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An Educator's Voice, Lifting Oklahoma.

 

 

 

Session Wrap-Up Notes and Thoughts

Dear Neighbor,

The first half of the 57th Session of the Oklahoma House of Representatives has drawn to a close.    It has been a very productive session with many pieces of legislation that help everyday Oklahomans. As promised during my campaign, I focused my work during this session on three main areas:  Education, criminal justice reform and health care.  Below are key pieces of legislation that I am proud to say have now become law.


Education

HB1905, SB446: provide for trauma-informed instruction training for aspiring teachers as well as those currently in the classroom, leading to better mental health supports for our students. HB1395: mandates financial transparency for virtual public schools and will finally allow us to see how our tax dollars are being spent.  Lastly, I am pleased to report that our teachers will receive a $1200 raise this coming year.  We also successfully fended off bills that would have allowed for emergency certified school superintendents as well as tax credits that drained away money from the education budget.


Criminal Justice Reform

HB1269: Allows retroactivity for voter-approved State Question 780.  This bill allows those in prison for certain minor drug and theft offenses that are now re-classified as misdemeanors to be released from our critically overcrowded prisons for a savings of $30 million to Oklahoma taxpayers.  SB415: allows for children to provide testimony via video conference rather than having to sit in the courtroom for certain crimes.


Health Care

HB2632:  the Patient’s Right to Pharmacy Choice Act, which allows smaller pharmacies the same access to reasonably priced drug distributors and removes the “gag clause” that  prohibited pharmacists from telling you when your prescription would cost less if you paid out of pocket rather than if you paid using insurance. SB142: protects nursing home residents from the growing problem of over prescription of anti-psychotic drugs. The drugs will now have an informed consent component designed to help determine use only when necessary.


The Budget

The 2019 Oklahoma Budget brings much needed relief to several core services in large part thanks to last year’s increases in the Gross Production Tax, ball and dice gaming and Amazon purchases from out of state. We saw increases across the board for all agencies, most notably public education, with an additional 157 million dollars going to our classrooms for increased support staff and much needed supplies.  After more than a decade of budget cuts every single year to multiple agencies which have led to critical negative impact, this is much needed step in the right direction. As always, fiscal responsibility in the funding of core services remains critical.


Keep in Touch!

Our weekly Sunday office hours have drawn to a close, but will begin again when session resumes.  In the interim, you can keep in touch by following me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or sign up for my e-newsletter by providing your email address in the "Get Updates" box to the right of the page.  Please let me know if I can come speak to your neighborhood association, PTA, special event or any other group that works and serves in House District 79.


Thank you for the honor of serving as your Oklahoma State Representative.  We are off to an excellent start!

 

Sincerely,

Representative Melissa Provenzano

 

 

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Office Hours:  STARTING AGAIN SOON! WATCH THIS SITE FOR NOTIFICATION!  Every Sunday during the legislative session, 2-4 PM (February-May, 2019)

Location:  Tandy Family YMCA Conference Room (Tulsa)

The conference room is located directly behind the wall of the main desk.   Stop by to ask a question, share a concern, get an update or just visit!   

 

News

Thursday, July 18, 2019 12:00 AM

Tulsa Lawmaker presses Hofmeister on charter oversight amid Epic allegations because $10 million...is deeply concerning.

“I’m more interested in getting real specific with the law about how we track dollars,” Provenzano said, “and how we track enrollment and student attendance data so that it’s more authentic and equitable across all public school platforms...”




Thursday, July 18, 2019 12:00 AM

Provenzano proposes greater oversight for virtual charters

Students and families have to come first. Doing what is best for them has to be the foundation of all decisions in public education.


Thursday, July 11, 2019 12:00 AM

State Lawmakers request studies into virtual schools

“Provenzano questioned the disparity between reported high attendance at virtual charter schools and lacking academic success.

“We have research that demonstrates that positive attendance has positive results,” Provenzano said. “My biggest interest is the kids and how can we help virtual charter schools to more closely align their success with their attendance.”

                                     


Friday, June 28, 2019 12:19 PM

Provenzano requests three interim studies

This past week I submitted a request for three education-related interim studies.

1. Virtual Charter Attendance: Examining the possible disconnect between attendance rate and student performance in Oklahoma's virtual charter school system.

2. Student loan debt examination in Oklahoma – Creating a Borrower’s Bill of Rights

3. Creating the workforce Oklahoma businesses need - forging improved, larger scale, purposeful pathways out of secondary schools and into Oklahoma industry.
With the right support and data-driven research, I hope to pursue legislation that serves each of these areas of need. I welcome your feedback!

 

                     


Monday, June 17, 2019 12:00 AM

State Lawmakers Reflect on Changes in Oklahoma

Our education budget looks better than it has in several years, but we still have work to do. Funding levels are still below those of 2008 with 50,000 more students to serve in Oklahoma public schools.

It's a good start! Watch as Representative Provenzano and Representative Dills reflect on the most recent legislative session.

 


Provenzano for House District 79 2018
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