Lawmakers Push Last Bills Through Committee, Now Head For Debate On The House Floor

The House met for their last education appropriations and budget committee Tuesday morning. Lawmakers pushed through seven bills that will now advance to the House floor.

Monday, April 8th 2024, 5:14 pm



-

State lawmakers are entering another deadline week, as they have their last committee meetings to discuss bills ahead of Thursday’s third deadline. 

The House met for their last education appropriations and budget committee Tuesday morning. Lawmakers pushed through seven bills that will now advance to the House floor.

“Senate bill 1198 instructs school boards to adopt a policy regarding sex trafficking and exploitation prevention in education programs for students,” said Representative Mark Lepak (R-Claremore).

The House author of SB1198, Representative Lepak, explains the legislation will direct the State Department of Education to work with experts in trafficking prevention to create a curriculum that’s appropriate for grade level students.

Parents can still opt out of the trafficking prevention and exploitation course if they aren’t comfortable with their child learning that curriculum.

“I think the real focus of this is the predation that occurs and how to recognize it without getting into the act of sex,” said Rep. Lepak.

The bill had some questions from House democrats, but ultimately ended up passing out of committee unanimously and will now head to the House floor for consideration.   

Also being discussed Monday, was a bill to provide six weeks of paid maternity leave for higher education employees.

“We were able to achieve that for state employees in common ed last year and this looks to also include employees of higher ed,” said Rep. Nick Archer (R-Elk City).

Paid maternity leave for Oklahoma teachers was a huge push for lawmakers in the House and Senate in 2023, so state representatives were all on-board with the push to expand that in 2024.

As Oklahoma continues to rank in the bottom percent of the nation for reading test scores, lawmakers are working to update what they have called an “outdated reading program.” 

“Modifying the reading sufficiency act and renaming it the “Strong Readers Act",” said Rep. Rhonda Baker (R-Yukon).

The legislation written by Representative Rhonda Baker and Senator Adam Pugh would also provide additional funds for training for teachers.

“This is the foundation for learning so we need to get as early as possible into a child's educational journey,” said Sen. Pugh (R-Edmond).

logo

Get The Daily Update!

Be among the first to get breaking news, weather, and general news updates from News 9 delivered right to your inbox!

More Like This

April 8th, 2024

May 21st, 2024

April 8th, 2024

March 13th, 2024

Top Headlines

July 18th, 2024

July 18th, 2024

July 18th, 2024

July 18th, 2024