House Interim Studies Approved

Late summer and fall signal the start of several Oklahoma traditions like back to school, football two-a-days, scenic drives and hunting season. It is also the time that small groups of Oklahoma legislators will meet to discuss topics that they believe need attention. These hearings are called interim studies and they often serve as the catalyst for legislation that eventually becomes law.

A legislator may request a study to cover a topic that they think needs attention. In 2013, 135 different studies were requested by house members and 55 studies requested by senators. A study must be approved by legislative leadership before beginning and will consist of one or more meetings of legislators where they hear from individuals and groups who are interested in the topic. The legislators will often ask for testimony from persons they believe to be knowledgeable in the field and accept comments from the general public. Each hearing will result in a report that is filed with the legislature and those reports can then be used to promote legislation on the topic.

Here are some approved House interim studies that may impact OPEA members. The Senate has not yet released their list of approved studies.

13-002 – Rep. Tommy Hardin – Veterans Affairs Committee
Oklahoma Department of Veterans Administration has requested to Un-classify certain positions in our Veteran’s Centers. Study to determine possible outcomes of un-classification of employees.

13-009 and 13-087 (Combined)– Rep. Leslie Osborn, Rep. Joe Dorman & Rep. Donny Condit – Appropriations and Budget Committee
Comprehensive look at state employee compensation and a change to a performance based system. Utilizing the Governor’s remuneration study results to look at options for a complete revamp of how State employees are compensated. This study will examine current salary levels for state employees and educators and compare this level with the private sector and similar job and salary structures in surrounding states. Several school groups and the Oklahoma Public Employees Association will be asked to participate, along with private sector representation.

13-012 and 13-019 (Combined) – Rep. Randy McDaniel – Economic Development Committee
An evaluation of reform proposals related to the state retirement pension system. The committee will conduct the annual review of the financial status of the state retirement system. The data will show the impact of recent pension reforms. Moreover, an updated funded status and cash flow analysis of all the plans will be discussed.

13-014 and 13-024 (Combined) – Rep. Jason Murphey & Rep. Mike Turner – Government Modernization Committee
The study will include a comprehensive review of past government modernization reforms. The study will examine the ongoing implementation of modernization transparency Web portals including,, and Participants will also examine the possibility of combing the portals a single transparency site.

13-029 – Rep. Mike Christian – Public Safety Committee
The study will focus on bringing more efficiency to the law enforcement community; examining existing structures and where structures coexist that could bring better efficiencies.

13-030 – Rep. Mike Christian – Public Safety Committee
The study will focus examining the issue of authorizing certain types of employment for members of the Highway Patrol outside of their regular employment

13-036 – Rep. Mike Jackson – Human Services Committee
The study will review the transition of clients from the Northern Oklahoma Resource Center of Enid and the Southern Oklahoma Resource Center of Pauls Valley. In addition, the study will investigate the need for a public safety net for Oklahoma citizens challenged with severe developmental disabilities and medical complications. Medical and dental care and assessment; physical, occupational, and rehabilitation therapies; respite care; and vocational services will be included in the evaluation of safety net services.

13-041 and 13-044 – Rep. Jon Echols & Rep. Gus Blackwell – Appropriations and Budget Committee
A study to review the utilization of all current Oklahoma prisons, both public and private. Study the use & expansion of halfway houses & private prisons with Okla. Dept. of Corrections. Explore ways to save Okla. Dept. of Corrections money and/or reduce recidivism and increase safety.

Follow OPEA on Facebook and on Twitter for the latest updates on this year’s interim studies.


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