The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
For the week of Monday, May 14 to Thursday, May 18, 2001

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Other News

 

Monday, May 14th

  • As of Monday, May 14th, there were two weeks remaining in the legislative session. Work continued on conference committee reports and within General Conference Committee on Appropriations subcommittees. In addition to several appropriations bills, and more than 30 executive nominations to various agency governing boards and commissions, the following measures were approved by the full Senate:

    -SB 439 by Sen. James Maddox which allows schools to ban anyone who interferes with the peaceful conduct of activities at an institution of learning from that campus. The bill also requires the governing board of each institution of learning to establish an appeals process for persons directed to leave the institution under this section of law.

    -SB 119 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield extends the current gross production tax structure.

    -SB SB 3 by Sen. Paul Muegge requires retirees eligible for special license plates to provide proof of eligibility upon initial application.

    -SCR 9 by Sen. Keith Leftwich declares August 2001 as Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month.

    -SCR 32 by Sen. Cal Hobson authorizes the University of Oklahoma to issue revenue bonds for the construction of new student facilities.

    -SCR 33 by Sen. Cal Hobson authorizes OU to issue revenue bonds for the construction of a new research facility.

    -HCR 1019 by Sen. Sam Helton memorializes Congress and the President to fulfill the obligation to maintain their commitment to America's military retirees by providing certain health care for certain retirees.

    -HCR 1015 by Sen. Penny Williams urges the President and Congress to fulfill the obligation to provide adequate funding for special education.

    -SB 170 by Sen. Angela Monson allows for a check-off on the state income tax form for donations to the Oklahoma School for the Blind and School for the Deaf.

    -SR 15 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson praises the 45th Infantry Division and thanks the citizens and officials of Fremifontaine, France, for honoring those soldiers.

    -SCR 21 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols praises the OU women's softball team for winning the 2000 national championship.

    -SB 79 by Sen. Mike Morgan provides procedures for financial institutions to repossess property of decedents.

  • For only the second time in state history, there was an attempt to oust the Speaker of the House. On Monday, Rep. Kevin Calvey made a motion to declare the position of Speaker of the House vacant, but the motion failed on a 50-50 vote. Not voting was Rep. Loyd Benson, who was out of town but he said he would have opposed the measure. The first and only successful attempt at ousting a sitting Speaker was aimed at Jim Barker in 1989. Other legislative measures approved by the full House on Monday included:

    -HB 1084 by Rep. Mike Wilt prohibits appeal bond for drug manufacturing or sexual abuse of a child.

    -HB 1090 by Rep. Chris Benge requires state agencies to reciprocate bidding preferences given by other states or nations.

    -HB 1134 by Rep. Richard Phillips modifies provisions of the Oklahoma Real Estate License Code.

    -HB 1200 by Rep. Mike Ervin creates the Oklahoma Military Base Closure Prevention Task Force.

    -HB 1224 by Rep. M.C. Leist provides a requirement for county assessors.

    -HB 1433 by Rep. Barbara Staffs exempts school districts from certain reporting and filing requirements.

    -HB 1702 by Rep. Al Lindley relates to income tax liability providing procedure for joint returns.

    -HCR 1001 by Rep. Russ Roach relates to Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles.

    -HJR 1001 by Rep. Forrest Claunch calls for a vote of the people on a Constitutional Amendment exempting storm shelters from ad valorem taxation.

    -SB 91 by Rep. Lloyd Fields modifies procedures relating to improving operating or maintaining equipment of public roads by rural water districts.

    -SCR 15 by Rep. Dale Wells authorizes the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges on behalf of Langston University to issue revenue bonds.

    -SCR 19 by Rep. Dale Wells authorizes the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges on behalf of Oklahoma State University to issue revenue bonds. The resolution passed on a voice vote.



Tuesday, May 15th

  • On Tuesday, the Senate members of GCCA approved approximately 18 budget bills. Measures being approved by the full Senate included:

    -SB 674 by Sen. Keith Leftwich is known as the Compete with Canada Film Act and would triple the highest incentive of any state in the country. The bill provides rebates for film industry expenditures on everything from hiring local talent to props and wardrobe. There is no restriction on the size of a film's budget but a $2 million cap is in place for all rebates in a fiscal year. The bill was amended in the House to prohibit the rebate from applying to X-rated films.

    -SB 459 by Sen. Frank Shurden renames a portion of State Highway 9 the J.M. Bailey Highway.

    -SB 619 by Sen. Mike Morgan is the redistricting bill that contains the new Senate Boundaries. The bill passed unanimously.

    -SB 377 by Sen. Angela Monson amends various sections of the Oklahoma Nursing Practice Act.

    -SB 207 by Sen. Kelly Haney is an appropriation bill setting budget limits for the Office of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor.

    -SR 17 by Sen. Stratton Taylor urges public and private entities to take action to stop the Fox Network from airing promotional material inappropriate for family viewing during the broadcast of sporting events.

  • Governor Frank Keating signed the following Senate measures on Tuesday:

    -SB 702 by Sen. Stratton Taylor and Rep. Mike Mass is a $36 million pay raise bill aimed at specific classifications of state employees with high turnover rates, including corrections, nurses and other patient-care positions. The measure also increases the percentage paid by the state for employee insurance benefits.

    -SB 40 by Sen. Gilmer Capps changes the name of the Oklahoma Aeronautics and Space Commission to the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission.

    -SB 248 by Sen. Cal Hobson directs the transfer of certain property from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority.

  • Tuesday the House of Representatives approved a measure to transfer authority for raising tuition from the legislature to the Regents for Higher Education for a five-year period. SB 596 by Rep. Bill Nations sets a ceiling of 7 percent on annual resident tuition increases and 9 percent for nonresident students. Other measures approved by the House included:

    -HB 1724 by Rep. Larry Rice relating to the appointment of a certified appraiser to a three-member panel to negotiate oil and gas surface damages.

    -HB 1033 by Rep. Gary Taylor relates to the general powers of the board of county commissioners, authorizing the use of county funds and resources for environmental remediation.

    -HB 1070 by Rep. Bill Mitchell modifies the State Travel Reimbursement Act.

    -HB 1097 by Rep. Elmer Maddux allows for a lodging tax under certain conditions.

    -HB 1138 by Rep. Dan Webb requires revocation of driving privilege for unauthorized use of a driver's license.

    -HB 1934 by Rep. Opio Toure which establishes the Racial and Social Economic Statistical Analysis on Imprisonment Task Force.

    -SB 341 by Rep. Russ Roach creates the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences and the Oklahoma Rural Health Policy and Research Center, and changes the name of the college of Osteopathic Medicine.

  • Governor Keating signed the following House measures into law on Tuesday:

    -HJR 1033 by Rep. Fred Morgan, which officially sets September 25, 2001 as the date for a statewide vote on right to work.

    -HB 1092 by Rep. Mike Wilt allows local school districts to establish policies regarding the possession of telecommunication devices by students.

    -HB 1217 by Rep. Dale Turner creates the Oklahoma Ethanol Development Study Act and the Oklahoma Ethanol Development Advisory Committee.

    -HB 1633 by Rep. Joe Sweeden provides legislative intent for prescribed burning and fires.

    -HB 1801 by Rep. Kevin Cox relates to uninsured motorist coverage and modifies the circumstances for which a new form is required for fleet coverage.

    -HB 1804 by Rep. Jim Glover modifies provisions relating to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building revolving Fund.



Wednesday, May 16th

  • The Senate considered close to 40 measures on Wednesday. Those being approved included:

    -HJR 1001 by Sen. Jim Reynolds would send to a vote of the people a constitutional amendment providing a tax exemption for storm shelters. The exemption would apply to shelters of up to 100 square feet built after January 1, 2002.

    -HB 1084 by Sen. Sam Helton adds manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance and sexual abuse of a child to the current list of 11 felony crimes for which appeal bond is already prohibited.

    -CCR SB 128 by Sen. Sam Helton relates to observance of Veteran's Day in public schools and authorizes the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance.

    -CCR HB 1156 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson would require new OSBI agents and criminalists to serve a 12-month probationary period.

    -CCR HB 1702 by Sen. Angela Monson concerns tax liabilities on joint returns, protecting innocent spouses in cases of separation or divorce.

    -CCR SB 680 by Sen. Keith Leftwhich creates the State Employee Advocacy Rights Act. The Act would allow employee organizations to use email to contact state employees and hold meetings on state grounds during non-business hours.

  • The House of Representatives considered more than fifteen measures on Wednesday. Among those approved:

-SB 217 by Rep. Mike Mass makes appropriations to the office of State Finance, the Oklahoma Tax Commission, the office of the State Treasurer, and the State Auditor and Inspector.

-SB 222 by Rep. Mike Mass makes appropriations to the Merit Protection Commission and to the Office of Personnel Management.

-SB 230 by Rep. Mike Mass makes appropriations to the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth, the Office of Handicapped Concerns, the Oklahoma Human Rights commission and the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission.

-SB 235 by Rep. Mike Mass makes appropriations to the Department of Human Services, the State Department of Rehabilitation Services and to the office of Juvenile Affairs.

-HB 1072 by Rep. Bill Mitchell requests the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma to create a cancer research and treatment center.

-SB 3 by Rep. Ron Kirby requires persons eligible for special auto license plates to provide proof of eligibility upon initial application.

-HB 1935 by Rep. Opio Toure authorizes the court to instruct a jury regarding the meaning of life without parole in criminal cases.



Thursday, May 17th

  • The Senate considered more than 30 bills on Thursday. Among those being approved:

    -CCR SB 46 by Sen. Scott Pruitt adds to the definition of materials harmful to minors to include sexually explicit computer software or video games.

    -CCR HB 1374 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson gives the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation original jurisdiction over computer crimes.

    -CCR SB 614 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson authorizes the council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) to appoint an advisory committee to recommend requirements for licensing private investigators and security guards. The bill also requires CLEET-certified officers to be at least 21 years old.

    -CCR SB 9 by Sen. Angela Monson makes adjustments to the law requiring licensed professionals to be in compliance with state income taxes before their license is renewed.

    -CCR SB 149 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson creates a Task Force on State Scholarship and Student Aid Grant Programs.

    -CCR SB 225 by Sen. Kelly Haney is an appropriation bill setting budget limits for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and Oklahoma Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association.

    -CCR SB 225 by Sen. Kelly Haney is an appropriation bill setting budget limits for the Department of Environmental Quality, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and the Department of Mines.

    -SCR 36 by Sen. Jerry Smith authorizes Tulsa Community College to issue up to $12 million in revenue bonds to fund the construction of a new student center.

    -CCR SB 118 by Sen. Angela Monson relates to bank and trust companies and modifies requirements for duplication of financial records, for certificates of deposit payable on death and for reimbursement for costs.

    -CCR SB 134 by Sen. Angela Monson requires the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board to immediately provide coverage for any new drug for Medicaid recipients.

    -CCR SB 388 by Sen. Penny Williams authorizes standard certification for teachers holding national board certification.

    -CCR SB 675 by Sen. Bernest Cain addresses child support orders and the Centralized Support Registry.

    -CCR HB 1074 by Sen. Gene Stipe adds to the practices that are unlawful under the Consumer Protection Act.

    -CCR HB 1389 by Sen. Paul Muegge authorizes the Department of Environmental Quality to receive certain reimbursement related to the Waste Tire Recyclying Indemnity fund.

    -SCR 37 by Sen. Ted Fisher encourages the teaching and learning of Native American languages.

    -CCR SB 239 by Sen. Kelly Haney for the State Regents for Higher Education.

    -CCR HB 1515 by Sen. Stratton Taylor is the bill that creates the Oklahoma House of Representatives districts.

  • The House considered nearly 40 measures on Thursday. Among those approved:

    -CCR HB 1515 by Rep. Larry Adair creates the Oklahoma House of Representatives Districts.

    -HB 1086 by Rep. Bill Mitchell modifies provisions regarding commercial vehicles.

    -HB 1106 by Rep. M.C. Leist creates the Oklahoma Public Guardianship Act and Office of Public Guardian within the Department of Human Services.

    -HB 1266 by Rep. Fred Perry increases fines for soliciting sexual conduct with a minor.

    -HCR 1007 by Rep. Mary Easley designates a portion of State Highway 11 as Pearl Harbor Expressway.

    -SB 4 by Rep. Joe Eddins modifies class of vehicles for which certificates of title may be issued without payment of vehicle excise tax.

    -SB 207 by Rep. Mike Mass makes appropriations to the Office of the Governor and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

    -HB 1569 by Rep. Mike Mass modifies budget limits for the Supreme Court and District Attorneys Council.

    -HB 1539 by Rep. Mike Mass contains appropriations for the Court of Criminal Appeals, the District Courts, the Council of Judicial Complaints and to the Supreme Court.

    -SB 647 by Rep. Susan Winchester creates the Oklahoma film enhancement rebate program.



Friday, May 18th

  • The State Senate and the House of Representatives continued working through remaining conference committee reports and appropriations measures. Among those measures gaining approval by the full Senate:

    -SB 784 by Sen. Grover Campbell allows the Pardon and Parole Board to parole inmates to community sentencing. Also allows for compassionate parole for certain inmates over the age of 65.

    -SB 444 by Sen. Frank Shurden prohibits law officers from handcuffing or arresting an individual for violation of the state's mandatory seat belt law.

    -HB 1525 by Sen. Rick Littlefield makes an appropriation to the State Banking Department, Commission on Consumer Credit and the Oklahoma Securities Commission.

    -SCR 41 by Sen. Stratton Taylor honoring Governor Henry Bellmon for his many years of public service and congratulating him on his upcoming 80th birthday.

    -HB 1539 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson contains appropriations for the Court of Criminal Appeals, the District Courts, the Council of Judicial Complaints and to the Supreme Court.

    -HB 1545 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson contains appropriations for the Attorney General, the District Attorneys' Council and Indigent Defense System.

    -HB 1548 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson establishes a forensic testing revolving fund at the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System. Also sets salaries for certain court reporters.

    -HB 1556 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson contains appropriations for the Department of Corrections and the Pardon and Parole Board.

  • The Senate adjourned at about 3:30 p.m. to enable members to continue work on measures in the General Conference Committee on Appropriations. The Senate will reconvene at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 21st.



Other News

  • Senate President Pro Tempore Stratton Taylor, House Speaker Larry Adair and Governor Frank Keating announced a major agreement had been made on the budget for the coming fiscal year as well as a tax cuts package. The agreement calls for a reduction in the state income tax rate from 6.75% to 6.65%, with a savings to taxpayers of $23.8 million. It would also create a state earned income tax credit program. Working families earning less than approximately $32,000 a year and individuals earning less than approximately $10,000 would be eligible for this break, with $22.5 million a year being returned to eligible Oklahomans. The agreement also calls for an additional $109 million for education.

  • The 270-foot tower crane that will lift building materials for the new Capitol Dome is now in place and construction on the structure will begin May 29th. The 5 million-pound dome will be 157 feet high and 80 feet in diameter. On top of the structure will be a 17-foot high statue of a Native American warrior created by State Senator and Seminole artist Kelly Haney. The structure should be complete by Statehood Day, November 16, 2002.



Index