Monday, March 5, 2012

State Senate Approves Supplemental Funding Measure

The full Senate gave approval last week to a $92.5 million supplemental funding bill to meet specific needs in public safety and education. Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, is the Senate Appropriations Chairman and author of Senate Bill 1959, which was overwhelmingly approved on Thursday.
“This sends a clear message that promises made to Oklahoma teachers will be kept. Those who are qualified for National Board Certification bonuses will get them. Insurance benefits for educators that required funding have been addressed as well,” Jolley said. “We know the state needs more Highway Patrol Troopers on the road—it’s an important public safety issue, and so we’ve included money for a new trooper academy. Resources for Medical Examiner’s office will assist in their efforts to gain national accreditation. We also were very aware of the need to include emergency funds for our communities and counties throughout Oklahoma in the wake of wildfires and storm damage over the past year.”
SB 1959 includes:
  • $14.8 million for NBC bonuses
  • $37.6 million for insurance benefits for teachers and support staff
  • $34.1 million for the State Emergency Fund to reimburse local communities and counties for disaster assistance
  • $5 million for the Department of Public Safety for a Trooper Academy 
  • $1 million for the State Medical Examiner for personnel and equipment required for national accreditation

Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman said passage of the supplemental funding bill would help individuals and communities in every part of the state.
“I want to commend Senator Jolley for his work on this legislation,” said Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “I also want to thank our members for their support. The needs were clear, and I’m pleased we were able to come to an agreement allowing us to address them early in the legislative session.”
SB 1959 now moves to the House of Representatives for approval.

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