Representative Ellyn Hefner

Hi, I’m Ellyn Hefner and I represent the people of Oklahoma’s 87th District.


News & Announcements

May 24, 2024
Recent Posts

Hefner Delivers New Opportunities for Students with Disabilities

OKLAHOMA CITY – House Bill 3792 authored by Rep. Ellyn Hefner, D-Oklahoma City, was signed by Governor Kevin Stitt. The law creates the Oklahoma Access and Achievement Act, which expands Oklahoma Promise to set up scholarships for Oklahomans to attend qualified post-secondary programs designed to support students with intellectual disabilities.  These programs at state schools increase development and growth of academic, work, and personal skills, along with independent living, friendships, and self-advocacy. The outcome data shows program participants are employed post-graduation at significantly higher rates with higher average wages. Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore, and Sen. Ally Seifried, R-Claremore, helped in the passage of this bill.  “This bill was in collaboration with the State Regents, CareerTech, our great state schools, and families and students who attend these programs,” said Hefner. “This new law is a result of two years of workshopping legislation through two interim studies at the house and numerous conversations with stakeholders. I am proud we were able to work across the aisle to provide real solutions for Oklahomans. Thank you to all who put in time and effort to create new opportunities for Oklahomans.” “The State Regents and our public colleges and universities continue innovating to create additional pathways for students to earn degrees and credentials and join our educated workforce,” said Oklahoma State System of Higher Education Chancellor Allison Garrett. “HB 3792 helps to provide the resources to learners with disabilities that desire life changing post-secondary training. We are excited to help bring more people opportunities to be in productive careers,” said State Director of Oklahoma Career Tech Brett Haken.  Many higher education institutes have also celebrated the signing of the bill. “Students with intellectual disability in Oklahoma have increased opportunities to attend college, with the development and growth of three inclusive post-secondary education programs across the state. HB 3792 is a huge step to increasing financial access for students with intellectual disability wanting to attend programs like Opportunity Orange Scholars,” said Emily Tucker, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice Program Director Opportunity Orange Scholars. “This will allow more students with disabilities to access college which we know leads to greater levels of employment and independent living,” Professor and Executive Director of Special Education at the University of Oklahoma Dr. Kendra Williams-Diehm said. “This bill is a real game changer.” "We are thrilled here at Northeastern State University and the Riverhawks Scholar Program, and we support HB 3792 100%,” said Director of Riverhawks Scholar Program Justin Chase. “We feel like it would open the doors to college for students with disabilities to a whole segment of the Oklahoma population that's not previously been available due to the financial restraints." 

Apr 16, 2024
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House Observes OKC Bombing Anniversary

OKLAHOMA CITY – The upcoming 29 th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing was remembered in the Oklahoma House of Representatives on Tuesday with a special presentation. House Resolution 1037, authored by Reps. Rick West, R-Heavener, and Ellyn Hefner, D-Oklahoma City, recalls the events of the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City and expresses gratitude to those who responded to the act of terrorism. The bombing resulted in the deaths of 168 people and injured more than 850 others. It is the worst domestic terrorist attack ever to occur in United States history. West, who worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the time of the bombing, lost seven co-workers that day. Each year that he's served as a state representative, he's presented a resolution in the House to remember his coworkers and others killed or injured in the terrorist bombing. "It is gut-wrenching to relive the events of the Oklahoma City bombing," West said. "But as legislators and Oklahomans, we have a responsibility. We've got people who were not born when this terrible atrocity happened, so it's up to the ones who remember to tell our stories so that we never, ever forget."  Hefner said, "Today’s presentation was a solemn one as we remember those lost and honor the lives of countless others forever changed. The brutality of the attack brought out a brave and tender response." Tuesday's floor presentation featured several guest speakers, including Gov. Kevin Stitt. Oklahoma Agriculture Secretary Blayne Arthur told the emotional story of how her mother was killed in the bombing. Arthur was accompanied by her sister Rosslyn Biggs and their aunt Susan Winchester, who also serves as Gov. Stitt's Cabinet Secretary of Licensing and Regulation. Longtime family friend, Dr. Lee Denney, a former state representative, gave the closing prayer during Tuesday's ceremony. Also in attendance were Kari Watkins, director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, and members of her staff. A video produced by House Communications was shown, profiling several House and Senate sergeants who assisted in the recovery efforts after the bombing. The sergeants were recognized on the House floor as well. Acknowledged were: House sergeants Bobbie Barnett, Joe Bullock , Harvey Weathers and Nita Williams; House Chief of Security John Dawson; and Senate sergeants Rusty Higby and Stewart Meyer. Hefner said she is "proud to work alongside sergeants in the House and Senate who showed Oklahoma City their bravery and tenderness 29 years ago. Their stories and the painfully beautiful story Blayne Arthur and her sister Rosslyn Biggs shared will help us never forget." She said she also is grateful to Kari Watkins and the staff at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum for "continuing the mission of the memorial and helping us never forget." The full text of HR1037 can be read here . The video of House sergeants sharing their memories can be seen here . 

Aug 29, 2023
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House Democrats Call on Speaker of the House to Form Special Bipartisan Committee to Investigate State Superintendent

OKLAHOMA CITY – Today, House Democrats called on the Speaker of the House to form a special bipartisan committee to investigate possible impeachment charges for State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters amid recent bomb threats at Tulsa area elementary schools believed to be linked to Walters' rhetoric about Tulsa Public Schools. “Oklahomans deserve a public school system where parents, students and teachers feel safe to go to school and the needs of our students are prioritized over dangerous political rhetoric,” said House Democratic Caucus Chair Trish Ranson, D-Stillwater. House Democratic Leader Cyndi Munson, D-Oklahoma City said the special bipartisan committee would investigate the current state superintendent to determine if his actions rise to the level of impeachment. “Allocating funds for public education should be free of corruption or political gain. There is already evidence of Walters’ corruption through misspent federal dollars along with discrepancies in his campaign finances. Paired with his toxic rhetoric that is impacting the safety of our schools, we believe it is more than enough to, at the very least, investigate him,” Leader Munson said. Rep. Provenzano mentioned that the rhetoric from the state superintendent has been harmful and potentially compromised the safety of school children. She also believes he is willfully neglecting his duty of office. “The rhetoric from the state superintendent has, up until now, been designed to distract and ?sow chaos. But now, elementary schools in the Tulsa area have received bomb threats as a ?result of disinformation shared by him. Our children deserve to be safe. The willful neglect of ?that duty, even in the highest offices in our state, cannot and will not be ?overlooked. Enough is enough,” Rep. Provenzano added. Leader Munson said, "We share in the growing frustration of Oklahomans across our state who want action to address their deep concerns for the future of public education. It is now time for action." -END-