Voucher Bill Set to Return | Local News


OKLAHOMA CITY — A controversial voucher bill that didn’t pass the state Senate’s last session is set to return next year.

But he could suffer the same fate.

Senate Pro Tem Chairman Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, was the sponsor of Senate Bill 1647, which failed by a vote of 22-24. Bills need 25 votes in the Senate to pass.

One of the most controversial measures considered last session, SB 1647 would have let public taxpayers’ money go to private schools.

The measure would direct state funds to “Oklahoma Empowerment Accounts” for families with school-age children to use for private school tuition, books, computers, uniforms , tutoring or home school expenses or extracurricular activities.

“I still strongly believe in putting parents in charge of raising their children,” said Treat, who called for an interim Senate study on the issue, as suggested by some of the measure’s opponents. .

People also read…

Treat said it is considering applying the measure to metropolitan counties or counties with a certain population.

The measure was backed by Gov. Kevin Stitt and the Oklahoma Public Affairs Council.

The OCPA targeted some lawmakers who did not support certain measures it supported.

One of them was Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore.

“Everything the OCPA has stood for – if it smells good, if it works like that, if it looks like it, it’s dead in the House until they change direction at OCPA,” he said. said McBride.

He said the OCPA is not a political think tank but a lobbying firm working for whoever will pay the most.

OCPA spokesman Trent England said the organization “works with all kinds of lawmakers on all kinds of policy issues, from criminal justice reforms to education to the budget.”

“For us it’s a matter of politics, not personality,” he said.

Criticism doesn’t bother the OCPA, England said, adding they will be in it for the long haul. Much of the criticism comes from the group’s reporting of what’s happening on Capitol Hill, he said.

“This legislation will come from Greg Treat, not from any organization,” Treat said. “I can’t control who supports him or how they support him.”

Last session, House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, said the House was not interested in hearing the Treat Bill.

“Members of the House will develop priorities for the next session after the next legislature is seated,” McCall said when asked about the bill.

“I deeply believe that education changes lives,” Treat said, adding that he and his three children are products of public education.

He also believes competition drives excellence, adding that many children are trapped in poor conditions.

Source link


Comments are closed.