A House committee, for the second year in a row, passed a bill that its author said would give public school teachers the freedom to teach various scientific theories without the fear of losing their jobs. Rep. Gus Blackwell, R-Laverne, the author of House Bill 1674, said the bill is not intended to bring religious beliefs, such as creationism, into the classroom. The bill states it is to protect the teaching of scientific information and shall not be construed to promote any religious or nonreligious doctrine.
The House Common Education Committee approved a measure that would allow school districts to adopt policies allowing students to deliver inspirational messages at student assemblies. House Bill 1940, by Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw, passed 11-6 and now goes to the House Calendar Committee, which will decide whether it will get a hearing on the House floor. HB 1940 is similar to a measure passed in 2008, but vetoed by then-Gov. Brad Henry.
State Budget Solutions, a nonpartisan advocate for state budget and pension changes, gave its “Real Leader” award Tuesday to Gov. Mary Fallin for not participating in the state expansion of Medicaid. The president of the Alexandria, Va., group, said Fallin acted in the best interests of Oklahomans, “choosing the path of long-term stability as opposed to short-term popularity.”