For the week of Monday, May
7 to Thursday, May 10, 2001
| Tuesday | Wednesday
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- As of Monday, May 7th, there were three
weeks remaining in the legislative session. Work continued on conference
committee reports and within General Conference Committee on Appropriations
subcommittees. During a brief floor session, the Senate approved a
supplemental appropriation for the Department of Corrections. The
conference committee version of HB 1567 by Sens. Kelly Haney and Cal
Hobson would direct just over $11 million from the Special Cash Fund
to the DOC. Of the $11 million, about $9.8 million would go to private
prisons and the other $1.2 million would go to state facilities. Another
$3.5 million originally appropriated for community sentencing would
be transferred for operational costs. In addition, $517,370 originally
appropriated for architectural and engineering work at the O'Donoghue
Rehabilitation Institute would be redirected for DOC operations, specifically
for medical expenses.
Governor Frank Keating signed the following
Senate measures into law on Monday:
-SB 716 by Sens. Jonathan Nichols and
Carol Martin and Rep. Carolyn Coleman, which makes sexual intercourse
between a teacher and a student younger than 18 a felony crime of
rape. The law would apply only to those teachers or employers at
the same school as the student. Takes effect November 1, 2001.
-SB 494 by Sen. Bernest Cain and Rep.
Debbie Blackburn increases penalties for a caretaker convicted of
sexual or verbal abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable
person in his or her care. Aimed at patients in nursing homes or
others in similar care situations, the legislation states that a
caretaker convicted of felony neglect or exploitation can be imprisoned
for up to 10 years and fined up to $10,000. For sexual abuse, the
penalty could be up to 15 years in prison with a fine of up to $10,000.
A conviction of misdemeanor verbal abuse of an elderly or incapacitated
person would be up to a year in county jail and a fine of up to
$1,000. SB 494 takes effect July 1, 2001.
-SB 472 by Sen. Frank Shurden and Rep.
M.C. Leist widens the definition of dangerous dog, effective immediately.
Under the bill a "potentially dangerous dog" is one that,
even though unprovoked, "kills or severely injures a domestic
animal" or bites a human. A "dangerous dog" is one
that previously has been found to be potentially dangerous and the
owner has been notified in writing of that assessment, and subsequently
the animal kills or severely injures a domestic animal, or bites,
attacks or endangers the safety of a person without provocation.
-SB 196 by Sen. Kevin Easley and Rep.
M.C. Leist repeals a nine-year-old law that allowed the State of
Oklahoma to charge reciprocal fees for disposal of out-of-state
hazardous waste. That's after the courts declared reciprocal fees
as an unconstitutional restraint of trade in violation of the Interstate
Commerce Clause. Oklahoma has since established a uniform fee schedule
for hazardous waste disposal.
-SB 747 by Sen. Keith Leftwich and
Rep. Bill Nations sanctions parent-taught driver education courses.
A 15 and a half year old being taught to drive by a parent will
be eligible for a learner's permit allowing the youth to drive a
car if the parent or guardian is riding with the student in the
front passenger's seat, provided the student passes the written
portion of the driver's exam. The bill also provides that anyone
enrolled in a commercial driver education course can receive a learner's
permit, and allows the student to drive a vehicle if accompanied
by a driver who is at least 21 years old and is sitting in the front
passenger seat. SB 747 takes effect July 1, 2001.
-SB 678 by Sen. Rick Littlefield and
Rep. Joe Hutchison provides that a pool/billiard hall license can
be revoked if the proprietor allows anyone younger than 21 to enter
premises where beer or liquor are served. Also establishes a new
licensing fee effective November 1st: $25 for a three-year period.
The current fee is $10 a year.
-SB 47 by Sen. Carol Martin provides
for additional directors for county fire departments.
-SB 166 by Sen. Frank Shurden creates
the Oklahoma Licensed Pedorthists Act.
-SB 401 by Sen. Mike Morgan increases
a cap under the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System.
-SB 408 by Sen. Angela Monson provides
for a service credit under the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement
-SB 497 by Sen. J. Berry Harrison declassifies
a position under the Oklahoma State and Education Employees Group
Insurance Board (OSEEGIB).
-SB 502 by Sen. Jeff Rabon modifies
provisions relating to OSEEGIB.
-SB 633 by Sen. Ben Robinson authorizes
OSEEGIB to determine appropriate plan specifications.
-SB 669 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson expands
the Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System to include agents
of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the Alcoholic
Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission.
-SB 685 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson increases
the membership of the State Fire Marshal Commission.
In a brief floor session, the House
of Representatives approved the following measures:
-HB 1567 by Rep. Mike Mass makes a
supplemental appropriation to the Department of Corrections.
-HCR 1023 by Rep. Curt Roggow relates
to the rules of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation,
waiving the 30-day legislative period.
-HCR 1028 by Rep. Al Lindley declares
May as Oklahoma Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month.
-SCR 27 by Rep. Joe Sweeden recalls
SB 156, which relates to the Rural Economic Action Plan, from the
-The Governor vetoed SB 352 by Sen.
Frank Shurden and Rep. M.C. Least, which would have empowered the
Ethics Commission to levy a fine of up to $50,000 for knowingly
spreading false information about a political candidate. Governor
Keating said he vetoed the measure because it inappropriately limits
the First Amendment right of freedom of speech.
The following House measures were signed
into law by Governor Keating on Monday:
-HB 1895 by Reps. Curt Roggow, Dale
Smith, Mike Ervin, Dale Turner and Sen. Ted Fisher which creates
a seven-member Small Community Development Incentive Task Force.
-HB 1241 by Reps. Joan Greenwood, Dale
Wells, and Sen. Bernest Cain would create the Youth Suicide Prevention
Act. The purpose of the bill is to use youth-suicide related data
to create a comprehensive public policy aimed at reducing the number
of suicides and attempted suicides in Oklahoma.
-HB 1825 by Rep. Joan Greenwood and
Senator Carol Martin directs state agencies to collaborate on development
of a comprehensive statewide system to prevent risky behavior such
as tobacco, alcohol, drug use as well as violence and sexual activity
and promote positive youth development. The collaboration team must
report its findings and recommendations to the lawmakers and the
governor by January 14, 2002.
-HB 1361 by Reps. Stuart Ericson, John
Nance and Sen. Jonathan Nichols would require convicted methamphetimine
manufacturers to reimburse the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation
for the cost of dismantling illegal drug lab sites.
-HB 1636 by Rep Terry Matlock and Sen.
Bernest Cain allows career technology centers to reserve remote
smoking areas for adults. The designated smoking areas must be outside
of buildings, away from general traffic areas and completely out
of sight of children under 18 years of age. Effective immediately.
-HB 1107 by Rep. Darrell Gilbert clarifies
language relating to assistant commissioner of the Department of
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
-HB 1436 by Rep Bill Nations modifies
the qualifications for an income tax exemption through the Department
Tuesday, May 8th
- On Tuesday, the Senate approved the
-SB 702 by Sen. President Pro-Tempore
Stratton Taylor, which increases the state employee benefit allowance
for life, health, dental and disability insurance, and provides
targeted pay increases for some state employee classifications.
Corrections security officers, probation and parole officers, corrections
food services specialists and managers will receive a $4,000 pay
raise. Other Non-certified correctional staff will receive a $2,00
pay raise. Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and nurse
specialists will receive a $2,100 pay raise. Direct care specialists
and patient care assistants will get $1,550 more. Transportation
technicians will get $1,300 more.
-HB 1633 by Sen. J. Berry Harrison
establishes a notification process for prescribed burns.
-HB 1633 by Sen. Paul Muegge establishes
the Oklahoma Ethanol Development Study Act Advisory Committee.
-SB 91 by Sen. Paul Muegge provides
that rural water district plans for locating water lines shall comply
with certain specifications.
The Governor vetoed SB 765 by Sen.
James Maddox which would have established the Small Business Regulatory
Review Committee within the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. Keating
said that while he supports the concept of the bill, it would duplicate
provisions already contained in the Oklahoma Administrative Procedures
Act. However the Governor signed the following Senate bills on Tuesday:
-SB 480 by Sen. Frank Shurden authorizes
the Department of Wildlife Conservation to impose a $5 processing
fee for controlled hunts.
-SB 756 by Sen. Herb Rozell establishes
a procedure for the transfer of inmates from prisons to county jails
and eliminates the two-stage parole process for certain terminally
Tuesday the House of Representatives
approved the following measures:
-HB 1217 By Rep. Dale Turner creating
the "Oklahoma Ethanol Development Study Act."
-HB 1633 by Rep. Joe Sweeden, requiring
certain conduct and procedures for conducting a prescribed burn.
-HB 1801 by Rep. Kevin Cox modifies
circumstances for which a new uninsured motorist coverage form is
required for fleet coverage.
-HB 1804 by Rep. Jim Glover provides
for application for representation by the Oklahoma Indigent Defense
Governor Keating signed the following
House measures into law on Tuesday:
-HB 1499 by Rep. Loyd Benson delays
the implementation of several education programs until the current
per pupil expenditure reaches at least 90 percent of the regional
-HB 1639 by Rep. Curt Roggow relates
to motor vehicles and adds certain road provisions regarding construction
- The Senate approved the following measures
-HB 1092 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson
would repeal a state law banning students from taking wireless telecommunications
devices to school. The new legislation would allow local schools
to set their own policies on cell phones and pagers.
-SB 753 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson would
create a $5 fee to be added to all criminal fines and traffic violation
tickets in order to help OSBI reduce its backlog of nearly 5000
cases awaiting forensic tests.
-SR 16 by Sen. Nancy Riley declares
Saturday, May 12, 2001 as Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.
The House of Representatives approved
the following measures on Wednesday:
-SB 702 by Rep. Ray Miller increases
pay for specific state employees, including corrections workers,
nurses, and highway technicians. The measure also increases the
amount the state pays for employee insurance.
-HCR 1033 by Rep. Wayne Pettigrew expresses
the regret of the Oklahoma Legislature for the wrongful incarceration
of Jeffrey Todd Pierce. Pierce was freed from prison after new DNA
tests showed he was innocent some 15 years after he was convicted
on a charge of first-degree rape.
Thursday, May 10th
- 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 14th. As of next Monday, there will be two
weeks remaining in the 2001 legislative session.
- Senator Kelly Haney said the appropriation
for a special program to enable new DNA tests for certain individuals
would be triple the amount of last year's appropriation. Senator Haney
said a man freed this week after such test proved his innocence would
not have been possible had the legislature not created the program
last year. He said increased resources were needed to investigate
additional questionable convictions.
Rep. Opio Toure announced his plans
to amend the Governmental Tort Claims Act to allow inmates wrongfully
convicted of a crime to be compensated. Toure said under current
law, citizens who are wrongfully imprisoned are prohibited from
receiving any monetary compensation for their years of imprisonment.