2017 legislative session

Flickr / texasbackroads

The Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday approved several education related bills, including measures that address teacher pay, teacher recruitment, and the reduction of administrative costs, among other issues. These bills will now go to the House for consideration. 

 

Here's a list of the education-related bills passed out of the Senate on Wednesday:

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

A bill that would allow counties to choose whether or not to permit Sunday sales of alcohol at retail liquor stores passed out of the state Senate on Tuesday.

Voters approved state question 792 last November, which will allow grocery and convenience stores to sell wine and full-strength beer every day of the week. But retail liquor stores are still required to be closed on Sunday. The state question’s provisions go into effect in October 2018.

okhouse.gov

A $1.50 tax increase on cigarettes is getting moved to later in the legislative session at the State Capitol.

Representative Leslie Osborn says the tax increase will go before lawmakers on what's known as a J-CAB measure rather than a regular bill.

"We kind of got bogged down with a lot of other policy issues. We need to work both sides of the aisle, make sure we have the support. I expect we will because this one polls 76% across the state to pass with Ds and Rs."

StateImpact has reported on the dwindling number of Oklahoma state parks since Gov. Mary Fallin took office in 2011. The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department says budget cuts are to blame, and as KSWO reports, the biggest spate of park closures yet could be on the way:

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the passing of political commentator and journalist Mike McCarville, the State Supreme Court dismisses a challenge against its newest justice Patrick Wyrick and Sallisaw Republican Representative John Bennett requires participants of Muslim Day to fill out a controversial questionnaire over the Islamic religion.

Flickr / texasbackroads

The Oklahoma state House of Representatives furthered a bill Thursday that would roll back part of a state question that was approved by voters in November.

Oklahomans voted in favor of State Questions 780 and 781 last year, which reduced simple drug possession from a felony crime to a misdemeanor.

In debate on the House floor, Republican Representative Tim Downing, R-Purcell, said House Bill 1482 would give district attorneys the discretion to enhance simple drug possession to a felony if it occurs within 1,000 feet of a school

LLUDO / FLICKR (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

A plan approved overwhelmingly in the House to raise Oklahoma teacher pay by $6,000 over the next three years appears to be facing a stiffer challenge in the state Senate.

Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz said Thursday without a way to pay for the raise, House Bill 1114 amounts to giving teachers "false hope."

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

A bill passed by the state House of Representatives Wednesday would impose an annual fee on owners of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles in Oklahoma, and that’s leaving some electric car owners feeling singled out.

A gray 2013 Nissan Leaf sits in Edmond resident Jonathon Stranger’s driveway.

“There’s no gas. There’s no motor oil,” Stranger says. “It’s the future.”

Larry Smith / Flickr

The Oklahoma House has approved legislation to roll back a state tax credit for the wind energy industry.

The House passed the bill Thursday by a vote of 74-24 and sent it to the Senate for consideration.

House Bill 2298 modifies the tax credit for electricity generated by zero-emission facilities like wind turbines. It says facilities must be in operation by July 1 in order to qualify for the credit, instead of the current deadline of Jan. 1, 2021.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the revenue failure announced by officials last week causing Standard and Poor's to drop Oklahoma's credit rating, the State Supreme Court hears arguments from attorneys over the eligibility of its newest justice, Patrick Wyrick, and the Governor gets the bill to bring Oklahoma in compliance with the 2005 Federal Real ID Act.

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