State Government

 

PERSONNEL

SB 79 (Dickerson/Askins): Would have made a number of changes to the Merit System of Personnel Administration, classifying the Health Care Authority, and classifying or making unclassified various positions in a number of other agencies. Agencies would have been allowed to temporarily place people working on the "Millennium 2000" problem in unclassified status. (VETOED)

HB 1147 (Dunegan/Dickerson): Creates the State Work Incentive Program, designed to allow state agencies to readily hire persons on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families ("welfare").

HB 1224 (Steidley/Monson): Creates the State Government Reduction-in-Force and Severance Benefits Act. The act addresses continuation of health insurance, provides a week's severance pay for each year of service (capped at $5,000), allows purchase of retirement credits by those close to retirement, and provides education vouchers.

HB 1895 (Hamilton/Haney): Provides pay increases for the judiciary, district attorneys, elected state officials (only effective if they win another term or another office), and cabinet secretaries. Per diem and travel reimbursement for legislators will be at rates referenced to IRS regulations rather than at fixed dollar amounts. For state employees, the bill provides an increase of $37.50 per month in the flexible benefits allowance starting July 1997, and another $37.50 per month increase starting July 1998. State personnel will also have, for the first time, a matching program for participation in deferred compensation. The state will pay $25 per month in behalf of the employee if the employee is deferring at least that much.

 

PURCHASING AND CONTRACTING

SB 90 (Dickerson/Stites): Standardizes authorization for state agencies to purchase food, lodging, and meeting space for employees and others who are involved in conferences, seminars, workshops, etc., or otherwise performing their work away from the normal work site. The bill also makes some minor adjustments to the list of variances from the State Travel Reimbursement Act.

SB 360 (Smith/Steidley): Authorizes reimbursement for use of alternative forms of travel by state officials and employees. The main impact of the authorization change is to allow reimbursement for use of commuter air or rental car transportation in lieu of commercial airlines in certain circumstances.

SB 699 (Dunlap/Bryant): Was the Oklahoma Privatization of State Functions Act that would have established procedures to ensure that privatization will be cost effective and in the best interest of the citizenry. (VETOED)

 

RULES AND PUBLIC ACCESS

HB 2111 (Gray/Leftwich): Subjects the Fire Marshal Commission and the State Fire Marshal to the entire Administrative Procedures Act (rather than only to certain sections as at present), and clarifies or modifies various APA procedures. By December 31, 1998, all agencies are required to review their rules. Exempt agencies must organize and make available their rules.

HB 2120 (Hilliard/Maddox): Requires that all state agencies, by December 31, 1998, review not only their rules but also their procedural requirements, policies, fees, test requirements, permit requirements, and anything else that affects the conduct of private business.

HB 2138 (Paulk/Herbert): Would have required that people who call state offices during normal business hours be able to reach an employee of the agency without listening to a lengthy menu of automated answering options. (VETOED)

 

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