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  • P.F.F.O. 2017 LEGISLATIVE WRAP-UP
    Posted On: Jun 20, 2017

                The conflicting factions in the Legislature led to an alienated Session, having some effect on professional fire fighters legislation.

                Our victories include:

    • Stopping SB 107 for the remainder of the Session. As you recall, this Bill would have allowed grievance arbitration decisions resulting in terminations to be appealed to District Court.

    • Getting HB 1374 two votes away from the Governor’s Desk. The Oklahoma Public Safety Protection Districts Act by Rep. Weldon Watson, R-Tulsa and Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Public Safety Protection District Act. Allowing the governing body of a municipality to raise property taxes as to initiate the creation of a public safety protection district by the adoption of a resolution calling for the question to be placed before registered voters. This Bill was on the House Judiciary Civil and Environmental Committee Agenda, but the Meeting was cancelled. It did not meet again before the Deadline to Report Bills out of Committees in the Opposite Chamber. It will be able to be considered from the first day of Session until the 2018 Deadline to report measures out of Committees in the Opposite Chamber.

    • Blocking HB1767. We worked with a Coalition from Labor and Keeping Oklahoma’s Promises (KOPI) to keep this Bill off the House Floor. It would prohibit specified existing organizations from continuing to represent employees. It requires school district boards of education to hold secret ballot election for all employees in any bargaining unit represented by an existing employee organization to determine whether the organization in question retains support of a majority of all employees in the bargaining unit and directs how said election will be conducted. This Bill for now, applies only to teachers, but if ever adopted it could be amended to affect public and private sector unions. HB 1767 is Dormant on the House General Order. It will be able to be considered from the first day of Session until the 2018 Deadline to report measures out of the Opposite Chamber.

    • Blocking SB 436. Allowing up to seven employees to be removed from fire and police bargaining units failed to be heard in House Committee.It will be able to be considered the first day of Session until the 2018 Deadline to report measures out of Committees in the Opposite Chamber.

    • Blocking SB 647. It prohibits political subdivisions from subletting or otherwise allowing the occupancy of public property for use as office space for day-to-day business operations to organizations that engage in collective bargaining. Sen. Sykes agreed to adding language that did not prohibit the organizations from using the facilities for meetings, but the Professional Oklahoma Educators Association would not agree to language allowing the storage of records. The bill was on the House General Order but was not considered by the deadline to be heard. It will be able to be considered from the first day of Session until the 2018 Deadline to report measures out of the Opposite Chamber.

    During the Interim, we will be:

    • Working out some issues with Sen. Dahm and participating in his Interim Study on the Oklahoma Public Employees Relations Board.

    • Attempting to explain the importance of and need for the Public Employees Relations Board to the Governor's Office and the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (O.M.E.S.) We are going to suggest the Governor issue an Executive Order giving O.M.E.S. the authority to continue the duties of the P.E.R.B. until her Veto of SB 46 can be overridden early next Session. Our rationalization is; certain municipal attorneys and officials may conclude that if the P.E.R.B. ceases to exist on June 30th, it will be open season on fire and police contracts July 1st.

    • Maintaining communication with Rep. Weldon Watson with his request on an Attorney General's Opinion on the formation of Municipal Public Safety Protection Districts under existing provisions of the Oklahoma Statutes.

      Many thanks to all of you who made these happen.  ---Chalk 

     


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