Senate approves redistricting bills
The Senate approved two redistricting measures Tuesday. House Bill 2145 would provide for new district lines for the state House of Representatives. It passed 35-6 and now returns to the House. HB 1527, which would redraw the boundaries for Oklahoma's five congressional districts, passed 37-5. It now goes to the governor for her consideration. It would establish Oklahoma's districts for a 10-year period beginning in January 2013. The proposal has minor changes to the existing five congressional districts. Unlike 10 years ago, lawmakers this year didn't have to wrestle with the loss of a congressional district; legislators 10 years ago couldn't agree on a plan and the matter had to be resolved in court. Oklahoma is required to redraw legislative and congressional district lines every 10 years to reflect population changes determined by the census.
Two pension measures advance to governor
The House approved a bill Tuesday that would require the Legislature to fully fund cost-of-living adjustment increases for those on the state's pension system. House Bill 2132 is a major part of the Legislature's effort this year to shore up an underfunded state pension system that has an unfunded liability of more than $16 billion. Rep. Randy McDaniel, R-Oklahoma City, the author of the bill, said the measure would reduce the system's unfunded liability by about $5 billon. HB 2132 passed 64-24. The House also passed HB 1010, which would increase the age that judges could retire from 65 to 67 years old. It would allow some judges to retire at 62 but receive fewer benefits. The measure passed 86-4. Both go to the governor for her consideration.
MICHAEL MCNUTT, CAPITOL BUREAU