Hundreds of bills passed in House

by Toni Hasenbeck

The Oklahoma Legislature completed a major deadline on Thursday when we finished hearing bills and resolutions in the chamber of origin.

We spent several very long days on the House floor over the last two weeks to consider as many bills as possible before the deadline. On Tuesday evening, we suspended House rules to allow us to continue to work after midnight, which was a legislative first for myself and many of my colleagues. 

Two bills we passed through the floor this week were ones I authored.

House Bill 2693 passed the House on Wednesday and restores the $5,000 annual bonus for teachers who attain National Board certification. The bill also transfers the Education Leadership Oklahoma Revolving Fund to the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability (OEQA). The OEQA would be required to select up to 300 teachers who are seeking to renew their National Board certification each year, with the total amount paid per applicant not exceeding $750.

Teachers who attain National Board certification have students that learn more than their peers without Board-certified teachers. Additionally, schools with National Board Certified Teachers have better teacher morale and retention.

As an educator myself, I’ve seen the impact that a National Board certified teacher can have in the lives of their children. I was honored to carry this legislation, which passed the House 81-11.

I also passed House Bill 2687 through the floor. The bill is named the “No Patient Left Alone Act” and was requested by constituents in House District 65. The legislation would allow patients to designate a visitor to have unrestricted visitation to the patient in care. Over the course of the last year, many hospitalized people have not been allowed to have a single visitor.

I will continue working with the Dept. of Health, the State Epidemiologist and the Infectious Disease Prevention team to further develop this legislation. The bill passed the House 87-3 and I look forward to seeing its progress in the Senate.

By the time the House finished floor work on Thursday evening, we had passed 416 bills to the Senate. We’ll take a brief break next week to allow legislative staffers the time to transfer the bills between the chambers; then, we’ll get right back to work and begin hearing Senate bills in committees.

As always, please reach out to me with any questions or concerns. Thank you for electing me to represent House District 65!

Rep. Toni Hasenbeck, a Republican, represents House District 65 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Her district includes Cotton County and portions of Comanche, Stephens, Grady and Caddo counties.

Comanche Times
United for Oklahoma - April