Capitol Week In Review: Guns, Raises And Abortion; Another Busy Week For Lawmakers
Oklahoma City, OK - Raises for teachers. Permitless guns. A budget surplus. It was another busy week at the state Capitol.
This week, News 9 learned exactly how much money the legislature has to spend this fiscal year and how the pie could be divided.
The State Board of Equalization certified, after expenses, the state has a surplus of about $337 million. The governor wants to put $200 million of that into savings and spend $60 million on teacher raises.
“It’s a $1,200 per teacher increase,” said Governor Kevin Stitt.
The House unanimously approved the raises.
“My sugar momma wife is a public school classroom teacher and I know our family would appreciate a pay raise,” said Representative Andy Fugate (D) Del City.
Still, teachers say they want more money for the classroom.
The Senate want’s teachers in the classroom. A committee passed a bill to return all Oklahoma schools to five-day weeks. Districts argue they use four-day weeks an incentive to draw teachers.
“Personally, I believe it was a political ploy,” said Senator Marty Quinn R-Claremore.
Self-proclaimed abortion abolitionists ramped up the pressure on Senator Jason Smalley to hear a bill outlawing abortion by placing billboards in the area.
Smalley says he won’t cave to the pressure.
“I think that the way that they’re acting is very childish. I’ve had to answer questions even to my 8-year-old son when he asked me, ‘Dad, why do they think you’re killing babies?’” said Smalley.
Senate Republicans are backing a bill to outlaw abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
“Abortion would be outlawed in Oklahoma with the exception for the life of the mother,” said Senator Greg Treat (R) President Pro Tempore.
And a Senate committee passed a bill that would allow Oklahomans to carry a gun without a license and the training, and background checks.
“Elected officials have decided to side with the gun lobby over public safety,” Jennifer Birch with Moms Demand Action said after the vote.
The permitless carry bill already passed in the House and the Senate is expected to take it up on Wednesday. If it passes, the governor has indicated he will sign it into law.