state budget

State Capitol
11:17 am
Fri March 15, 2013

OHP Pay Bill Passes, Hopes to Avoid Impending Trooper Staffing Crisis

Troopers from the 60th Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy
Credit Oklahoma Highway Patrol

 The Oklahoma House has overwhelmingly approved a $7.3 million plan to give state Highway Patrol troopers a pay increase.

The House voted 90-0 on Thursday for the bill by Dacoma Republican Rep. Jeff Hickman. It now goes to the state Senate.

Hickman says one-third of the roughly 770 troopers currently are retirement eligible and that there's a critical "manpower issue."

The bill would boost the starting salary of a cadet from $33,192 to $38,602. Starting troopers who have completed their probation would see their pay boosted from $38,000 to $44,194.

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State Capitol
12:30 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Big Bird Lives On In Oklahoma

OETA's Dick Pryor with state Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman and minority leader Sean Burrage on the set of Oklahoma Forum.
Credit OETA

Members of the state House defeated a measure Thursday that would eventually remove direct appropriations from the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority.

The author of House Bill 2218, Republican Rep. Tom Newell, told members the director of OETA has been working with him on the bill. But House minority leader Scott Inman said the bill was really a poison pill forced on the television network.

The bill would have cut appropriations to OETA until it is eliminated by June 30, 2022.

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