OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – On Thursday, Speaker McCall went all in on his two education bills, HB 1935 and HB 2775.
“We expect those to be heard as is,” said McCall. “If the Senate actions are to amend those bills, we’ll make it very clear – we made it clear to them – they are voting to kill the legislation.”
Technically, if the Senate amends the bills and passes them, it would be the House that chooses to ignore them or vote them down, but the Speaker made it clear what his chamber wants.
“If they want to change something that’s in the House bill, we can talk about that. But it needs to be in a trailer piece of legislation,” said McCall.
Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat did not respond kindly to the threat.
“Asinine is the only word that comes to mind,” said Treat. “We won’t be bullied into a position.”
Last year, Speaker McCall said the House would not hear any Senate legislation on school choice vouchers.
The Oklahoma Empowerment Act would have set up education savings accounts for Oklahoma students. It was authored by Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat.
It never made it to the House chamber.
The leader in the Senate does not appreciate McCall’s attempt at a checkmate move.
“It’s setting the trap to be able to blame me for school choice dying,” said Treat. “I am telling you that if they say that education reform is dead, if we make any amendments, then they are killing education reform.”
Senator Adam Pugh (R-Edmond) spent months crafting his education plans.
Some of which include, 12 weeks of paid maternity leave for teachers and raising the state’s minimum pay scale by $3,000.
According to McCall, other education reform bills from the Senate would have to wait until his two education bills are heard first.
“There’s that’s not the way this process works. We all know that. He knows that,” said Treat.
The Governor weighed in during his weekly press conference.
“It’s a great package, I think cooler heads are going to prevail, and I wish that rhetoric wouldn’t happen,” said Stitt.