Raucous week expected at Oklahoma's state Capitol

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Modified: May 17, 2013 at 11:36 pm •  Published: May 20, 2013
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Shannon said legislation would be heard this week intended to keep the nationwide academic standards approved by state lawmakers three years ago from taking effect next year. HB 1719 would repeal the 2010 law and also prohibit the state Education Department from enacting new common core regulations without legislative approval.

“A lot of people are becoming very concerned about its ability to open the door for kind of a federal takeover of our education system,” he said. “We've already seen it in our health care system.”

Bingman said a measure to eliminate the common core curriculum has little chance of passing the Senate.

“It's not a federal program; It's a state program in collaboration with other states,” he said. “The policy of the common core is very important. We support that.”

Also thrown into the mix is Fallin. Oklahoma participated in the drafting of the standards with a consortium of states organized by the National Governors Association's Center for Best Practices. Fallin was elected last year as vice chairman of the association and will become chairman of the nonpartisan group later this year.

Museum funding

Lawmakers also are set to tackle this week whether to provide funding to complete the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in downtown Oklahoma City and start work on the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture, commonly called OK Pop, in Tulsa.

Lat year senators whooped and hollered after members killed by one vote a $40 million bond issue to complete the Indian museum. The Senate passed a $20 million bond issue for the Tulsa museum; backers didn't seek a vote in the House of Representatives after it overwhelmingly defeated a $200 million bond issue for the state Capitol and other building repairs.

Debate on the measures this week again will focus on state priorities along with new concerns that lawmakers this year declined to give across-the-board raises or bonuses to the state's 34,000 employees, many of whom haven't received a raise in nearly seven years.



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