House Passes Teacher Pay Raise and Funding Mechanism
Eleven bills passed the House on Monday, March 26, that would provide for teacher pay and school support staff pay raises as well as salary increases for state employees and additional money for K-12 education. Portions of the funding will go to health care and roads and bridges funds. Passing to the Senate were:
House Bill 3705 appropriates $2.9 billion to common education, K-12 schools and the state Department of Education, for Fiscal Year 2019, which begins in July. This is an increase of $480 million from FY18 and includes money for certified teacher and school support staff pay raises as well as additional funding for employee health benefits allowances, the restoration of $33 million for textbooks and additional money to be distributed through the state school funding formula for overall education spending. This meets the House’s statutory requirement of providing an education budget by April 1. The Senate passed this bill Thursday morning.
House Bill 1023XX provides teacher pay raises on a step basis, beginning next school year and continuing until the state teacher minimum salary schedule is next changed. Under this plan, beginning teachers will get a $5,000 raise and teachers with 25 years of experience and a doctorate degree will see an additional $8,300. The average salary increase is $6,100. The Senate passed this bill with an amendment that will ensure that even teachers who currently make above the minimum salary schedule will get this raise.
House Bill 1024XX provides a state employee pay raise of between $750 to $2,000 depending on an employee’s current salary, beginning in July. The Senate passed this bill Thursday morning. The Senate passed this bill Thursday morning.
House Bill 1026XX provides for school support staff raises of $1,250. The Senate passed this bill Thursday morning.
House Bill 1010XX is the omnibus bill to pay for the raises and additional education funding. The measure relies on increasing the gross production tax on all producing oil and gas wells to 5 percent for the first three years of production and 7 percent thereafter; an increase of $1 on a package of cigarettes and on other tobacco products; an increase of 3 cents on gasoline and 6 cents on diesel; implementing a statewide $5 per-room, per-night fee on motels and hotels. The measure is estimated to result in $474.7 million in revenue for the state. The Senate passed this bill with the condition that the House would repeal the motel/hotel tax. The House did this on Thursday via House Bill 1012XX. The governor was set to sign House Bill 1010XX on Thursday.
House Bill 1011XX will cap itemized income tax deductions at $17,000, exempting charitable deductions and medical expenses. This is estimated to result in $84.3 million in revenue. The Senate also passed this bill.
House Bill 1013XX allows for balls and dice to be used in casino games. This is estimated to result in $24 million in revenue.
House Bill 1014XX modifies the appointments to various transportation funds. The Senate passed this bill Thursday morning.
House Bill 1015XX keeps current fuel tax exemptions in place. The Senate passed this bill Thursday morning.
House Bill 1016XX creates the State Health Care Enhancement Fund. The Senate passed this bill Thursday morning.
House Bill 1018XX prohibits retailers from purchasing excess amounts of cigarette tax stamps in advance of the increased tax. The Senate passed this bill Thursday morning.
The governor is expected to sign the bills that passed the House and Senate.
House Passes Bipartisan Revenue Agreement for Teacher and State Employee Pay Raises
OKLAHOMA CITY – House Speaker Charles McCall and House Minority Leader Steve Kouplen released the following statements today after the House of Representatives passed a package of revenue measures that would fund pay raises for teachers, school support staff and state employees and provide additional money for the classrooms. The plan provides first-year teachers with a $5,000 pay raise and increases from there based upon experience. A teacher with a doctorate and 25 years of experience would receive an $8,300 pay raise under this plan.
“Today, the House of Representatives passed a true bipartisan solution to one of the major problems we are facing as a state,” said Speaker McCall, R-Atoka. “This plan was developed with input from both Republican and Democrat leadership. It is not a perfect plan, but inaction is simply not an option; it is time to move Oklahoma forward. House Republicans have been negotiating in good faith with House Democrats, the Senate and the Governor’s Office for well over a year in search of a bipartisan solution that would increase our teachers’ pay and put more money into the classroom. These negotiations take time, and the three-fourths majority requirement in our state Constitution means we had to find a true compromise deal that would bring 76 votes in support. It has been exceedingly difficult, but Oklahomans expect us to solve problems. Within the last several days, we have been able to find a compromise and breakthrough the stalemate.
“There have been a lot of tough votes taken over the last year in search of a solution, and I commend the members of the House for their perseverance to move this plan one step closer to the finish line. We voted together to build a better and stronger Oklahoma.”
“This is a monumental step in providing a better path forward for both our schools and our state,” said Leader Kouplen, D-Beggs. “We look forward to continue the dialogue that helped this bipartisan plan progress.”
Lawmakers Recognize Veterans
On Monday, the Oklahoma House and Senate celebrated the men and women who have served this great nation in the military. The 2018 Veterans Appreciation Day recognized Oklahomans throughout the state who have selflessly put their lives on the line to protect not only the people of this country but the values and freedoms that this country represents.
Senate passes revenue package to fund teacher pay raises
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday passed a historic revenue package to fund a $6,100, or 16 percent, pay raise on average for Oklahoma teachers. That increase moves Oklahoma from seventh to second highest in the region in average teacher pay and is the largest teacher pay raise in the history of the state.
“The Oklahoma Senate took a historic step that will have positive and long-lasting impacts on the success of our state. One of the most important factors in the success of our students is a quality, professional teacher in the classroom. Passing the largest teacher pay raise in state history moves us to No. 2 in the region in average teacher pay and will help Oklahoma retain quality teachers. It’s a significant investment in economic development because an educated workforce is essential to growing and expanding our economy. For more than 15 months, the Senate has worked tirelessly to fund a significant teacher pay raise. This is a responsible plan that answers Oklahomans’ call for the Legislature to find a solution to teacher pay. I want to thank my colleagues in the Senate for their dedication to finding a solution and seeing a teacher pay raise come to fruition,” said Senate Pro Tem Mike Schulz, R-Altus.
HB 1010xx provides $447 million in revenue by increasing the gross production to 5 percent on all wells, increasing the cigarette tax $1 per pack, and increasing the gas tax 3 cents and the diesel tax 6 cents.
The Senate also advanced HB 1011xx, which provides an additional $84.3 million for teacher pay by making changes to the state income tax code.
Governor Mary Fallin Statement on Oklahoma Senate Passing Revenue Package to Fund Teacher Pay Raises
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin tonight issued the following statement after the state Senate passed a revenue package to fund a $6,100, or 16 percent, pay raise on average for Oklahoma teachers, the largest teacher pay raise in the history of the state:
“This is an historic evening for the state of Oklahoma. I applaud the bipartisanship shown in the Senate tonight and in the House of Representatives earlier this week by passing House Bill 1010XX. Those voting yes answered the call from the public by voting teachers a pay raise and putting the state on a solid foundation for the future. I will follow through on their courage and action by signing House Bill 1010XX. I appreciate our lawmakers putting people over politics by approving this package of revenue measures to fund teacher pay raises as well as provide additional money for the classroom. This budget package also helps set us on a path to long-term sustainability and stability by making more recurring revenue available and helps us to stop balancing our budget with one-time funds.”