For the week of Monday, April
16 to Thursday, April 19, 2001
| Tuesday | Wednesday
| Thursday | Other News
- With six weeks remaining in the legislative
session, action continued to focus on the floor as the Senate worked
towards the April 19th deadline for third reading on House Bills.
Among the nearly 30 measures considered on Monday, the Senate approved
the following bills:
-HB 1727 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson which
adds the Office of the Attorney General to the list of agencies
responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct involving
nursing homes. However the Senate adopted an amendment that would
hold abortion providers liable for the cost of any subsequent medical
treatment that results from abortions performed on minors without
-HB 1724 by Sen. Kevin Easley relates
to oil and gas and requires appraisers used when negotiating surface
damages to possess certification and be affiliated with certain
-SR 12 by Sen. Ted Fisher congratulates
the Central Technology Center for its telecommunication program,
which was recently honored in Washington D.C. as only one of two
such programs in the nation.
-HB 1439 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols allows
a credit on the excise tax in the sale of aircraft with a selling
price in excess of $2.5 million. The bill was amended to restore
-HB 1636 by Sen. Bernest Cain relates
to schools and modifies an exemption allowing adults to smoke in
an educational facility under certain circumstances. The bill was
amended to remove the new language from its current location in
statute to a separate section. The title was restored before its
-HB 1470 by Sen. Ben Robinson makes
a number of changes related to the Department of Rehabilitation
Services that Robinson said would bring the Oklahoma School for
the Deaf and Oklahoma School for the Blind into compliance with
public schools. Robinson said the bill also repealed several sections
of "archaic language" relating to the schools. The bill
was amended by Sen. James Williamson to remove language requiring
the addition of a "check-off" box for donations on the
state income tax form.
The State House considered some 25
measures on Monday. Those winning approval by the full House included:
-SB 25 as amended by Rep. Bill Nations
exempts higher education entertainment ticket sales from sales tax.
The enacting clause was stricken.
-SB 46 as amended by Rep. Ray McCarter
making assault and battery on a school employee a felony.
-SB 417 by Rep. William Paulk requires
an employee of a state agency to answer the telephones. The enacting
clause was stricken.
-SB 723 as amended by Rep. Joe Sweeden
authorizes the Department of Corrections to award the identification
badge and firearm to certain retiring employees.
-SB 743 by Rep. Terry Ingmire requires
a uniform reporting standard for reporting criminal offenses to
information systems by the Oklahoma Criminal Justice Resource Center.
Tuesday, April 17th
- In another day of heavy floor action,
the State Senate considered more than 90 measures, including several
appropriations bills. Among the substantive legislation approved Tuesday:
-HB 1375 by Senator Frank Shurden,
who amended the measure with language that calls for a vote of the
people on granting citizens the constitutional right to hunt, fish
and engage in such activities as rodeos, livestock shows and cockfighting.
The measure must now return to the House for consideration of Senate
-HB 1074 by Sen. Gene Stipe was reconsidered.
The bill would amend the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act. It was
amended to require a five-day review period for commodity purchase
-HB 1436 by Sen. Jim Maddox would extend
the small business incubation period to 10 years. The title and
enacting clause were restored.
-HB 1741 by Sen. Keith Leftwich would
set aside 1 percent of the motor vehicle tax for public transit.
-HB 1372 by Sen. Maxine Horner would
create the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board.
-HB 1670 by Sen. Penny Williams creates
the Investing in Stronger Oklahoma Families Act, aimed at strengthening
the chances for permanent placement of foster children.
-HB 1382 by Sen. Jeff Rabon pushes
quail season back one month for the southeastern portion of the
During Tuesday's session, the House
of Representatives considered more than 30 measures, including the
attempted override three sections of the general appropriations
bill which were line item vetoed by Governor Keating, including
the appropriation for the Department of Agriculture. The vetoes
were sustained. Legislation approved on Tuesday by the House included:
-SB 352 as amended by Rep. M.C. Leist
would give the Ethics Commission the ability to decide whether a
political candidate willfully lied about another candidate, with
a possible fine of up to $50,000.
-SB 157 by Rep. Todd Hiett creates
the Juvenile Sex Offender Registration Act. The enacting clause
-SB 454 by Rep. Chris Hastings changes
the population requirements for having a county office of public
-SB 1692 by Rep. James Dunegan relates
to qualifications for Highway Patrolman, Highway Patrol salaries
and salaries for Lake Patrol and Capitol Patrol, including monthly
bonus pay and retroactive pay.
-SB 660 by Rep. Larry Rice designates
the Department of Agriculture as an official environmental regulatory
agency for agricultural point source and nonpoint source pollution.
The title and enacting clauses were stricken.
- The State Senate considered some 20
measures as they continued to work toward the Thursday deadline for
third reading action on House measures. Those being approved included:
-HCR 1007 by Sen. Kevin Easley designates
a portion of United States Highway 169 beginning at Memorial Road
and extending north to the Tulsa County line as "Pearl Harbor
Memorial Expressway." The bill was amended on the floor by
Sen. Grover Campbell to clarify the boundaries of the designation
so that the portion of U.S. 169 from the intersection of I-44 north
to the Tulsa County line remain the "Owasso Expressway."
-HB 1736 by Sen. Mike Morgan extends
the list of charities exempt from ad valorem taxes to include any
"continuum of care retirement community providing housing for
the aged, licensed under Oklahoma law, owned by a nonprofit entity
in a county with a population of more than five hundred thousand."
-HB 1640 Sen. Jeff Rabon would give
the Oklahoma Supreme Court original jurisdiction over bond applications.
The bill would also give those applications priority in the court.
The title and the enacting clause were restored on the measure.
The bill was amended to clarify some language.
-HB 1276 by Sen. Enoch Kelly Haney
would require state agencies and websites to include meeting schedules
and agendas on their websites.
-HB 1723 by Sen. Kevin Easley would
modify the certification process for those who install more than
10 sewage disposal systems each year by requiring each installer
to go through training with the Department of Environmental Quality.
-HB 1964 by Sen. Mike Morgan would
assign the licensing duties for micropigmentation to the Department
of Health. An amendment to the bill dealt with concerns the medical
industry had with the supervisory provisions in the bill.
-HB 1639 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield
is a request from the Department of Public Transportation. The bill
would make emergency vehicle operators exempt from laws against
illegal maneuvers and double the fines in DPS work zones.
The State House passed SJR 1 by Rep.
Jack Begley and Sen. Dave Herbert, which would allow the voters
to decide whether to adopt right-to-work in Oklahoma. However a
special election feature which called for a statewide vote of the
people on August 14 failed to get the required 68 votes needed for
passage. The measure will now be filed with the Secretary of State,
and placed on the November 2002 general election ballot. Other measures
approved Wednesday by the House included:
-SB 788 by Rep. don Ross creates the
Greenwood Education Scholarship Act for direct descendants of the
victims and survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot.
-SB 57 by Rep. Jack Begley relates
to the membership requirements of the Physician Manpower Training
Commission by modifying the number of ex-officio members of the
-SB 733 by Rep. Jari Askins requires
insurers to provide colon cancer screening and approved cancer clinical
trial coverage. The enacting clause was stricken.
Thursday, April 19th
- The Senate met for a brief floor session
on Thursday, which was the final day for action on House Measures.
The Senate will reconvene on Monday, April 23rd at 1:30 p.m.
- The ongoing energy crisis that's left
California with rolling blackouts and sky-high energy costs could
actually be good for Oklahoma. That's according to State Senate leader
Stratton Taylor. The Pro Tempore asked the state Commerce Department
to make a major recruiting effort in California, and said this was
an excellent opportunity to showcase Oklahoma with its abundant and
affordable electricity, water and land, more productive work force,
lower cost of living and better quality of life.
- The State House Redistricting Subcommittee
reported they were considering adding a new House district to adjust
for population growth in northeastern Oklahoma. However adding a district
to northeastern Oklahoma would result in the loss of a district from
another part of the state. Not including Tulsa, northeastern Oklahoma
currently has 17 House districts.
- A new lecture series has been named
for State Senator Penny Williams. While a member of the House of Representatives
in 1983, Williams authored legislation that led to the creation of
the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics. The lecture series
was created and endowed by friends of Senator Williams. The inaugural
speaker selected for the "Senator Penny Williams Distinguished
Lecture Series" was Nobel Laureate Dr. Baruch Blumberg who was
scheduled to address OSSM students, faculty and supporters on April
- If a handful of House members get enough
support on their initiative petition, Oklahoma voters could decide
whether to end employment at-will in Oklahoma. Rep. Opio Toure turned
in the petition to the Secretary of State this week. The "Employee
Fairness Act" is also sponsored by Rep. Al Lindley and Rep. Darrell
Gilbert. If enough valid signatures are collected, the question would
be put on the November 5, 2002 ballot, which could be the same election
voters will decide whether to approve right-to-work. Just over 98,000
valid signatures must be collected by July 15th in order for the proposed
constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot.