The Oklahoma House has given final passage to legislation that provides a mechanism to raise the salaries of Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers.
The House voted 94-0 without debate Tuesday and sent the bill to Gov. Mary Fallin to be signed into law. The measure was previously approved by the state Senate.
“I believe in this bill and I’m going to vote for it," said state Rep. Paul Wesselhoft (R-Moore). "I just want to know what is the justification for increasing their salaries and not including other state workers, like correctional officers, in the measure."
The bill by state Rep. Scott Martin (R-Norman) provides a method to give troopers an across-the-board pay raise that is based on the recommendations of a recent study on state employee compensation. Martin says OHP and other Department of Public Safety employees are in the measure has to do with how it is defined in statute. Other areas are in a different part of statute.
“I hope before the end of session we see a bill pertaining to state employee raises, too,” Martin said.
The remuneration study shows troopers should receive a pay raise of between 14 percent and 20 percent. Officials say the bill would cost about $8.5 million annually when fully implemented.
A starting highway patrol trooper is currently paid about $38,000 a year.