House Report

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By State Representative Todd Russ

Despite what at times became a tumultuous legislative session, lawmakers were able to accomplish quite a number of things that will benefit residents of our great state.

First, and foremost is a state budget that restores services for Oklahoma residents. After years of a recession that forced revenue failures and cuts to agency services, this year we were able to increase funding in many key areas, including education, public health and mental health care, human services, public safety and transportation.

On top of the list was education. The governor this week signed the $7.6 billion state budget that appropriates $2.9 billion to K-12 public schools. Money is dedicated to average teacher pay raises of $6,100; support staff pay raises of $1,250 and about $50 million more to go to classrooms and textbooks.

We also appropriated $7.5 million to concurrent enrollment for high school juniors and seniors who want to take college courses. This will save them money on college tuition and encourage greater college participation.


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