For the week of Monday, April
23 to Thursday, April 26, 2001
| Tuesday | Wednesday
| Thursday | Other News
- As of Monday, April 23rd, there were
five weeks remaining in the legislative session. Having passed the
April 19th deadline for third reading of bills from the opposite chamber,
the focus begins to shift on consideration of amendments, assignment
of bills to conference committees, and budget work within various
subcommittees of the General Conference Committee on Appropriations.
The Senate considered House amendments to more than 90 pieces of legislation
on Monday. While many were rejected and a conference committee was
requested, the following were given final approval:
-SB 707 by Senator Glenn Coffee creates
the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Protection of Children from Violence
in the Media to examine the issue of violence in the media and develop
recommendations on possible legislation. The bill initially called
for an 18-member task force with six appointees each from the Governor,
Speaker of the House and President Pro Tempore of the Senate. The
task force was expanded in the House to 24 members, and specifies
that one appointee from each of the three appointing authorities
be a member of the clergy and a parent with minor children or represent
a parent-teacher association.
-SB 84 by Sen. Gilmer Capps modifies
the lettering requirement for commercial vehicles and deletes a
requirement for a physical inspection by the tag agent.
-SB 422 by Sen. Robert Milacek allows
retiring school board members with 10 years of service to participate
in the state insurance program.
-SB 377 by Sen. Angela Monson amends
various sections of the Oklahoma Nursing Practice Act.
-SB 114 by Sen. Dave Herbert is a request
from the Oklahoma Municipal League that modifies the boundary width
relating to petitions to annex unincorporated territory from 200
feet to 20 feet.
The Senate moved to reject House amendments
and request further conference for: SB 200-247, SB 249, SB 304,
SB 305, SB 307, SB 309-312, SB 314-321, SB 323-330, SB 332-334,
SB 733, SB 784, SB 81, SB 660, SB 157, SBB 353, SB 520, SB 571,
SB 578, SB 748, SB 788, SB 466, SB 172, SB 417, SB 198, SB 79, SB
419, SB 627, SB 354, SB 721, SB 168, SB 753 and SB 596.
On Monday, Governor Frank Keating signed
the following Senate measures into law:
-SB 790 by Sen. Penny Williams requires
the State Department of Education to issue an annual report on its
Advanced Placement Incentive Program.
-SB 101 by Sen. Billy Mickle modifies
the qualifications for the receipt of a five-year ad valorem tax
-SB 384 by Sen. Paul Muegge makes several
modifications to the public Warehouse and Commodity Indemnity Act.
-SB 516 by Sen. J. Berry Harrison directs
the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to complete an annual audit of
the Wastewater Facility Construction Revolving Loan Account.
-SB 533 by Sen. Ted Fisher limits the
period of time for which certain property may not qualify for certain
ad valorem tax incentives or exemptions.
-SB 743 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson, directs
the Oklahoma Criminal Justice Resource Center to create and publish
an annual uniform reporting standard for citing state criminal statutes
to be used in reporting information to and from all criminal justice
information systems in the state.
The State House approved Senate amendments
and gave final passage to HB 1122 by Rep. Susan Winchester. The
so-called "abandoned baby" bill would remove the criminal
penalty for the abandonment of an infant seven days old or younger,
if the baby is left with a medical service provider or a child rescuer.
Other measures gaining approval of Senate amendments and receiving
final passage included:
-HB 1063 by Rep. M.C. Leist which provides
for the issuance of heirloom birth certificates by the State Department
-HB 1035 by Rep. Gary Taylor modifies
certain bidding procedures relating to county purchasing.
-HB 1044 by Rep. Randall Erwin relates
to continuing education requirements for school board members.
-HB 1219 by Rep. Bill Case grants special
fuel tax exemption-tax credit for investment in alternative fuels.
-HB 1246 by Rep. J.T. Stites relates
to compensation of certain personnel at Oklahoma horse racing tracks.
-HCR 1019 by Rep. Loyd Benson memorializes
Congress and the President to enact legislation that recognizes
the importance of the United States government maintaining its commitment
to America's military retirees by providing lifetime health care
for military retirees over 65 years of age.
The following House measures were signed
into law by Governor Keating on Monday:
-HB 1439 by Rep. Bill Nations allows
a credit on the excise tax in the sale of aircraft with a selling
price in excess of $2.5 million.
-HB 1772 by Rep. Mike Tyler authorizes
"circuit engineering districts" to participate in the
County Road Machinery and Equipment Revolving Fund.
Tuesday, April 24th
- In a moving ceremony, the State Senate
approved a HCR 1012 by Sen. Mike Morgan honoring the victims of the
January OSU basketball team plane crash, which claimed the lives of
ten individuals. The Senate also paid tribute to their families as
well as OSU officials including Coach Eddie Sutton and OSU President
James Halligan. Other legislation gaining final approval on Tuesday
-SB 129 by Sen. Sam Helton which authorizes
school districts to grant diplomas to World War II veterans and
encourages districts to present diplomas in conjunction with appropriate
Veterans Day programs. In order to be eligible to receive the honorary
diploma, a veteran must have been honorably discharged from the
American armed forces, have served a minimum of 18 consecutive months
of active duty between the dates of September 16, 1940 and December
31, 1946 or have been discharged with a service-connected disability,
as well as being able to establish residency in Oklahoma at the
time of entry into the military.
-SB 617 by Sen. Rick Littlefield requires
members of Rural Water District boards to receive up to six hours
of continuing education during their term.
-SB 472 by Sen. Frank Shurden expands
the definition of a "potentially dangerous dog" to include
any dog that, when unproved, either bites a human or kills a domestic
animal. The bill also expands the definition of a "dangerous
dog" to include a dog that has been previously found to be
potentially dangerous and the dog later kills a domestic animal.
-SB 678 by Sen. Rick Littlefield authorizes
juveniles to frequent pool halls without being accompanied by a
parent. Littlefield said legal counsel for a youth recreational
center being built in his district requested the bill. The bill
was amended in the House to change the price of a billiard hall
license from $10 a year to $25 for three years.
-SB 1889 by Sen. James Maddox creates
the Orthotics and Prosthetics practice Act, which directs the State
Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision to develop rules for
licensure of those involved in orthotics and prosthetics.
-SB 774 by Sen. Brooks Douglass adds
a lay member to the Oklahoma Professional Boxing Commission.
-SCR 13 by Sen. Stratton Taylor mourning
the loss of the late Charles Schusterman, a noted philanthropist.
-SCR 14 By Sen. Stratton Taylor which
honors Claremore resident Phillip Driskill upon his promotion to
manager of statewide programs for Oklahoma's Department of Veterans
The Senate rejected House amendments
and requested further conference on the following bills: SB 447,
SB 495, SB 635, SB 124, SB 110, SB 695, SB 118, SB 605, SB 676,
SB 3, SB 453, SB 465, SB 341 and SB 813.
During Tuesday's session, the House
of Representatives gave final approval HB 1081 by Rep. Richard Phillips,
which was amended in by Senator Glenn Coffee to do away with mandatory
yearly vehicle inspections. Other measures gaining approval in the
House included :
-HB 1021 by Rep. Mary Easley recreates
the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board.
-HB 1062 by Rep. Bill Case requires
the placement of children with a noncustodial parent under certain
-HB 1092 by Rep. Mike Wilt modifies
prohibition concerning use of wireless telecommunications devices
by students and allows school districts to adopt rules prohibiting
use of such devices.
-HB 1378 By Rep. James Covey modifies
certain definitions in the Oklahoma Agricultural Code.
-HB 1429 by Rep. Loyd Benson authorizes
the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to offer to eligible contracted
physician providers an income deferral program.
-HB 1486 Rep. Jim Glover relates to
the licensing of new and used motor vehicle dealers.
-HB 1603 by Rep. Ron Peters authorizes
the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Commission to implement an incentive
program to improve private concession maintenance with certain properties.
-HB 1736 By Rep. Russ Roach modifies
tax exemption for certain charitable institutions.
-HB 1952 by Rep. Joe Sweeden creates
the Oklahoma Producer Licensing Act.
- The State Senate approved a motion to
suspend the rules to allow consideration of HJR 1033 after the deadline
for consideration had passed. That measure would establish a September
25 2001 date for a statewide vote on right to work. Among legislation
gaining final approval by the full Senate on Wednesday:
-SB 716 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols adds
to the definition of rape the "narrow circumstances" in
which the victim is in between the ages of 16 and 18 and a student
at a school who engages in sexual intercourse with an employee of
that school that exercises authority over the victim.
-SB 115 by Sen. Keith Leftwich D-Oklahoma
City authorizes certain contracts by the County Jail Trust Authority.
-SB 476 by Sen. Gene Stipe modifies
the remedy for taking outdoor advertising structures.
-SB 382 by Sen. Jerry Smith expands
the scope of interrogation under civil procedures.
-SB 83 by Sen. Bruce Price relates
to abandoned vehicles and requires the wrecker service to file the
towing with the sheriff's office if the real property is outside
of an incorporated municipality.
-SB 394 by Sen. Jerry Smith relates
to civil procedures that exempt certain time provisions.
-SB 555 by Sen. Cal Hobson modifies
the percentage of pari-mutuel wagers retained and the length of
fair association race meetings.
The State House approved HJR 1033 by
Rep. Fred Morgan which orders a special election to be held on September
25, 2001 on right-to-work. The House suspended the rules to hear
the resolution by unanimous consent. An attempted override of Governor
Frank Keating's veto of legislation to move the Oklahoma Aeronautics
and Space Commission from the Department of Transportation and make
it a separate agency was unsuccessful. Other legislation gaining
final approval by the House on Wednesday included:
-HB 1041 by Rep. Randall Erwin authorizing
the lease of Hugo State Park and provides for name changes of certain
-HB 1109 by Rep. Darrell Gilbert creates
the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee of the State Medicaid
-HB 116 by Rep. Susan Winchester authorizes
Department of Human Services to be reimbursed for actual and necessary
expenses for the purpose of escorting certain children and adults.
-HB 1361 by Rep. Stuart Ericson authorizes
courts to require persons to reimburse Oklahoma State Bureau of
Investigation for cleaning up illegal drug laboratory sites.
Thursday, April 26th
- The Senate met in a brief floor session
on Thursday before adjourning for the week. The Senate will reconvene
at 1:30 p.m. Monday, April 30th. As of next Monday, there will be
four weeks remaining in the 2001 legislative session.
- U.S. Department of Commerce figures
show that for the fourth straight year, Oklahoma ranked 43rd in per
capita personal income (PCPI). According to the report Oklahoma's
PCPI level did grow by 2.46 percent or $534 in 2000, compared to 3.97
percent or $1,134 nationally. Oklahoma's 20000 PCPI growth rate was
38th highest in the nation and ahead of only New Mexico, 1.60 percent
and Arkansas, 0.06 percent in its seven state region. Senate President
Pro Tem Stratton Taylor has argued that his "Texas Plan"
proposal will help boost personal income by attracting more businesses
with higher paying jobs.
The original plan called for replacing
the Oklahoma Tax code with that of Texas. However University of
Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University recently informed Senator
Taylor that it might not be possible to complete the complete studies
of both the Oklahoma and Texas Tax systems by the end of the session.
They also expressed concerns over the logistics of replacing the
entire tax code of Oklahoma with a new system. Based on that information,
Minority Leader Jim Dunlap called for passage of a one-half percent
cut in the state's income tax. However Senator Taylor insisted a
better plan would be to craft a new tax system using the best elements
of tax programs from several different states, which would still
entirely eliminate personal income tax altogether, as well as the
sales tax on groceries, capital gains, and alterations of the estate
Senator Taylor said by refining the
measure he called the "Texas Plus Plan" it would still
be feasible to bring this proposal to state lawmakers before the
end of May, with a vote by the people this fall.
According to the Oklahoma Tax Commission, there
has been a tremendous increase in the numbers of Oklahomans choosing
to file their taxes on-line. This is the third year OTC has offered
on-line filing. The number of those using this option went from
2,000 the first year to over 60,000 this year, with the final figures
not yet in.