MARCH 7, 2014 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
“Bill to Provide Retired Educator Representation
on TRS Board Advances in Senate”
The Oklahoma House of Representatives and Senate this week toiled methodically to give floor consideration to hundreds of bills previously passed in committee. The deadline for final votes on house of origin bills is March 13. Any bill not receiving approval by that date will be dead for the session.
There was not much suspense, but SB 1114, by Jerry Ellis (D, Valliant), passed the Senate Thursday on a vote of 38-0, with 10 senators excused. The measure, virtually identical to HB 2740, by Curtis McDaniel (D, Smithville), would provide for the designation by a statewide retired educator organization of a non-voting member of the Teachers’ Retirement System Board of Trustees.
HB 2740 previously passed the House 89-0.
Another OREA-sponsored measure, HB 2581, by Todd Thomsen (R, Ada), is waiting to be heard by the full House. It would establish a pension revolving fund in the Office of the State Treasurer, to serve as a repository of monies for future cost-of-living adjustments for retired educators and state employees.
HB 2581 would provide for an appropriation of funds – possibly from proceeds of the state’s use tax – as a source of initial funding for the revolving account.
OREA members are urged to contact all state representatives in favor of HB 2581 when it comes before the full House next week. Typical of all appropriations measures, the title has been stricken, which means the bill, if passed in the House and later in the Senate, will wind up in conference committee and be a part of the overall discussion for the state’s budget for Fiscal Year 2015 beginning July 1. Thus, HB 2581 faces a long and arduous legislative path before the session reaches final adjournment in May.
Thanks for your support for the OREA legislative agenda.