Representative Mark Tedford

Hi, I’m Mark Tedford and I represent the people of Oklahoma’s 69th District.


News & Announcements

Mar 13, 2024
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Strengthen Oklahoma Homes Act Passes House

The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday to provide financial grants to construct or retrofit homes against the destructive forces of tornadoes, windstorms, and hail. Rep. Mark Tedford, R-Tulsa, authored House Bill 3089, which would establish the Strengthen Oklahoma Homes Act within the Department of Insurance. It would make grants available to residential property owners with insurable property who reside in an approved county, meet certain home conditions, and own an owner-occupied, single-family residence. "This legislation will not immediately impact premiums," Tedford said. "States that have encouraged using weather-resistant materials have observed stabilizing their property market and reducing homeowners' rates. As a result, I am enthusiastic about the aid this program will provide to homeowners in Oklahoma." HB3089 would establish a grant program to assist homeowners in reinforcing their roofs with impact-resistant materials that meet the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) fortified standards. These funds will enable consumers to construct or retrofit their homes with impact-resistant shingles and other enhancements. Under the measure, applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to lower-income applicants and applicants who live in areas more prone to catastrophic weather. The property owner must hire an approved evaluator to prequalify the property, obtain bids from at least three approved contractors, and follow specific retrofitting standards. HB3089 passed the floor 88 – 4 and is now available to be heard in the Senate, where Sen. Pemberton, R-Muskogee, authors it.

Nov 28, 2023

Tedford Explores Ways to Improve Oklahoma's Workforce Participation Rate

OKLAHOMA CITY –  Rep. Mark Tedford, R-Tulsa, recently held an interim study to explore ways to improve Oklahoma's workforce participation rate. IS23-092 was held before the House Business and Commerce Committee. "In my short time as a state representative, workforce issues have dominated discussions nationwide," Tedford said. "As of 2020, Oklahoma ranked 3% behind the national average in workforce participation. Knowing the significance of this difference, I wanted to understand the reasons behind it." During the interim study, Lynn Gray, director of economic research and analysis at the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, explained that workforce participation includes individuals employed, actively seeking jobs, or working part-time.  John Chiappe, director of research and economic analysis services at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, explained the four primary reasons adults do not seek employment: retirement, disability, caregiving responsibilities and educational attainment.  Julie Trivitt, a senior economist at Heartland Forward, found that while the cost and quality of childcare in Oklahoma were higher than the national average, accessibility remained a challenge. Despite lower costs, the state's wages were also below the national average, causing childcare expenses to exceed 20% of many mothers' incomes, making it financially out of reach for them. According to the study, Oklahoma's academic achievement historically lagged behind the national average, affecting employability and wages. The discussion highlighted a shift toward valuing meaningful work certificates over college degrees, recognizing the importance of vocational education. Speakers Bradley Ward, deputy state director at Americans for Prosperity, and Marissa Lightsey, executive director of college and career readiness at the State Department of Education, emphasized educational pathways to guide students toward career goals. They said more degree programs need to meet the demand for specific high-tech jobs, and pathways can address this by directing students to such careers at an early age. Angela Rachidi, senior fellow and Rowe scholar from the American Enterprise Institute, discussed disincentives to work created by some social programs, suggesting addressing benefit cliffs and implementing work requirements. Other speakers included Lowell Matthews, senior policy advisor at Excel-In Education, and Jordan Zakery, regional advocacy director at Excel-In Education.  "While Oklahoma's workforce participation is improving, it remains low compared to the national average," Tedford said. "There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but efforts should focus on removing barriers to work, improving overall academic achievement and adapting to evolving labor needs."

Nov 2, 2023
Recent Posts

Tedford Explores Options to Tackle Rising Property Insurance Costs for Oklahoma Schools

Rep. Mark Tedford, R-Tulsa, released the following takeaways after holding an interim study to evaluate the viability of a state-supported property insurance program for government property. Tedford organized the study in response to escalating property insurance costs and deteriorating conditions. It was set to determine whether the state could fund a risk-sharing pool for insuring government property or assisting public entities with the high retention they are experiencing on the private market. "The global property insurance market has seen a surge in catastrophic losses, with the U.S. experiencing consecutive years of billion-dollar losses," Tedford said. "Oklahoma, too, has faced significant losses due to natural disasters." The study examined Oklahoma Schools Insurance Group (OSIG), which Tedford said currently has a near-monopoly on insuring public schools in the state, with almost all schools insured through them. Despite some competition within the program, shrinking capacity makes it difficult for any single carrier to offer the comprehensive coverage needed for large property insurance buyers. In 2023, OSIG reported property value and rate increases, with most public schools carrying low wind-hail deductibles due to limited funds for substantial losses resulting primarily from convective storms. According to Tedford, OSIG is well-managed, but its near-monopoly raises concerns about market stability in the event of problems, as well as low deductibles and roof conditions that drive up costs. Although a state risk management program is considered as an alternative, it is not preferred due to the need to build up reserves and loss of local control involved. "There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and a multifaceted approach is needed to address rising insurance costs in the public school sector," Tedford said. "To deal with this, the state and public schools should employ advanced methods to minimize their insurance expenses." Tedford said to lower premiums, schools can consider higher deductibles and funding claims from building funds. Weather-resistant materials, proper maintenance, and sophisticated coverage techniques can also help mitigate costs.