Interim Studies Announced
Schools, prisons and human trafficking: Just some of the issues lawmakers are tackling in the off-season.
The interim study gives state Representatives and Senators the tools they need to bring up business during the regular session.
But, what goes into picking those subjects?
Sure it might not be as sexy as what Kim Kardashian is wearing or who the Thunder is picking in the NBA draft, but they do have an impact on Oklahoma laws.
This year, 13 of the 59 interim studies are focusing on education, everything from school redistricting to teacher pay.
House Speaker Kris Steele says some subjects caused concern earlier in the legislative session.
“We’re going to see some intense effort in studying the national board certification program and how the legislature can fulfill that commitment and move forward with a program that is fair and equitable to all teachers throughout the state of Oklahoma.”
Lawmakers are also looking at reducing or eliminating personal income taxes, possible statewide emergency medical services, what to do about the crumbling capitol complex and even statewide doomsday readiness.
That last one is just about what happens if the state loses federal funding not what I originally thought was planning for the zombie apocalypse.
What was surprisingly missing from the list was what to do about the federal health care law.
Speaker Steele explains besides an interim study already looking at the subject last year, there were other reasons it might not have been added.
The fact that there’s a lot of uncertainty, the ruling from the Supreme Court was actually handed down, the ruling in reference to the federal health care law was actually handed down after the time had expired to submit interim studies.”
The Senate has also approved 26 interim studies on subjects like incentives for the energy industry, abuse in veterans’ centers and medical marijuana.