Representative Mark Lawson recently received an Oklahoma Legislative Award from the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association for his work concerning House Bill 2272, known as the “Local Law Enforcement Officer Retirement Benefits Act of 2019” or “Retirement: Deputy Bill.” Sheriff Bret Bowling said, “Representative Lawson has been a great advocate for law enforcement and children of this state. He has definitely worked hard and earned this recognition from the Sheriff’s Association. I am extremely proud to have Mark as my Representative in District 30.”
HB 2272 moves Sheriff’s Deputies from the the rule of 90 retirement system to a pension plan. The “rule of 90” means that years of service, plus the officer’s age has to equal at least 90. Under the new plan, Sheriff’s Deputies and Jailers will now be part of a 20-year pension plan.
The Deputy Retirement Bill was authored by Representative Josh West (R-5) and was co-authored by Representative Lawson. It was a three-year process of interim studies and actuaries and working with the pension board. HB 2272 bill passed in the House with no problems but died before reaching the Senate due to a miscommunication about the bill being self-funded. It is, in fact, a self-funded bill that costs the state nothing and will benefit recruitment, retirement, and retention. After receiving more co-authors, the bill was heard in the Senate and passed with a 45-yea and 0-nay vote in May of this year, during Law Enforcement Memorial Week. This bill goes into effect on November 1, 2020, for new hires.
Rep. Lawson said, “It’s an honor to receive this award. I am thankful for the leadership of Sheriff Bret Bowling. He has been a champion for Creek County and the Sheriff’s Office since day one. It has been a pleasure to work with Sheriff Bowling to pass HB 2272 into law for our County Deputies.”