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Oklahoma State Senate
Senator Kenneth Corn, D-Poteau
State Capitol Room 531
(405) 521-5576

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For Immediate Release: May 15, 2009

Sen. Kenneth Corn
Sen. Kenneth Corn

Corn: Senate Bill 982 puts OHLAP Students at Risk

Sen. Kenneth Corn on Friday said provisions included in Senate Bill 982 could potentially knock thousands of Oklahoma college students out of the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP). Corn added that the proposal fails to address a number of concerns raised by higher education leaders regarding recent legislative changes to the program.

SB 982 contains numerous provisions relating to OHLAP, including language that would delete the grade point average requirement for retention of eligibility in OHLAP. Corn said the bill fails to address a second-income limit provision that could disqualify as many as 9,000 current OHLAP recipients.

“This is a bill that not only fails to address a number of pressing concerns regarding OHLAP, but could result in as many as 9,000 current scholarship recipients being knocked out of the program,” said Corn, D-Poteau. “Until we can find a better way, we have to avoid the second-income limitation. It places too many students at risk, and it’s contrary to the spirit of the program.”

Corn said the current wording of the proposal is too rigid, and fails to account for a number of important considerations regarding potential scholarship recipients.

“The second-income limitation is especially troublesome, but there are other problems with the measure,” Corn said. “For instance, the task force recommended the inclusion of a family size consideration which could keep students from falling through the cracks, but the measure includes no such consideration. I believe the utmost caution has to be taken to ensure that students are not knocked out of the program.”

SB 982 has been referred to the General Conference Committee on Appropriations, but Senate conferees have not been named.

For more information contact:
Sen. Corn's Office - 405-521-5576

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