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7.2.22 – Norman Transcript 

OKLAHOMA CITY — More than 60 new laws took effect Friday in Oklahoma, dealing with everything from Holocaust education to vehicle title changes.

Here’s a breakdown of eight new laws that could impact Oklahomans:

— Anyone who takes out a loan to purchase a vehicle or boat won’t receive a paper title anymore until their last payment is satisfied, and the lienholder releases a clear certificate of title. Senate Bill 1276 brings Oklahoma’s title law in line with over 40 other states. While titles will first be sent to the lien holder, owners will maintain registration. It does not impact existing issued titles with liens, unless someone requests a replacement. The replacement title would then be sent to the lienholder.

— Expected to cost an estimated $41 million by budget year 2027, House Bill 3564 aims to bolster the state’s struggling teacher pipeline by creating an incentive scholarship program and teacher employment incentive program for Pre-K through 12th grade public school teachers. Prospective teachers are eligible if they graduate from an Oklahoma high school, major in education, agree to teach in an Oklahoma public school for at least five consecutive years upon graduation and obtain teacher licensure. Participants can receive $1,000 per year for up to three academic college years and $2,500 for their final year. Young educators can then receive up to a $4,000 annual stipend for the first five years they work in an Oklahoma classroom.

— Going forward, any annual lottery net proceeds exceeding $65 million will be deposited into a Teacher Empowerment Revolving Fund under House Bill 4388. Until the funds are exhausted each year, local school districts can request matching dollars to boost the salaries of their advanced, lead and master certified teachers. The law is an effort to keep the best teachers in Oklahoma classrooms

— The Progressing Rural Economic Prosperity Fund, or PREP Fund, takes effect without the blessing of Gov. Kevin Stitt. It sets aside $250 million that will be distributed to economic development sites across the state in a bid to make them more competitive in recruiting new industry to Oklahoma. But the money won’t be spent until lawmakers develop rules for how the dollars will be allocated.

— Medicaid outsourcing officially moves forward. Supporters say the change to the state’s insurance delivery system is designed to provide more budget predictability for taxpayers. Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, which relies on state and federal funding, serves roughly 1 million children, low-income adults and pregnant women. The law prohibits the state from implementing the change until it gets federal approval for the new managed care plan.

— House Bill 3422 requires the state to conduct a study of state employee compensation to determine whether it’s necessary to increase or decrease the number of state employees. A related study will look at overall human resource functions and consider consolidation. The study must be completed by Dec. 31 and must be conducted every four years moving forward.

— Senate Bill 1671 requires the State Department of Education to develop Holocaust education curriculum for students in grades six through 12. Starting in the 2022-23 school year, Holocaust education must be taught to those grades as part of the state’s academic standards.

— House Bill 3530 creates a fund to support county sheriffs’ efforts to enforce state laws regulating commercial medical marijuana grows.