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Capitol Greetings: Teacher Pay Raise/ Closing the Talihina Vet Center Featured

Written by  Friday, 09 March 2018 22:58
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By Representative Brian Renegar, DVM

HB 3440 by Gann (R) Inola is our leadership’s alternative to a teacher pay raise. This bill was tied in committee so Speaker McCall came down to committee and voted yes to break the tie. This would take the money that the commissioners of the land office collect from their investments and oil and gas royalties and put it in a “teacher bonus revolving fund.” Previously this money was distributed to school districts; so they are taking money from the classroom and will give ever changing bonuses to teachers. This kind of a “continuing stipend” is not a raise.


A teacher may receive $1200 one year and $600 the next. This ought to keep a lot of teachers in Oklahoma! Not!


Oh and by the way, the Commissioners of Land Office and their expenditures are set in the Oklahoma Constitution. The CLO contends this bill is unconstitutional and you know this doesn’t deter the legislature because it is accustomed to passing unconstitutional legislation. Only in Oklahoma!


HB 3036 by Lepak (R) Claremore strips the ability of the Board of Health to interview and appoint the Commissioner of Health; instead, the Governor will appoint and set the Director’s salary.


Remember, Governor Fallin has appointed the DOC director with no experience in corrections, Secretary of Tourism with no Tourism experience and the ODVA director who is in charge of 7 veterans hospitals who has zero healthcare experience. OH Yeah, good ole boy system.


HB 3042 by Kannady (R) Oklahoma City would close the Talihina Veterans Center and allow the ODVA to rebuild a facility elsewhere.


This type of facility would be a “pod system” which is a cluster of single room apartments in a circular fashion with a kitchen and dining area in the center. Unfortunately only 28 of the 99 veterans at Talihina could live in that situation; the other 71 veterans would be released back to family. The reason ODVA wants to go to this is the Director has no healthcare experience and wants to privatize our veteran’s care. The ODVA has systematically orchestrated the reduced number of veterans at Talihina, as well as reduction of employees at the center.


This bill to close Talihina was passed by 57 Republicans, voting for this bill and all Democrats voting no. This was a dismal day for our veterans of Oklahoma. I have been devoting a tremendous amount of my time and effort to save Talihina; unfortunately it was not enough.


This week Don Faulkner and Jerry Pearce from Talihina were here again fighting for our veterans and Peggy DeFrange was in the building with retired teachers and also stopped by the office.


Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Capitol Greetings: Teacher Pay Raise/ Closing the Talihina Vet Center - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote
David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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