Legislators, Higher Education Officials Discuss Upcoming Session

Redlands Community College, along with Cameron University, Oklahoma Panhandle State University, the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Western Oklahoma State College, Southwestern Oklahoma State University and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, invited legislators to the El Reno campus to discuss the upcoming legislative session.

Chancellor Glen Johnson shared the details of higher education’s 2020 legislative agenda and budget request as well as the impact Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities have had on the state.

The State Regents for Higher Education, collaborating with college and university presidents, developed a budget request focused on five areas: STEM Workforce Development Initiatives, Operational Cost Increases, Deferred Maintenance for Campus Infrastructure and Endowed Chair State Matching Funds Bond Authorization and Debt Service.

Oklahoma higher education, which has been significantly impacted by budget cuts over the last several years, received a much-needed boost last year. Legislators voted to increase funding for concurrent enrollment for high school juniors and seniors, and to provide salary increases to help retain top-quality faculty with competitive salaries.

Legislators had an opportunity to share their thoughts about the 2020 legislative session and higher education’s efforts to move the state forward.

State Rep. Denise Crosswhite Hader told attendees, “Thank you for what you do for the students. You give them hope and something to aspire to.”

Other legislators attending were Sens. Brent Howard and Darcy Jech, and Reps. Charles Ortega, Kenton Patzkowsky and Harold Wright.