OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An ultimatum from the Speaker of the House to the Senate has education reform in no man’s land between the two chambers.
Earlier this month, Speaker Charles McCall told the Senate to pass his bills “as is.”
He said if changes are made then education reform from the Senate will not be considered.
“We’ve made it clear to them they are voting to kill the legislation,” said McCall.
At the time, Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat called the ultimatum “asinine.”
Thursday was the deadline for bills to be heard in their chamber of origin.
Treat spoke to reporters about the over 40 education bills the Senate sent to the House.
“There’s a lot of good reform, a lot of good ideas that we have advanced through the Senate in the last few weeks,” said Treat.
Senate Education Chair Adam Pugh, R-Edmond, proposed many of the education plans including, paid maternity leave for teachers and a raise to the minimum salary.
The leader of the Senate said his chamber is looking into amendments to the McCall education bills.
“We’re talking about amending the bills they sent us. But that’s not in lieu of what we’ve already passed,” said the Pro Tem.
At the Governor’s weekly press conference, he talked about the differences between the two leaders.
Stitt said the Senate has the right to make changes to any legislation.
“That’s not how this building works. The Senate obviously is a separate chamber and they’ve got their own ideas so they’re tweaking or they’re working with it, or putting their own reforms,” said the Governor. “And I know that the House is going to look at those things thoughtfully.”
Next week begins a fresh round of committee hearings.
House bills will be heard and considered in the Senate, and Senate bills will be heard and considered in the House.
Governor Stitt is optimistic about a resolution.
“We are all in agreement – the Pro Tem and the Speaker — that we want to invest in public education and we also want to invest in our charter schools and in our private schools, we want to give parents more choices, more options,” said Stitt.