Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Interim study on Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships among those approved by Speaker

OKLAHOMA CITY (June 24, 2010) – House Speaker Chris Benge today approved 68 interim studies that will be conducted over the summer and fall prior to the next legislative session.

The studies cover a wide range of issues, including child welfare services, agency consolidation, math education in Oklahoma schools, tax credits and incentives, and a review of recent government modernization efforts, among other topics.

"Interim studies give lawmakers an opportunity to investigate and flesh out potential legislative proposals before drafting bills," said Benge, R-Tulsa. "This year we have a good set of studies covering a diverse array of topics."

Overall, 76 study requests were approved, although eight were combined with either similar or duplicate proposals, bringing down the total number of actual studies to 68.

A study on the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships Program created by House Bill 3393 was among those approved. Rep. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City, requested the study to monitor the implementation of the new special education school choice law.

"During session I told opponents and supporters of HB3393 that I would request an interim study to monitor the implementation of the new law so that any unforeseen issues that come up can be reviewed and addressed during the next session," said Nelson. "The study will give us the opportunity to hear from public and private schools, parents and students as well the State Department of Education about the level of interest and participation in the program and to discover any challenges that need to be addressed by the next legislature."

Due to the budget situation, the number of days committees can conduct interim studies was limited to reduce costs.

"In light of the budget situation, we felt it was important to strike a balance between reducing expenses and allowing for legitimate examination of issues," Benge said.

Click http://www.okhouse.gov/Committees/ShowInterimStudies.aspx to see the list of interim studies.
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