Higher Ed Legislation

Oklahoma City, OK – Gov. Brad Henry today approved legislation to boost a state program that helps attract the best and brightest professors and researchers to Oklahoma colleges and universities.

By restructuring an ongoing bond issue for the endowed chairs program, House Bill 3031 by House Speaker Chris Benge and Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee will generate approximately $100 million in new funds for the higher education initiative.

Oklahoma has committed to match private donations to the endowed chair program, and the additional dollars generated by HB 3031 will be applied to a $365 million backlog of state commitments.

"By attracting the best and brightest professors and researchers to Oklahoma, we help our students and our economy," said Gov. Henry. "Every dollar we invest in the endowed chair program today will produce great dividends tomorrow."

Oklahoma colleges and universities use program funds to help attract and retain faculty members to teach students and engage in cutting-edge research.

Because it simply restructures an existing bond issue, HB 3031 will not require an additional appropriation to implement.

Gov. Henry also signed into law the following bills:

SB 1295, relating to public health and safety;
SB 1635 relating to roads;
SB 1636, relating to roads;
SB 1699, relating to poor persons;
SB 2095, relating to agriculture.

HB 2485, relating to the Board of Medicolegal Investigations;
HB 2551, relating to public health and safety;
HB 2748, relating to crimes and punishments;
HB 2865, relating to criminal procedure;
HB 3313, relating to public bidding.