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23 Mar
0

‘Efficiency’ in Schools, ‘Grading’ the Legislature, Zero Base Budgeting Debated in ‘Your Vote Counts’

‘Efficiency’ in Schools, ‘Grading’ the Legislature, Zero Base Budgeting Debated in ‘Your Vote Counts’

OKLAHOMA CITY – Improving “efficiency” in education funding was the principal topic of the latest episode of “Your Vote Counts.”

Sen. Kyle Loveless (R-Oklahoma City)

Sen. Kyle Loveless (R-Oklahoma City)

State Sen. Kyle Loveless continues his crusade for an evaluation of school administrative costs and has proposed a task force to examine the issue in-depth. This state has too many school districts, the Oklahoma City Republican contends. During the 2013-14 school year Oklahoma had more than 520 superintendents whose total income approached $50 million, he said.

In comparison, he claimed Sunday on “Your Vote Counts,” Oregon has a population roughly equivalent to Oklahoma’s, but has 10,000 more school students, half as many school districts, half as many superintendents and support staff, yet its teachers are paid “about $12,000 a year more” than Oklahoma’s are.

Loveless filed two measures this year that targeted school administrative expenses.

Senate Bill 15, a school administrative consolidation measure, was shelved by a Senate committee. But Loveless’s Senate Bill 18, creating a task force to study school administrative costs “and identify efficiencies” passed the Senate and has been assigned to the House Rules Committee.

Rep. Richard Morrissette (D-Oklahoma City)

Rep. Richard Morrissette (D-Oklahoma City)

Schools need more money, not more task forces, Rep. Richard Morrissette countered. “We’re $200 million below the funding level of 2008” for public schools, while enrollment has grown by 40,000 over the past six years, to 681,000 students, he said. The Republican-controlled Oklahoma Legislature has cut public education funding by 23%, more than any other state in the nation, the Oklahoma City Democrat said. “We’re 49th in the nation” in teacher pay.

Loveless said the State of Oklahoma “spends 52 cents of every dollar on education.” That figure includes higher education and the Career Technology system, not just public primary and secondary schools, Morrissette pointed out.

“If we run our state as a business, finding a 5% cut should not be that difficult to do,” Loveless said. “There are ways we can get more money into the classroom and get more teachers without raising taxes.”

“We are down to the bone,” said Morrissette. “There’s nothing much left to cut.” The GOP has to “run this government responsibly, and that takes money.”

During a recent episode of “Your Vote Counts,” Morrissette and Rep. Leslie Osborn were asked by moderator Scott Mitchell to evaluate the Legislature’s performance this year. Morrissette gave it a “bad” rating, while Osborn gave it “a passing grade of C.”

Osborn mentioned “a lot of bills that have sucked the air out of the room,” including the so-called “hoodie” bill. The Mustang Republican also referred to Senate Bill 329, the attempt by Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, to repeal legislation signed by former Gov. Brad Henry in 2007 that designated the watermelon as the state vegetable of Oklahoma; the watermelon is a fruit, not a vegetable, Dahm believes. SB 329 generated headlines but died in the Senate’s General Government Committee.

The primary focus of state legislators should be the $611 million budget deficit, asserted Osborn, a member of the House Committee on Appropriations and Budget. She hastened to add that budget shortfalls have occurred “every six to seven years” since statehood in 1907 because of “the volatility of oil and gas prices.”

Osborn recommended that the Legislature adopt zero base budgeting. “Until we meet 12 months out of the year with those budget committees and empower our members to dig into agency budget, building from the ground up instead of looking at the previous year’s budget and saying, ‘Let’s go up 2% or 4%,’ nothing changes,” she said.

Morrissette concurred. Zero base budgeting “is the way to go.” If the Oklahoma Legislature were evaluated as a business, he said, “At best we’d be in Chapter 11 reorganization, and at worst we’d be in Chapter 7 liquidation, ending the business.”

Mitchell asked Osborn and Morrissette about various measures introduced in the Legislature this year to hobble or evade judicial ruling that have sanctioned same-sex marriage.

Osborn singled out House Bill 1125 by Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell. “It would take county clerks from handing out marriage licenses to only accepting them from an officiant,” she related. However, the legislation “may just add more confusion” because of the “constitutionality issue.” The legality of gay marriage ultimately “will be decided on the federal level, like abortion was in Roe vs. Wade,” Osborn predicted.

Morrissette, an attorney, concurred. Same-sex marriage is “going to be decided by the United States Supreme Court,” he said. The issue has already been heard in several federal circuit courts, he noted. “It’s out of the hands” of legislators.

“Your Vote Counts” is a 10-minute program that features a point-counterpoint format. It airs Sunday mornings on KWTV-9 in Oklahoma City; afterward, the show is uploaded to the Internet at www.news9.com/yourvotecounts.

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MIKE W. RAY
Media Director, Democratic Caucus
Oklahoma House of Representatives
(405) 962-7819 office
(405) 245-4411 mobile

23 Mar
1

Republicans’ Attempt to Punish Retired Employees Thwarted by House Democrats

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Republicans’ Attempt to Punish Retired Employees Thwarted by House Democrats

Rep. Seneca Scott (D-Tulsa)

Rep. Seneca Scott (D-Tulsa)

[OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, MARCH 23, 2015] Republicans once again attempted to punish retired state employees by proposing House Bill 1711, authored by Rep. Glen Mulready (R-Tulsa).

Currently the Oklahoma Employees Insurance and Benefits Board sets the monthly premiums for active and retired state employees; however, under HB 1711, this oversight would have been eliminated and consequences would include increased health insurance premiums by as much as $300 per month per person.

House Democrats, Reps. Seneca Scott (D-Tulsa) and Johnny Tadlock (D-Idabel) led the effort to keep this legislation from becoming a reality. “This is another example of the continual effort on behalf of Republicans to change to a defined benefit system, a system that has little proof of success in other states when utilized for this demographic,” said Scott. “Since being elected in 2008 I have fought alongside Democrats to protect retired Oklahoma employees and will continue to do so for as long as the people of District 72 will allow.” Scott is term-limited in 2020.

Rep. Johnny Tadlock (D-Idabel)

Rep. Johnny Tadlock (D-Idabel)

Tadlock, a freshman Democrat, expressed frustration by saying, “Retired state employees haven’t seen a cost-of-living adjustment in years and are already expected to do so much with so little. I will not stand by and allow this legislature to impose even more expenses on our retirees. If we could provide a fair cost of living adjustment that takes premium increases like this into account, then fine, but that’s not something the Republicans are willing to do.”

“Oklahoma is behind practically every other state in the country on education funding and teacher pay. Young teachers look at what they would get at the end and are already discouraged. Why would we want to add insult to injury?” stated Tadlock.

Scott summed it all up by saying, “It should be the responsibility of the legislature to protect working Oklahomans. I and fellow democrats are committed to doing everything we can to protect state employees, even into retirement.”

The Oklahoma Public Employees Association and the American Federation of Teachers also made efforts to block this legislation which would directly affect their memberships.

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20 Mar
0

Income Tax Exemption for School Teachers Proposed by Rep. David Perryman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: State Rep. David Perryman

Capitol: (405) 557-7401

 Income Tax Exemption for School Teachers Proposed by Rep. David Perryman

Perryman, DavidOKLAHOMA CITY – Incentives are provided in Oklahoma to encourage doctors to practice in rural areas, Tinker Air Force Base sponsors a high-tech educational incentive program that promotes science and engineering, and a measure introduced in the Legislature this year would authorize a tax exclusion for anyone from another state who moves to any Oklahoma County experiencing a population decline.

State Rep. David Perryman contends the state should provide school teachers with a financial incentive to remain in Oklahoma even though surrounding states offer more money.

The Chickasha Democrat has proposed an amendment to Senate Bill 20 that would exempt from state income taxes the first $40,000 in salary earned by any teacher “employed in an instructional capacity by a public school district located within this state…”

“Everyone at the State Capitol gives lip service to the claim that they are going to give classroom teachers a raise, but unfortunately it just never gets done,” Perryman said. “Frankly, it makes a good sound bite, but as soon as the cameras are turned off, it becomes evident that lip service is all that they want to give. This proposal is a genuine attempt to help classroom teachers. If we cannot afford raises, then we should provide income tax relief to teachers throughout the state. It would be a fair, across-the-board benefit.”

Oklahoma has approximately 42,000 classroom and resource (special ed) teachers, records indicate.

SB 20, which pertains to certification of educators from other states to teach in Oklahoma schools, passed the Senate in a unanimous vote Feb. 25 and was endorsed March 17 by the House Committee on Common Education. Now it will be placed on the House calendar for a vote by the full House.

Oklahoma teachers have not received an across-the-board pay raise in six or seven years, Perryman related. Oklahoma’s average annual teacher salary ranks 48th in the nation, making it difficult to attract and retain quality teachers, state school Superintendent Joy Hofmeister told a Senate committee recently.

Public schools collectively have about 1,000 teaching vacancies, and the problem of teacher shortages will worsen if the State Department of Education budget is cut again this year, as expected, Hofmeister said.

Oklahoma universities produce graduates in education, but often they leave for higher paying teaching jobs in other states, Hofmeister lamented.

State Rep. James Lockhart, D-Heavener, noted that a LeFlore County school lost a teacher (a librarian) to Fort Smith recently. “She got a $21,000 raise to do the same job in Arkansas,” Lockhart said. Another eastern Oklahoma school lost a science teacher to Arkansas. “He got a $15,000 raise, just by moving across the state line,” Lockhart said. “These teachers have college degrees, and most have college loans to pay off. Many have family obligations, as well. The best teachers will go where the money is.”

The incentive Perryman proposed would not be unique.

The Physician Manpower Training Commission, for example, provides financial incentives to recruit doctors and nurses to practice in areas that have a shortage of health professionals.

The PMTC sponsors a rural medical education scholarship loan program, a community physician education scholarship loan program, an intern-resident cost-sharing program, a physician placement program, a nursing student assistance program, and community match incentive programs. There have been 633 physicians recipients of PMTC assistance since 1976, the agency reports.

Similarly, select employees at Tinker Air Force Base in the Air Force Sustainment Center’s Engineering and Technical Management Directorate attend the University of Oklahoma or Oklahoma State University to earn master’s degrees in science or engineering. The students’ tuition, fees and textbooks are paid for up to three semesters, and some students draw full salary while enrolled full-time in school.

Advanced degrees are essential for scientists and engineers who hope to advance in Tinker’s Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex.

The State Chamber of Oklahoma, in its Educated Workforce Initiative, supports bonuses or loan forgiveness programs for teachers who are certified to teach in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) areas of study. “Match public dollars invested in STEM with private dollars to encourage public/private partnerships and alignment between education and workforce needs,” the State Chamber recommends.

Perryman also pointed to House Bill 1747, which he co-authored. That measure would provide a five-year, 100% state income-tax exemption to persons who move from another state to one of a number of rural Oklahoma counties that a recent Department of Commerce study identified as projected to experience a long-term population decline. That bill passed the House, 64-11, and is assigned to the Senate Finance Committee.

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MIKE W. RAY

Media Director, Democratic Caucus

Oklahoma House of Representatives

(405) 962-7819 office

(405) 245-4411 mobile

17 Mar
0

Oklahomans Denied Valuable Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 17, 2015

Oklahomans Denied Valuable Legislation

[OKLAHOMA CITY, OK] The beginning of Oklahoma’s 55th Legislative Session has seen many issues appearing in national headlines, but rarely issues that Oklahomans want to see elected officials discussing.

The Oklahoma Legislature has spent countless hours debating items that don’t directly impact or address issues such as the $611 million budget hole, public education funding, poor teacher pay, teacher and school resource shortages, crumbling roads and bridges, criminal justice reform, and prison overcrowding, to name a few.

“The Republican legislature is overly preoccupied with talking about gays, marriage licenses, and attempting to legalize child abuse. Their refusal to deal with issues that Oklahomans are demanding answers for is yet another example of their complete lack of leadership to conduct business and pattern of  bad behavior,” said Wallace Collins, Chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party.

Oklahoma Democrats attempted to get legitimate legislation moved through this year, but numerous roadblocks by the Republican-led legislature were, once again, thrown up to prevent real progress. Small victories were made; however, sweeping improvements were continuously thwarted.

A few examples of legislation authored by Democrats that failed to make it past the Republican-controlled committees are:

  • HB1831 by Rep. Seneca Scott (D-Tulsa) would have allowed Oklahoma to receive $150 million to underwrite health-care services for Native Americans.
  • HB 1429 by Rep. Jerry McPeak (D-Warner) would have reduced the number of high-stakes tests.
  • HB1345 by Rep. Jason Dunnington (D-Oklahoma City) would have made it illegal for an employer to refuse or terminate employment based on an individual’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
  • HB 1571 by Rep. Cory Williams (D-Stillwater) would have required insurance policies to offer coverage for earthquake damage. According to geologists, Oklahoma experienced 5,418 earthquakes in 2014.
  • SB426 by Sen. Kay Floyd (D-Oklahoma City) would have given a procedure to determine if a piece of legislation could be in violation of the Constitution. Each year, numerous pieces of legislation are challenged in the Supreme Court costing the State millions in revenue.
  • SB87 by Sen. John Sparks (D-Norman) would have provided a cost of living increase for certain state employees.
  • SB651 by Sen. Randy Bass (D-Lawton) would have protected local economies impacted by tourism by requiring that the Department of Tourism and Recreation provide at least 60-days notice when there is to be a significant change in the park service or pending closure of a state park.

Oklahomans want to see meaningful legislation, but the Republican-controlled legislature has demonstrated that they are not interested in addressing the issues that directly affect their constituents and local business. Instead of focusing on the people of Oklahoma, the Republicans have continued with their standard rhetoric and national talking points; all the while, Oklahomans suffer.

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12 Mar
0

Myriad Proposals by Democrats Died Without Ever Receiving a Hearing

Myriad Proposals by Democrats Died Without Ever Receiving a Hearing

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – House Democrats saw a host of their proposals in the areas of health care, energy production, education, politics, insurance, and motor vehicle operations die in Republican-controlled committees this year.

Those measures included proposals to exempt purchases of hearing aids from sales taxes, outright bans on texting while driving, allowing “death with dignity, imposing limits on college tuition increases, establishing barriers between oil/gas wells and nearby homes, raising the minimum wage, and a measure that would have produced perhaps $150 million in federal funds for Native American health care at no cost to the state.

Following is a sampling of the Democratic proposals that died without ever receiving a hearing:

Public Health

  • Sales of hearing aids used by a hearing-impaired individual would be exempt from sales taxes if the devices were prescribed by a state-licensed audiologist or hearing-aid dealer or fitter, under House Bill 1138 by Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, D-Tulsa. That measure died in the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Revenue and Taxation without ever being discussed.

    It was no surprise that the proposal died on the vine, since the Legislature faces a $611 million budget gap this year. However, the subcommittee chairman, Rep. David Dank, R-Oklahoma City, has tried unsuccessfully for seven consecutive years to secure a tax exemption for hearing aids, especially for senior citizens on fixed incomes.

  • A proposed task force to “study senior issues and make recommendations on ways to improve the lives of the increasing number” of senior citizens in Oklahoma wasn’t considered. House Bill 2041 by Rep. George Young, D-Oklahoma City, died in the House Rules Committee.  According to the AARP, more than 530,000 Oklahomans are aged 65 or older, and Social Security is the sole source of income for one-third of them.
  • A “Death With Dignity” measure, House Bill 1673 by Rep. Steve Kouplen, D-Beggs, expired in the Public Health Committee from total neglect. It would have allowed any adult Oklahoman deemed to be mentally “capable” but suffering from a terminal illness to submit a written request for medication “for the purpose of ending his or her life in a humane and dignified manner…”
  • House Bill 1341 by Rep. Jason Dunnington, D-Oklahoma City, would have made it illegal to smoke in a motor vehicle transporting a child 16 or younger. That proposal was snuffed out in the Alcohol, Tobacco and Controlled Substances Committee. A similar measure – Senate Bill 747 by Sen. Randy Bass, D-Lawton – was spurned by the Senate in a floor vote Tuesday.
  • State employees who are on maternity leave would have been eligible to receive short-term benefits from the Disability Insurance Program administered by the Oklahoma State and Education Employees Group Insurance Board, under House Bill 1850 by Democratic Leader Scott Inman, D-Del City. That bill received no hearing from the State Government Operations Committee.
  • Insurance carriers would have been compelled by House Bill 1336 to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autistic disorders. “Insurers pay for Viagra but not for autism medications,” said Rep. James Lockhart, D-Heavener, author of the proposal. “That’s nuts. HB 1336 was never considered by the Insurance Committee.
  • Rep. David Perryman wanted to prohibit any caretaker convicted of abuse, verbal abuse, neglect or exploitation, or exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult, from inheriting from the victim, or receiving any portion whatsoever of the victim’s estate. Nevertheless, his House Bill 1031 died in the Judiciary and Civil Procedure Committee without being discussed.
  • A measure by Rep. Seneca Scott, D-Tulsa, that would have enabled Oklahoma to receive an estimated $150 million to underwrite health-care services for Native Americans died in the House Committee on Public Health without ever receiving a hearing.

    The Oklahoma Health Care Authority would have been authorized by House Bill 1831 to submit a waiver to the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services for care provided in Indian Health Service facilities, Native American health facilities, and Urban Indian Organization health facilities. The waiver would provide payments to those facilities for formerly reimbursable services, “and more generally to cover otherwise uncompensated care.”

State Government

The Republican-dominated House opted to exempt itself from a couple of restrictions the Legislature has imposed on others.

  • House Bill 1038 by Perryman, D-Chickasha, would have banned “robocalls” that solicit funds or support for or opposition to a political candidate, cause or organization. The House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Procedure hung up on the proposal.
  • And Rep. Ben Loring, D-Miami, proposed in House Bill 1049 to include the Legislature and the state judiciary in the definition of a “public body” subject to the state’s Open Records Act. However, that measure died in the House Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability.
  • House Bill 1631 by Rep. Mike Brown, to impose limits on the amount of money that can be transferred from state agency revolving funds to the General Fund, died quietly in the House Committee on Rules. Last year the Republican-controlled Legislature diverted $291 million from 29 revolving funds and savings accounts in order to balance the state budget, Brown, D-Tahlequah, recalled.

Education Issues

  • House Bill 1429 by Rep. Jerry McPeak, D-Warner, would have reduced the number of high-stakes tests that Oklahoma school children are required to take. In addition, high school seniors who have met the graduation requirements mandated by the State Board of Education could receive a diploma, regardless of their scores on an end-of-instruction exam, under procedures that would have been established by HB 1429. The bill died in the Common Education Committee.
  • House Bill 2043 by Young, which would have empaneled a Minority Teacher Recruitment Advisory Committee, died in the House Rules Committee.
  • The amount that a retired school teacher could earn upon returning to a public school classroom, and still qualify for state pension benefits, would be doubled from $15,000 to $30,000 by House Bill 1112 by Rep. Chuck Hoskin, D-Vinita.
  • Similarly, House Bill 1364 by Rep. Claudia Griffith, D-Norman, would have allowed a retired teacher to earn up to $25,000 yet still continue to receive state pension benefits. Both measures died in the Business, Labor and Retirement Laws Committee without ever receiving a hearing.

For the third consecutive year, an eastern Oklahoma legislator filed a measure to “rein in the skyrocketing cost of college tuition.” :

  • House Bill 1334 by Lockhart decrees that no state agency would be allowed to increase “any fee, fine or tuition in the same year the state agency received an increase in funding” from the Legislature. The bill defines a state agency to mean “any constitutionally or statutorily created state board, bureau, commission, office or authority.”

    “The cost of a college degree has gotten out of hand,” Lockhart said. “These young adults are just starting out in life, and usually they start at the bottom of the pay scale in their respective professions. It’s tough to succeed when you’re saddled with student loan debts that are literally the size of a home mortgage.”

    HB 1334 collected dust and died in the House Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability.

Energy Production Setbacks

  • Rep. Ed Cannaday, D-Porum, introduced legislation to impose setbacks on oil/gas wells drilled near homes or domestic wells.

    House Bill 1107 would have prohibited the wellbore of a vertically or horizontally drilled oil or gas well within a radius of 500 feet from “any occupied structure” or 300 feet of “any producing freshwater well.” It would have prohibited a “fracked” well from being established within a radius of 2,000 feet of any occupied structure or any producing freshwater wells.

    It also would have prohibited siting an oil or brine storage tank, or compressors, heaters, separators, etc., within a radius of 100 feet of any occupied structure.

    HB 1107 died in the Environmental Law Committee without ever being debated.

    Under existing state law, there is no minimum distance for drilling equipment or energy production wells to be set back from any habitable structure.

    However, state law requires structures to be sited a minimum distance from any drilling operation: no closer than 125 feet of the wellbore of an active well, or 50 feet from the center of any surface equipment necessary for the operation of an active well, including oil storage and brine storage tanks.

Insurance

  • House Bill 1571 by Rep. Cory Williams, D-Stillwater, would require all new or renewed residential property insurance policies to offer coverage “for loss caused by the peril of earthquake.” The coverage would be optional, but carriers would be compelled to notify their customers of its availability. That bill died in the Insurance Committee without ever being discussed.

    State and federal geologists counted 5,418 earthquakes throughout Oklahoma last year, ranging in intensity from barely perceptible by seismographs to a magnitude-4.2, Oklahoma Geological Survey data show.

    A record 567 of those ’quakes registered magnitude-3 or greater. In comparison, U.S. Geological Survey data reflect that Oklahoma experienced an average of fewer than two magnitude-3 ’quakes per year for 30 years, from 1978 through 2008.

  • Mandatory minimum vehicle liability coverage for property damage in car wrecks would have been raised from $25,000 to $35,000 in House Bill 1671, by Brown. The bill died in the Insurance Committee without receiving a hearing.

Texting-While-Driving

  • In House Bill 1136, McDaniel proposed to outlaw a motorist’s use of a cellular telephone or other electronic communication device to “write, send, or read a text-based communication” – texting, emailing or instant messaging – while the vehicle is in motion.

    A related measure, House Bill 1009 by Perryman, would have made it unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle on any public street or highway of this state while using a cellular telephone or electronic communication device “to compose, send or read a text-based communication while the motor vehicle is in motion.”

    Both bills (HB 1136 and HB 1009) died in the Public Safety Committee.

    Instead, the House passed House Bill 1965. Under current state law, texting while driving is not a primary offense. A law enforcement officer cannot pull over and ticket a driver for texting while driving unless the motorist is speeding, driving recklessly such as weaving across lanes, or has a wreck.

    That would not be changed by HB 1965. The bill decrees that enforcement of the proposed new statute “must be accomplished only as a secondary action when an operator of a motor vehicle has been detained for a suspected violation of another traffic law…”

Campaign Contributions

  • Legislation that would have given shareholders control over political contributions from corporations died in the Business, Labor and Retirement Laws Committee. House Bill 1056, the “Shareholders Bill of Rights Act,” would have allowed shareholders to control corporate political donations in Oklahoma.

    “If campaign and ethics laws cannot limit the amount of money that a corporation can pour into a political campaign, then its shareholders should be able to,” asserted Perryman, author of the measure. “After all, the money in a corporate treasury belongs to the shareholders.”

Energy Conservation

  • An energy conservation measure projected to save state taxpayers $100 million over the next decade was shelved. House Bill 1340 by Dunnington would have expanded an energy conservation program that has saved millions of dollars in utility bills at state-owned properties by implementing comprehensive energy-saving plans. HB 1340 would extend the same program to public school buildings, and thus has the potential to return millions of dollars to classrooms via “smart energy” policies.

Minimum Wage Measures

  • At least three proposals designed to raise the minimum wage in Oklahoma have been derailed this year by House Republicans.

    Dunnington’s House Bill 1343 would have repealed the statute which the GOP-dominated Legislature approved last year, forbidding any municipality from establishing a minimum wage rate that an employer would be required to pay his/her employees. As a matter of public policy “and due to an overriding state interest,” Senate Bill 1023 declared, the Legislature “pre-empts the entire field of legislation in this state touching in any way” the mandated minimum wage.

    HB 1343 was suffocated in the Economic Development, Commerce, and Real Estate Committee.

    So was Dunnington’s House Bill 1344, which proposed to raise the minimum wage in Oklahoma from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour.

    In addition, an amendment to House Bill 1375, proposed by Rep. Mike Shelton, D-Oklahoma City, to raise the minimum wage in Oklahoma over the next three years to $10 per hour, was overwhelmingly spurned by House Republicans on March 2.

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MIKE W. RAY

Media Director, Democratic Caucus

Oklahoma House of Representatives

(405) 962-7819 office

(405) 245-4411 mobile