Legislation

Payroll Deduction

House Bill 1749: (Rep. Tom Newell and Sen. Nathan Dahm) prohibits a state agency or school district from deducting dues for organizations that engage in collective bargaining. (Note: OPEA does not have collective bargaining rights.) Passed the House and is moving on to the Senate.

Senate Bill 328: (Sen. Nathan Dahm) prohibits a state agency or school district from deducting dues for employee organizations. Was not heard in House committee and will not move forward this year.

Retirement

House Bill 2200 (Rep. Jon Echols) Original language: allows the legislature to grant a cost-of-living adjustment if a retirement system is at least 80 percent funded after the COLA is granted. The bill was changed in committee. The new author is Rep. Randy McDaniel. The new language was sent to the actuary to be studied over the interim. According to the new version, retirees above the age of 70 will receive a two percent one-time payment of two percent, not to exceed $500 next year. If a retirement system is not 85 percent funded after the payment is granted, the retirees with the highest 20 percent benefit checks in the system would not receive the payment. OPERS is funded at 88.5 percent, therefore the last provision would not apply to the OPERS system. Sent to the actuary for study during the interim.

House Bill 1711 (Rep. Glenn Mulready) would eliminate blending of active employee and pre-Medicare health insurance premiums potentially increasing pre-Medicare rates by $300 a month for an individual. Failed in committee and will not move forward this year.

Benefits and Human Resources

House Bill 2167 (Rep. Mark McCullough) would eliminate all health insurance plans for state employees with the exception of the HealthChoice High Deductible plan. Was not heard in House committee and will not be heard.

House Bill 1474 (Rep. Justin Wood and Sen. Ralph Shortey) allows state employees to receive more than one voluntary-out-benefit offer in their career. Passed the House and is moving on to the Senate.

Budget Shortfall

Senate Bill 815 and House Bill 2182 (President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman and Speaker Jeff Hickman) establish a comprehensive, recurring evaluation process of tax credits. They create a schedule for evaluation and provide criteria for economic analysis. The bills allow the state to contract with a third party, such as a university or private-sector economist, to conduct the assessments and to make recommendations about whether to amend, extend, or terminate each incentive. SB 815 has passed the Senate and is moving to the House. HB 2182 has passed the House and is moving to the Senate.

Senate Bill 806 and House Bill 2183 (President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, Speaker Jeff Hickman) instructs lawmakers to include a statement of measurable goals with any new incentive they create. As a result, evaluators will know what lawmakers intended and will be able to measure whether the programs achieved their objectives. SB 806 has passed the Senate and is moving to the House. HB 2183 has passed the House and is moving to the Senate.

Agency Bills

Senate Bill 640 (Sen. Greg Treat and Rep. Doug Cox) This bill would change how persons enter the SoonerCare Advantage Program. If passed, the result would be outcontracting the current functions of the DHS staff who administers the program and would likely cause an increased cost to the state due to more people entering nursing homes. It is uncertain if this change would be permissible under current federal Medicaid regulations. Passed the Senate and is moving on to the House.

House Bill 1113 (Rep. Chuck Hoskin and Sen. Susan Paddack) requires that vehicles move over or slow down for maintenance vehicles working on state highways. Currently, this requirement is for law enforcement only. Passed the House and is moving on to the Senate.