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Legislative Deadline Week Comes-and-Goes with OPEA Bills Still Alive

The last week of February was deadline week at the Oklahoma legislature when legislation must be passed out of committee in the “house of origin” in order to be eligible to be heard on the floor. There are several bills OPEA has sponsored or is watching that made it out of committee and some that did not, meaning they likely will not be considered this year.

Bills that are still alive that could impact OPEA members include:

HB 1146 by Rep. Mike Osborn proposes to change the merit system for state employees. OPEA has worked to educate state leaders about the need for a merit system that includes independent due process for state employees.

HB  1787 by Rep. Daniel Pay and Rep. Bill Coleman would require on-call pay for state employees while they are on on-call status. This is an OPEA sponsored bill

HB 1876 by Rep. Tammy West and Rep. Brenda Stanley Requires certain identifying information of current and former public employees be kept confidential and not open to public inspection. OPEA supports this bill.

HB 1921 by Rep. Ryan Martinez Prevents state agencies from moving worksites more than ten miles from their current location without legislative approval. OPEA supports this bill

HB  2294 by Rep. Dustin Roberts and Sen. John Montgomery This bill requires agencies to pay employees for annual leave above the accrual limit. Currently, many employees cannot take leave due to workload and have reached the upper limit on leave. This is an OPEA sponsored bill.

HB 2486 by Rep. Avery Frix This bill would be the first step to placing all state employees in the OPERS defined benefit pension plan instead of the Pathfinder defined contribution plan that new state employees participate in.  This is an OPEA sponsored bill.

HB 2487 by Rep. Avery Frix This would bring the employees of the State Fire Marshall’s office into the hazardous benefit formula of OPERS instead of the standard OPERS retirement benefit. This is an OPEA sponsored bill

HB 2689 by Rep. Toni Hasenbeck and Sen. Zack Taylor Provides a one-time stipend to court reporters. Court reporters working for the state are required to purchase their own recording equipment and software. This bill would assist with those costs. This is an OPEA sponsored bill.

HB 2758 by Rep. Ross Ford It would police officers at the Military Department into the hazardous benefit formula of OPERS instead of the standard OPERS retirement benefit. This is an OPEA sponsored bill

SB 63 by Sen. John Montgomery and Rep. Avery Frix It removes the requirement that employees who participated in a Reduction in Force (RIF) pay back RIF benefits received if they return to work for their previous state agency if they return to that agency within one year of the RIF. This is an OPEA sponsored bill.

SB 232 by Sen. Bill Coleman This bill moves classified DHS positions to unclassified when a position becomes vacant. OPEA opposes this bill

SB 282 by Sen. Frank Simpson It increases annual leave limits for state employees and allows leave to carry over through the end of the following fiscal year following an emergency declaration.

SB 283 by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Tammy Townley It allows compensatory time to carry over through the end of the next fiscal year following an emergency declaration.

SB 333 by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Jon Echols The bill would change state employees’ benefit allowance by changing how it is calculated.  The benefit allowance has not been increased in many years. This is an OPEA sponsored bill.

SB 944 by Sen. Zack Taylor This bill would make new Corporation Commission employees hired after the bill’s effective date to be unclassified unless a federal program requires positions to be classified. OPEA opposes this bill.