Oklahoma Legislature wraps up 2018 session - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Oklahoma Legislature wraps up 2018 session

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Senate Democratic Leader John Sparks (D-Norman) discusses the 2018 legislative session  with Sen. Kay Floyd (D-OKC) and Sen. Michael Brooks (D-OKC). (Photo: Oklahoma State Senate) Senate Democratic Leader John Sparks (D-Norman) discusses the 2018 legislative session with Sen. Kay Floyd (D-OKC) and Sen. Michael Brooks (D-OKC). (Photo: Oklahoma State Senate)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Oklahoma Legislature has wrapped up the 2018 legislative session, heading home early after a year that included two special sessions, massive teacher protests and a last-minute flurry of emotionally charged proposals.

The House and Senate both adjourned late Thursday, three weeks earlier than required under the state Constitution.

Lawmakers already had approved a $7.6 billion budget to fund state government, the largest in state history. It includes pay raises for teachers and state workers and increased funding for schools and state agencies.

"Senate Republicans proved their commitment to our students and teachers through the largest teacher pay raise in state history, helping us retain and recruit classroom teachers who will help our students succeed," said Sen. Mike Schultz (R-Altus).

The Legislature saved some of the more divisive bills until the final week. Those included a bill to allow most adults to carry firearms in public without a license or training, and a measure to provide protections to religious-based agencies who discriminate against adoptive parents.

Senate Democratic leader John Sparks said it was a good start, but there was no need to go home early.

"There is still more work to do to restore the devastating cuts made over the last decade," he said. "Instead of rushing out the door and adjourning early, the legislature could have stayed until the scheduled end of session and taken the time to address the need for additional revenue."

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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