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Legislative Action Alert: HB 2642

April 1, 2014

I’ve been asked to pass this along:

***LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT***

H.B. 2642 will be heard tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  We want to thank Senator Clark Jolley (R-Edmond) for agreeing to hear to the bill. H.B. 2642, authored by Rep. Lee Denney (R-Cushing) and Sen. Jim Halligan (R-Stillwater) creates the Securing Educational Excellence Fund.  If passed, H.B. 2642 will provide annual automatic funding increases directly to schools through the funding formula for the next decade.  These funds would be used to boost the per pupil expenditure so that districts can restore the mandates of H.B. 1017 (class sizes limits, purchase textbooks, staff school nurses and counselors, etc.) as well as successfully implement recently enacted reforms (RSA, ACE, Common Core, TLE, Grading Schools). H.B. 2642 only pertains to increases for local operational dollars provided through the state’s funding formula.  The bill does not address additional funding increases for the OK SDE agency operations as well as supplemental needs in FBA, Ad Valorem Reimbursement and other periodic funding shortfalls experienced in the SDE Activities Account.

Please contact EVERY member of the Senate Appropriations Committee TODAY and ask each member to VOTE YES ON H.B. 2642.

H.B. 2642 will be amended in the Senate Appropriations Committee tomorrow to reflect the following changes:

  • Common Education and Department of Transportation share off the top funding and split $60 Million in new revenue for the first three years the law is in effect.

o   The split is $30 Million off the top for Common Education and $30 Million off the top for Department of Transportation.

o   Triggers are restored to ODOT’s ROADS Fund increase.

o   The 1% State GR growth trigger remains in place for common education.

  • After the first three years of splitting off the top increases with ODOT, the annual increase to schools goes to $60 Million with the requirement that the state’s General Revenue Fund grow by at least 1% as compared to the prior year.
  • Each year, for ten years, the school calendar will increase by one academic day.

o   Current cost estimates for adding one instructional day to the calendar is $25-$30 Million.

  • The ten year payout to schools has increased from original version of H.B. 2642 which was $575 Million in 10 years to $600 Million.

Please contact EVERY member of the Senate Appropriations Committee TODAY and ask each member to VOTE YES ON H.B. 2642.

Talking Points:

  • Students are just as important as roads and bridges – we should have the same funding priority as ODOT’s ROADS Fund.

o   No one is hurt in passage of H.B. 2642 because the bill’s requirement that the state’s GR Fund to grow by 1% means that the bill pays for itself and leaves money on the table for other service areas!

o   ODOT does not lose any money due to the amended version of H.B. 2642!

  • ODOT’s payout on the ROADS Fund is merely extended by three years – ODOT will receive all it was promised by the state!
  • Schools operate on $200 Million fewer formula dollars today that at the same time in 2009.

o   In order to pay for the almost 40,000 new students enrolled since 2009, and restore per weighted student funding to prerecession levels – the state would need to appropriate $279 Million to schools!

o   H.B. 2642 provides a prudent roadmap to restore funding, extend the school year and secure educational opportunities for our students.

  • Recent funding increases to the State Board of Education have not made their way to schools!

o   H.B. 2642 sends dollars directly to locally elected school boards to best decide how to use these necessary resources.

Please contact EVERY member of the Senate Appropriations Committee TODAY and ask each member to VOTE YES ON H.B. 2642.

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  1. joeddins
    April 1, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    have these legislators voted for tax cuts ?

    Like

    • April 1, 2014 at 8:45 pm

      Yep. One passed a senate committee today by an 8-2 vote.

      Like

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