For the week of Monday, April
30 to Thursday, May 3, 2001
| Tuesday | Wednesday
| Thursday | Other News
- As of Monday, April 30th, there were
four weeks remaining in the legislative session. Work continued on
conference committee reports and within General Conference Committee
on Appropriations subcommittees. Among the legislation approved by
the full Senate on Monday was HJR 1033 by Sen. Dave Herbert that sets
September 25, 2001 as the date for the special election on right-to
work. Other legislation passed by the Senate on Monday included:
-SB 494 by Sen. Bernest Cain dealing
with verbal abuse of the elderly in nursing homes. The bill describes
"verbal abuse" as the "repeated use of words, sounds
or other forms of communication by a caretaker, including but not
limited to, language, gestures, actions or behaviors that are calculated
to humiliate or intimidate or cause fear, embarrassment, shame or
degradation to the person entrusted to the care of a caretaker."
Under SB 494, a caretaker convicted of verbally abusing a patient
could face up to a year in jail. The bill also establishes criminal
penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for sexual
abuse by a caretaker of a person entrusted to their care.
-SB 408 by Sen. Angela Monson allows
the board of regents for OU and OSU to vote to have their CLEET
certified officers become members of the Oklahoma Law Enforcement
-SB 352 by Sen. Frank Shurden prohibits
the distribution of inaccurate voting record materials and specifies
information posted on the House of Representative web site shall
be deemed as accurate.
-CCR SB 248 by Sen. Robert M. Kerr
directs the Department of Transportation to transfer property to
the Native American Cultural and Education Authority.
On Monday, Governor Frank Keating signed
the following Senate measure into law:
-SB 707 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, which
creates a 24-member task force on the protection of children from
violence in the media.
In a brief floor session, the House
of Representatives approved SCR 18 by Rep. Clay Pope that recommends
Oklahoma institute action in the United States Supreme Court for
violations of the Canadian River Compact. Other legislation approved
by the House included:
-HB 1107 by Rep. Darrell Gilbert, which
relates to the purposes and definitions of the Mental Health law.
The House accepted Senate amendments before giving final approval
to the measure.
-HB 1436 by Rep. Bill Nations relates
to exemptions from income tax by business incubators. The House
accepted Senate amendments and gave final passage to the bill.
-HB 1636 by Rep. Terry Matlock provides
that career and technology centers may designate smoking areas outside
of buildings, away from general traffic areas and completely out
of sight of children under 18 years of age, for use by adults attending
training courses, session, meetings or seminars.
-SB 710 by Rep. Larry Rice creates
the position of Judicial Advisor to the Board of Juvenile Affairs.
The following House measures were signed
into law by Governor Keating on Monday:
-HB 1429 by Rep. Loyd Benson which
is aimed at augmenting incentives for physicians to treat Medicaid
patients. The measure authorizes the Oklahoma Health Care Authority
to work with the State Treasurer and Attorney General to establish
an income-deferral program that could result in federal tax incentives
for such health care providers. The bill also strengthens the Health
Care Authority's ability to penalize nursing homes that fail to
comply with wage and salary adjustment requirements.
-HB 1122 by Rep. Susan Winchester which
prohibits prosecution of a parent for child abandonment or neglect
if the parent leaves their infant with a medical services provider
or child rescuer.
Tuesday, May 1st
- On Tuesday, the Senate gave its approval
to two measures, including a bill that would give the Oklahoma State
Regents for Higher Education the Authority to raise tuition rates
by up to 7 percent for resident students and up to 9 percent for non-residents
each year for the next five years. Tuition for graduate, law and medical
programs could have their tuition increased by up to 10 percent for
residents and 15 percent for non-residents. SB 596 by Sen. Cal Hobson
would only allow the State Regents to raise tuition on a school by
school basis when asked to do so by that school's regents. Also being
approved in a brief session on Tuesday:
-SB 756 by Sen. Jim Maddox which creates
the Oklahoma Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act. The measure
establishes a Small Business Regulatory Review Board within the
Oklahoma Department of Commerce to serve as an advisory body to
state agencies and the Legislature.
Governor Frank Keating approved the
following Senate measures on Tuesday:
-SB 129 by Sen. Sam Helton authorizes
school districts to award diplomas to eligible World War II veterans.
-SB 189 by Sen. Jim Maddox creates
the Orthotics and Prosthetics Practice Act.
-SB 472 by Sen. Frank Shurden modifies
the definition of "dangerous dog" and "potentially
-SB 617 by Sen. Rick Littlefield requires
new and existing members of local water boards to obtain certain
-SB 678 by Sen. Rick Littlefield modifies
requirements relating to juveniles in pool halls.
-SB 775 by Sen. Brooks Douglass adds
a member to the Oklahoma Professional Boxing Association.
Tuesday was also a day of light floor
action for the House of Representatives with lawmakers approving
the following two measures:
-HB 1499 by Rep. Lloyd Benson which
delays implementation of various public school programs until certain
conditions are met.
-HB 1639 by Rep. Curt Roggow authorizes
certain vehicles to cross medians on turnpikes.
Governor Keating signed the following
House measures into law on Tuesday:
-HB 1081by Rep. Richard Phillips and
Sen. Glenn Coffee which repeals the required annual vehicle inspection.
-HB1603 by Rep. Ron Peters authorizes
the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Commission to implement an incentive
program to improve private concession maintenance within certain
-HB 1736 by Rep. Russ Roach modifies
a tax exemption for charitable institutions.
-HB 1952 by Rep. Joe Sweeden creates
the Oklahoma Producer Licensing Act.
- The Senate approved the following measures
-SB 756 by Sen. Herb Rozell which provides
that inmates who are dying or near death as certified by the medical
director of the Department of Corrections are not subject to the
current two-stage parole hearing process. The bill also creates
a procedures for the transfer of inmates from county jails to DOC
custody, including a requirement that DOC receive an inmate within
72 hours of notification by the county sheriff if the county jail
is at capacity.
-SB 116 by Senate President Pro-Tempore
Stratton Taylor would repeal a law intended to combine the administration
of the Will Rogers Memorial Commission and the J.M. Davis Memorial
-SB 480 By Sen. Frank Shurden authorizes
a $5.00 fee for applications for controlled hunts.
-SB 502 by Sen. Jeff Rabon would delete
the higher deductible plan administered by the Oklahoma State Employee
Group Insurance Board (OSEEGIB).
-SB 633 by Sen. Ben Robinson would
clarify language related to OSEEGIB.
-SB 196 by Sen. Kevin Easley would
repeal the reciprocal hazardous waste fee because it is unenforceable
and has been declared unconstitutional.
-SCR 26 by Sens. Stratton Taylor, Billy
Mickle, and James Dunlap memorializing Congress to provide equitable
funding for Indian Health Services.
-SB 341 by Sen. Penny Williams would
change the name of the OSU School of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa
to the OSU Health Sciences Center.
The Governor signed SB 617 by Sen.
Rick Littlefield and Rep. Joe Hutchison which requires all members
of the governing boards of rural water districts and non-profit
rural water corporations to complete at least six hours of continuing
education every three years. The following Senate Bills were also
signed into law on Wednesday: SB 39, SB 83, SB 115, SB 382, SB 394,
SB 458, SB 476, SB 508, SB 555, SB 626, SB 716, SB 747.
The House of Representatives approved
HCR 1029 by Rep. Russ Roach which requests approval by the U.S.
Department of Transportation for arrivals and departures at Ronald
Reagan Washington National Airport by Tulsa based Great Plains Airlines.
This was the only action on the House Floor on Wednesday. The following
House measures were signed into law by Governor Keating:
-HB 1044 by Rep. Randall Erwin and
Sen. Jeff Rabon modifies the continuing education requirements for
the school boards that set policies for Oklahoma's 544 public school
districts. School board members who serve terms of five or more
years must still acquire at least 15 hours of continuing education.
Every member elected to a full four-year term will be required to
attend a minimum of 12 hours of continuing education under the new
law, while members of smaller schools who serve three-year terms
will be required to attain at least nine hours of continuing education.
The new law goes into effect July 1.
-HB 1393 by Rep. John Nance and Sen.
Dick Wilkerson allows law enforcement agents who are in the course
of a wiretap investigation to act on information they obtain about
a crime, even if it is unrelated to the wire tap. Under HB 1393,
if additional criminal information unrelated to the wire tap is
discovered, law enforcement agents can send the information back
to the judge, who will decide whether it merits further investigation.
The new law encompasses such crimes as murder, rape, assault and
battery, kidnapping, arson, robbery, child abuse and child molestation.
Thursday, May 3rd
- 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, May 7th. As of next Monday, there will be three
weeks remaining in the 2001 legislative session.
- Senator Cal Hobson has gained the unanimous
approval of Senate Democrats to become the next President Pro Tempore.
Hobson, who serves as Vice-Chairman of Appropriations and Chair of
the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education will replace Senator
Stratton Taylor after his current term expires in two years. Prior
to his election to the senate in 1990, Hobson served 12 years in the
House of Representatives.
- Governor Frank Keating has been getting
media inquiries about whether he would want to take over the top post
at the FBI; current director Louis Freeh announced yesterday he was
resigning his position in June prompting numerous media calls to the
governor's office. However, Governor Keating says he intends to complete
his term as governor.
Keating had been rumored to be a front-runner
for the vice-presidential slot in last year's election, which instead
went to Dick Cheney. Keating was later mentioned as a contender
for U.S. Attorney General but President Bush instead selected former
U.S. Senator John Ashcroft from Missouri.
Newsweek magazine reported that Keating
was passed over for that position because of some $250,000 in cash
gifts given to the Governor by New York financier jack Dreyfus.
Keating later returned the money after the report was published.