Oklahoma House approves state employee pay raise bill

By Randy Ellis

The state House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill designed to grant large, targeted pay raises to Oklahoma’s most underpaid employees this year, with a goal of raising all state employee salaries to 90 percent of the private market within four years.

The bill sailed through the state House with a 90-0 vote and will now head to the Senate. There was no debate.

“The state of Oklahoma is losing skilled and educated employees to retirement and the private sector,” said Rep. Leslie Osborn, author of House Bill 3293. “Our state agencies need productive minds and ingenuity to fill those gaps, provide better services and address the problems of the future. Competitive wages will greatly enhance the state’s ability to choose from the top recruits.”

Osborn, R-Mustang, said her measure calls for setting aside 3 percent of the previous fiscal year’s payroll costs for salary adjustments each year.

Three percent of last year’s payroll would be about $40 million.

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