements.
Last year, approximately 2,000 Oklahomans were involved in crashes caused by drivers distracted by their cell phones and other electronic devices. More than 700 of those individuals sustained injuries while ten of them were killed according to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. On Wednesday, the Senate sent Senate Bill 442 prohibiting texting while driving back to committee where Sen. Ron Sharp says his bill will most likely die.
The Senate Floor Leader announced today the Senate will not hear Senate Bill 1764, which had been amended to include some language on the state’s Common Core State Standards. Instead, the Senate will continue to work with House and executive leadership on language to ensure no rash decisions are made and policy changes are carefully considered and vetted by all interested parties as to avoid unintended consequences.read more.
Oklahoma’s one-hundred percent disabled veterans who have been injured in the line of duty and their families along with the families of those veterans killed-in-action since September 11, 2001, may have the opportunity to further their education under legislation unanimously approved by the Senate Tuesday. Senate Bill 1223, by Sen. Frank Simpson, also known as the 9/11 G.I. Bill, would provide these veterans, their spouses, widows and children with free tuition to any Oklahoma technology center, college or university.
For years, Oklahoma has locked up more women per capita than any state in the country. These women often leave behind children who are at greater risk for eventually becoming a part of the corrections system themselves. This session State Sen. Kim David is championing legislation authorizing a new pilot program to keep nonviolent female offenders out of prison. On Wednesday, the full Senate gave unanimous approval to her legislation, Senate Bill 1278, co-authored by Senate Minority Leader Sean Burrage.read more.
Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman comments on Tuesday’s Senate passage of legislation that will help match Oklahomans with jobs identified by the state Department of Commerce as high-need occupations.
Senate Bill 1639 would create the Quality Workforce Act, which would incentivize Oklahoma companies to pay for employees to gain an associate’s degree or industry certificate in high-need job areas.read more.
The Senate has given approval to two measures aimed at increasing transparency in government. The full Senate voted in favor of Senate Bill 1513, by Sen. David Holt, which ensures dash-cam video recorded by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) would be subject to the state’s open records law. Senate Bill 1497, also by Holt, would enable citizens to seek injunctions when public bodies are in violation of the state’s open meetings law. Both measures were approved on Tuesday afternoon with wide bipartisan support.
Sen. Patrick Anderson today said the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority (OCIA) could jeopardize the state’s credit rating, costing taxpayers millions in higher borrowing costs, if they approve an agenda item at their Wednesday, March 12 meeting.
The state Senate today approved legislation that would guarantee persons convicted of human trafficking will serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.
Sen. Dan Newberry, author of Senate Bill 1433, said the measure will ensure that some of the state’s most dangerous criminals serve a sentence that fits their crime.
Oklahoma State Senators Josh Brecheen and Anthony Sykes filed an amendment to Senate Bill 1764 that will address the growing concern with Common Core education standards.
The amendment to SB 1764:
1. Orders the State Board of Education to remove alignment with the K-12 Common Core State Standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
A bill allowing Oklahoma veterans to be provided with free hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) for traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been approved by the state Senate.
Senate Bill 1604, the Veterans Recovery Plan Act, states that any Oklahoma veteran who has been diagnosed with TBI, and prescribed HBOT by a medical professional, may receive free treatment at any licensed and equipped facility in the state.
Sen. Mark Allen, author of the bill, said his proposal will provide desperately needed help for men and women who have sacrificed for their country.
A portrait of critically and internationally acclaimed Oklahoma author Ralph Ellison was unveiled in a special ceremony at the state Capitol on Thursday. Ralph Ellison was author of the 1953 National Book Award-winning novel “Invisible Man,” as well as other acclaimed works, including “Shadow and Act,” “Going to the Territory,” “Juneteenth” and “Three Days Before the Shooting.”
The fundraising effort for the artwork was led by State Sen. David Holt, Oklahoma City University President, Robert Henry, and Kevin Perry of Perry Publishing and Broadcasting.
The state Senate today approved a plan to complete the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum (AICCM) without undertaking further state bond debt.
Senate Bill 1651 will fund completion of the project using $40 million in one-time monies from the state’s Unclaimed Property Fund, which will be matched by $40 million in private donations. The proposal enables the project to be completed without accepting any federal debt financing, and eliminates the state agency structure of AICCM, removing its annual cost from the state budget.