April 5, 2018 Weekly Wrap

Teachers, State Employees, Supporters Flood Capitol

Thousands of educators and other civil servants came to the Capitol this week, filling the galleries and rotundas. The building reached capacity each day, and teachers waited in lines to meet with state representatives and senators. Many schools have utilized designated snow days to cover school closures during the walkout.

Third-Party Vendor Sales Tax Collection Passes House, raises $19.5 million for education

House Bill 1019XX will allow the collection and remittance of sales tax from out-of-state, third-party vendors who contract with organizations such as Amazon to sell products in Oklahoma. The measure is estimated to result in $20.5 million in revenue annually. An amendment was added to the bill to dedicate $19.5 million in funding to education through the 1017 fund for Fiscal Year 19 and $20.5 million in subsequent years. The measure passed 92-7. It is expected to be heard in the Senate on Friday. Proponents of the legislation explained it will help ensure marketplace fairness for the state’s brick-and-mortar retailers.

Oklahoma Senate to take up revenue measures Friday

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Senate will meet Friday to consider special session and regular session measures.

The Senate will meet in special session at 8:30 a.m. Friday to consider HB 1019xx, the marketplace fairness act or so-called “Amazon bill,” as well as HB 1012xx, a bill that repeals the “hotel/motel” tax that was originally included the $530 million revenue package (HB 1010xx) passed by the Legislature last week that completely funds the largest teacher pay raise in state history.

The Amazon bill is estimated to generate approximately $20 million and when added to growth revenue in the state budget more than makes up for the hotel/motel tax.

The Senate also will meet in regular session Friday morning to consider HB 3375, the so-called “ball and dice” bill.

Agendas can be viewed on the Senate website. Senate floor proceedings can be viewed via livestream.

Governor Mary Fallin Signs $2.9 Billion Funding Measure for Public Schools

Bills providing pay increases for school support staff, state employees also approved

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today signed the $2.9 billion appropriation bill for common education for the upcoming 2019 fiscal year. The funding authorized in House Bill (HB) 3705 marks a 19.7 percent increase over the $2.4 billion appropriation bill for K-12 public education for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

This is only the second time that legislators approved an appropriation bill for public schools by the required April 1 education funding deadline since 2003 when the requirement was put in place.

The $2.9 billion funding contained in HB 3705 includes $353.5 million for teacher pay; $52 million for support personnel pay: $33 million for textbooks: $17 million for the state aid formula; and $24.7 million for flex health care benefits.

The total increase in common education funding for the 2019 fiscal year is $480.2 million.

Fallin also signed HB 1026XX, which provides a $1,250 annual increase in pay for school support personnel.

In addition, the governor signed HB 1024XX, which provides a tiered pay raise for state employees. State workers earning $40,000 or less would get a $2,000 raise; those being paid $40,000 to $50,000 would get a $1,500 raise. Meanwhile, those making $50,000 – $60,000 would get a $1,000 raise and those earning $60,000 or more would get a $750 raise.

All three measures take effect July 1, the start of the state’s 2019 fiscal year.