Legislative Update
Friday, March 30, 2018

Oklahoma teachers have spoken: enough is enough. Tens of thousands are showing up for the Oklahoma Teacher Walkout, demanding prioritization of education funding for classrooms and teacher/state employee pay raises. See here and here for more details on proposed revenue options and legislator reactions.

 

Our priority bills are still active in the legislative process — the next legislative deadline is April 19th, when all bills must be passed out of committee(s) in the opposite Chamber (ie. House bills must be passed out of Senate Committee and Senate bills must be passed out of House Committee). For the next two weeks, we will be working to shepherd each bill through this process by requesting and securing comittee hearings in respective Chambers, educating Committee members on each bill, and securing support and ‘yes’ votes to ensure each bill passes prior to the deadline. Below is a quick update on our current legislative priorities:

Economic Security Initiatives
Pay Transparency
House Bill 1530 – Representative Dunnington and Senator Bice
Our Pay Transparency legislation continues to gain momentum as we work to get HB 1530 passsed out of TWO Senate Committees within the deadline — Senate Business, Commerce, & Tourism and Senate Appropriations Committee. This double committee assignment creates additional hurdles for the bill and will require us to be extremely vigilant in pressing this measure to advance. Want to help? Encourage committee members to support House Bill 1530 with a ‘yes’ vote. Contact information for each committee member can be found here and here.
Paid Family Leave
Senate Bill 1581 – Senator Floyd and Representative Osborn
Paid Family Leave legislation (also known as ‘Leave of Last Resort’) has been assigned to the House Appropriations Committee and will need to be heard and passed out of committee by April 12th. We are working with both authors to ensure the bill gets a hearing and all committee members are educated on the details of the legislation. This bill would create a pilot program for state employees to voluntarily contribute paid leave and then tap into this shared leave bank for a variety of medical issues. Want to ensure your Representative is supporting this measure with a ‘yes’ vote? Contact information for each committee member can be found here 

Violence Prevention
House Bill  2734 by Representative Rosecrants and Senator Griffin
Nicknamed “Lauren’s Law”, this bill would create a program to teach consent in schools in an effort to reduce sexual assault (more information here). House Bill 2734 has received bipartisan support in both chambers; with a Senate champion like Senator AJ Griffin, we are confident this bill will continue to move forward through Senate Education Committee as we work with stakeholders to ensure a committee hearing.
Rep. Hilbert has introduced legislation (HB 1124) that would add ensure an offender cannot move within a protected distance of the victim’s home. Under current law, there is no measure prohibiting an offender from moving next door or down the street from their victim. Rep. Hilbert has introduced legislation (HB 1124) to ensure victims are protected within a safe distance from their perpetrators. This bill is assigned to House Judiciary Committee and will need to be heard in committee next week to ensure it can continue to a full House floor vote. We are working with Rep. Hilbert and his coauthor, Rep. Downing, to ensure the bill gets a hearing.

Health & Wellness
House Bill 3393 by Representative Goodwin and Senator Griffin 
Thank you to all who responded to our action alert last week! House Bill 3393 has already passed its first Senate hurdle — clearing Senate Public Safety Committee with unanimous support. Remember, this legislation would restrict restrains for pregnant women in the penal system during labor — a practice that has been confirmed to be occurring through previous female inmates and medical staff despite existing Corrections policy. House Bill 3393 is now headed to Senate Appropriations where it must be passed by April 19th.
We are working with our partner organizations on several bills aimed at attacking social services Oklahoma women and mothers rely on as they work to provide for and support their families. Below is a brief update highlighting two priority bills:
Senate Bill 1030 – Would lower Medicaid eligibility. Under this legislation, 43,000 parents would lose healthcare coverage; 2 in 3 of whom are women. This means a single mother of two children would lose healthcare coverage if she makes more than $346/month.
Senate Bill 1179 – Would add work requirements on Medicaid programs. Click here for information on why work requirements would consequently hurt families and click here for information on how expensive work requirement policies are in reality.
The Oklahoma Women’s Coalition strongly opposes both bills.

Alternatives to Incarceration
House Bill 3393 by Representative Goodwin and Senator Griffin 
Thank you to all who responded to our action alert last week! House Bill 3393 has already passed its first Senate hurdle — clearing Senate Public Safety Committee with unanimous support. Remember, this legislation would restrict restrains for pregnant women in the penal system during labor — a practice that has been confirmed to be occurring through previous female inmates and medical staff despite existing Corrections policy. House Bill 3393 is now headed to Senate Appropriations where it must be passed by April 19th.