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In The News
Bill for a 12.7 Percent Teacher Raise Stalls in Oklahoma Senate: An hour and a half after sundown, the Oklahoma State Senate took up a series of measures to pay for a 12.7 percent increase in the minimum pay allowable for a public school teacher, but the body failed to hit the magic number for new revenue. The vote remained open for more than an hour. Senators advanced two of the three bills that, taken together, represented a pared-down version of past efforts in the last nine months. SB 861 (42-4) and SB 133 (35-11) both advanced, but an amended HB 1033XX stalled at 34-12, two votes short of the three-fourths majority needed for revenue-raising measures [NonDoc].
As Oklahoma teachers plan to follow West Virginia in walkout, they confront a funding crisis that’s much worse: For nine days, teachers in West Virginia went on strike to protest their low pay and benefits. The strike began when West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed a bill that would give teachers just a 2 percent raise in the coming fiscal year and an additional 1 percent in 2020 and 2021 – which would not be enough to keep up with inflation or the rising cost of health care premiums. The strike ended after the Governor signed a bill providing a 5 percent raise for teachers and state employees [OK Policy]. Oklahoma charter school teachers won’t walk out, but support peers [News9].
Lawmakers’ Attacks on Health Coverage of Low-Income Parents Could Devastate Oklahoma Families: For years, we’ve advocated expanding access to health coverage for low-income adults in Oklahoma. More than 30 states have done so, and in the process have dropped their uninsured rates, increased access to needed care, and pulled rural hospitals onto better footing. However, this year Oklahoma legislators seem determined to move in the opposite direction, pushing for radical new restrictions to the state’s basic health coverage program for low-income adults. That’s exactly the wrong thing to do. Here’s why [OKPolicy]. Bill would make 43,000 Oklahomans ineligible for Medicaid [KOSU].
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