OPEA’s 2017 Legislative Agenda

Below is a description of the bills in OPEA’s 2017 Legislative Agenda.  It contains legislation that OPEA has requested and is working with the authors or are bills that OPEA supports in their current version. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with this list and share it with your coworkers. It is also important to remember that legislation is frequently amended and the version we see today may change significantly during the session. OPEA monitors these and other bills to look for changes and we encourage you to follow them too. Each bill number below is a link to the current language.

You can bet that at some point during the session, OPEA will issue a “CALL TO ACTION” about one or more pieces of legislation. You need to be ready and willing to contact your legislators to let them know how you feel about the bill. These calls and emails are critical to our success.

HB1851 Rep. Leslie Osborn (R-Mustang) – State Employee Pay Raise – We are working on a plan with the House Budget Chairwoman, Rep. Osborn, to address state employee compensation this session and in the future. Make your voices heard and let your legislators know you need a raise now!  After all, state employees need a raise as much as teachers do!

HB1892 Rep. Pat Ownbey (R-Ardmore) – The bill would standardize how on-call duty for state employees is compensated, as well as, require fair pay for time when employees must be readily available to respond to work outside of regular business hours.

SB341 Sen. David Holt (R-OKC) – The bill would eliminate the  “use or lose” policy on stte employees’ annual leave and require they be paid for unused leave.  We believe earned vacation time should never be required to be forfeited.

HB1796 and SB491 Rep. Jon Echols (R-OKC) & Sen. Rob Standridge (R-Norman) – Pension Increase for OPERS Retirees – The House Floor Leader, Rep. Echols, is author of our bill to provide a long-overdue and much-needed pension increase for retired state employees.  We are also working closely with House Banking, Financial Services and Pensions Committee Chairman, Rep. Randy McDaniel (R-Edmond), to ensure our retirees get an increase this session.

HB1384 Rep. Carol Bush (R-Tulsa) – The bill would require paid administrative leave and Employee Assistance Program counseling for state employees who are involved in or witness a traumatic event, like an assult, at work. Some state employees are at risk of assault or other traumatic event in their jobs. OPEA believes the state should provide leave and pay for counseling for employees experience traumatic events in the workplace.

HB1868  Rep. Jason Dunnington (D-OKC)  – OPEA believes there should be consistency and fairness in how state employees are reimbursed for overtime. This legislation would phase-in a requirement that any state employee who earns less than $40,000 annually, be automatically eligible for “time and a half” payment for overtime work. 

SB549  SB550  SB736 Sen. Holt (R-OKC) & Sen. Kay Floyd (D-OKC) & Sen. AJ Griffin (R-Guthrie) – Paid Family Leave – These bills would improve upon the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) and SB736 would establish a paid family leave program for state employees.

HB1444 Rep. Dustin Roberts (R-Durant) – This bill would add the Friday before Easter (Good Friday) as a paid holiday.  OPEA supports adding another paid state holiday to the state’s leave schedule.

HB1517 Rep. Josh Cockroft (R-Tecumseh) – We seek several improvements for our employees of the Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA) including increasing the hiring pay rates for high turnover positions, increasing pay of other positions and estabilsing a uniform allowances for security staff.

HB1717 Rep. Lewis Moore (R-Arcadia) – This bill would increase monthly matching contribution paid by the state from $25 to $50 for each participant in the SoonerSave program.

SB216 Sen. Frank Simpson (R-Ardmore) – This bill eliminates the theater of duty requirement for military service credit currently in place as it pertains to state employees earning credit toward retirement when they are called to active duty service.

Rep. Jason Murphey (R-Guthrie) – A bill (bill number to be determined) will be presented, at OPEA’s request, to require the state budget be presented to all lawmakers and the public at least 30 days prior to the end of the legislative session to improve government transparency.

SB205 and SB206 Sen. Kay Floyd (D-OKC) & Sen. Roger Thompson (R-Okemah) – These bills create a temporary task force to study transferring the oversight of the Merit Protection Commission to the Administrative Office of the Courts.

SB150  Sen. Roger Thompson (R-Okemah) – We seek several improvements for employees of the Department of Corrections (DOC) in this bill, including a monthly uniform allowance, raising the hiring salary for correctional officers, requiring starting pay for probation and parole officers be equal to that of other law enforcement agents, requiring all officers be eligible for overtime pay, requiring all hours worked in excess of eight and one half per day automatically be paid as overtime, and increasing pay of other positions
Other bills may arise during the session that will need our support and we will soon have a list of bills that concern OPEA members and we may need to work to defeat them. Also, the budget process will again be critical this year.

If we are to have success, we will need all state employees and retirees to work with their local legislators to pass our bills or defeat harmful ones. It does make a difference when you contact your elected officials. Won’t you work with us?

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest developments during the session. We will provide regular updates as needed. Also, email OPEA with any questions, suggestions or concerns you may have. We are here for our members!

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