The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
For the week of Monday, February 25 to Thursday, February 28, 2002

Monday, February 25th

  • Having concluded initial committee action on legislation from the house of origin, attention now focused on bills being heard on the Senate Floor. On Monday several bills were considered by the Senate, which approved the following:

    -SB 1502 by Sen. Keith Leftwich, which increases the fines for prostitutes, pimps and customers. It would also make the crime of prostitution a felony if it occurred within 1,000 feet of a school or church.

    -SB 917 by Sen. Keith Leftwich would require inmates who escape from jail to reimburse the county sheriff's office for the actual costs required for apprehension and return, unless such costs are paid from the Governor's Contingency and Emergency Fund, and in such case the reimbursement may be paid to such a fund.

    -SB 1262 by Sen. Glenn Coffee would make communications made to a relative or an individual expressing sympathy or condolences inadmissible for civil court cases.

    -HB 2300 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson would prohibit a deferred sentence for indecent exposure and add sexual assault to the list of crimes for which registration is required.

    -SB 563 by Sen. Penny Williams concerns schools relating to parent education programs. The measure would provide that in evaluating new funding requests, priority consideration be given to programs demonstrating the greatest need combined with the greatest commitment of community, foundation and corporate support.

    -SB 835 by Sen. Charles Ford would authorize school districts to issue diplomas to graduates of the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics.

    -SB 981 by Sen. Jerry Smith would prohibit court clerks from being subject to subpoena in matters relating to court records unless the court makes a specific finding that the appearance and testimony of the court clerk are both material and necessary because of a written objection to the introduction of the court records made by a party prior to trial.

    -SB1240 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson would allow periodic checks of inventory by the Department of Central Services and require the department to report missing equipment.

    -SB 1461 by Sen. Larry Dickerson would require employers of employees who are members of the immediate family of a victim of violent crime to provide unpaid leave to attend judicial or other proceedings directly related to the violent crime.

    -SB 931 by Sen. Glenn Coffee would prohibit the printing of more than the last five digits or the expiration date of a consumer's account number on credit or debit card receipts.

    -SB 1000 by Sen. Scott Pruitt would permit the county commissioners to adopt certain ordinances relating to adult entertainment establishments and regulate sexually oriented businesses.

  • Likewise, attention was focused on the House floor on Monday. Among those bills winning approval:

    -HB 2772 by Rep. Fred Perry and Rep Sue Tibbs would require proof of identity when voting and allows for the signature of a sworn statement as a substitute for photo identification.

    -HB 2273 by Rep. Carolyn Coleman requires an applicant for employment at a school district to sign a statement authorizing disclosure of unprofessional conduct.

    -HB 2301 by Rep. David Braddock expands circumstances which shall constitute lewd proposals to a child to include proposals to persons an individual believes to be under 16 years of age. The bill also states that no defense can be constituted based on the fact that an undercover operative or law enforcement officer was involved in the detection or investigation of an offense relating to lewd or indecent proposals to a child.

    -HB 2699 by Rep. Dale Wells enacts Bryar Wheeler Act, specifies certain conditions related to court-ordered supervised visitation and creates the Oklahoma Child Supervised Visitation program.

    -HB 2796 by Rep. David Braddock and Rep. Bill Case provides for regulation under the Oklahoma Telecommunications Act of 1997 and requires the Corporation Commission to uniformly regulate all providers of high-speed internet access service or broadband service.

    -HB 2084 by Rep. Ron Kirby adds offenders who are under arrest or detained for federal felony or misdemeanor violations or detained for a violation of immigration laws to the list of those who may be held in a minimum security private prison.

Tuesday, February 26th

  • The Senate approved more than 100 bills on Tuesday, many of them appropriations measures although they do not yet contain exact numbers. Several substantive measures were considered as well. Among those bills receiving approval:

    -SB 1428 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols and Sen. Billy Mickle would remove the statute of limitations for filing charges in certain sex crimes when DNA from the crime had been preserved.

    -SB 900 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield removes the 18-month service requirement from legislation that allows school districts to grant high school diplomas to World War II veterans.

    -SB 1462 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson increases limitation on out-of-state teaching experience related to the teacher minimum salary schedule and repeals duplicate legislation related to the minimum salary schedule. The bill would make five years of out-of-state teaching experience maximum applicable for retirement, and 10 years for the purpose of state salary increments.

    -SB 966 by Sen. Bernest Cain requires the Department of Public Safety to provide an alternative method of testing a driver license applicant's eyesight, ability to interpret and understand highway signs displayed in international symbols, knowledge of state traffic laws, and ability to operate a motor vehicle for persons 18 or older who only Spanish.

    -SB 817 by Sen. Gilmer Capps modifies the income tax credit for space transportation vehicle providers.

  • In the House a measure by Rep. Opio Toure to prohibit the execution of people with severe developmental disabilities failed 46-50. Other measures winning approval on the House floor:

    -HB 2215 by Rep. Kevin Cox creates the Bully Prevention Act; requiring policies to prevent bullying in schools.

    -HB 2073 by Rep. Larry Rice extends tax exemptions for persons furnishing water, heat, light or power to the state or its citizens from December 31, 2002 to December 31, 2007. Committee Substitute passed by committee that would modify applicability of exemption to certain entities.

    -HB 2035 by Rep. Elmer Maddux makes the theft of farm animals a felony punishable by confinement in the State Penitentiary for a term of not less than six months and not more than ten years, depending on the type of animal stolen.

Wednesday, February 27th

  • The full Senate approved a measure that would create a sales tax holiday aimed at helping Oklahoma merchants better compete with those in Texas. SB 816 by Senator Johnnie Crutchfield would exempt up to $100 worth of clothing and footwear from sales tax during a three-day period over the first weekend in August. Other legislation winning approval on Wednesday in the Senate included:

    -SB 938 by Sen. Robert Kerr provides exception to hunting and fishing license requirements for any person under eighteen years of age who is in the physical custody of a child care facility.

    -SB 972 by Sen. Herb Rozell would require a "scenic river area" to be restored to its original pristine condition. The bill requires reports from the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Agriculture, the Conservation Commission and Scenic Rivers Commission and makes additional requirements of each.

    -SB 1631 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield would provide remediation for third through eighth grade students who are not performing up to their grade level in math.

    -SB 908 by Sen. Paul Muegge would designate milk as the state beverage.

    -SB SB 1248 by Sen. Mike Morgan provides special license plates for the FFA.

    -SB 882 by Sen. Angela Monson permits the release of otherwise confidential information to public housing agencies for determining eligibility.

    -SB Sen. Frank Shurden modifies the procedure for deposit of REAP funds that exceed the total amount appropriated for the fiscal year.

    -SB 1564, by Sen. James Williamson expands powers relating to child support collection, visitation, or other court orders regarding minor children to include any court in this state.

    -SB 1348 by Sen. Rick Littlefield would prohibit concentrated animal feeding operation or poultry feeding operation which would be located in a certain area.

  • The House approved a measure aimed at fully funding health insurance for state teachers. HB 1968 by Rep. Kenneth Corn would cost an estimated $100 million in FY 2003. Other measure approved by the House on Wednesday included:

    -HB HB 2833 by Rep. Terry Ingmire modifies the definition of a false or bogus check.

    -HB 2010 by Rep. Richard Phillips clarifies requirements for parties entering into a consumer credit agreement, stating that the seller in a revolving account must inform the buyer of delinquent charges on the account as they are imposed and of the full amount the buyer must pay for the applicable period in order to remain current on the account.

    -HB 2803 by Rep. Kevin Cox prohibits any person from interfering with the operation of a school bus and requires inspection of all school related transportation equipment.

    -HB 2414 by Rep. Jim Newport prohibits motor vehicles from approaching within 15 feet of individuals who are wholly or partially blind, wholly or partially deaf or physically handicapped and using a service dog.

    -HB 2195 By Rep. Bill Mitchell makes it unlawful to send unsolicited mail which is harmful to minors.

    -HB 2253 by Rep. Joe Eddins establishes the Oklahoma Medicaid Accountability and Outcomes Act, requires the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board to enter into a contract for a study of the Oklahoma State Medicaid Program.

Thursday, February 21st

  • The Senate convened at 9 a.m. and continued working through bills on general order. Among those measure winning approval:

    -SB 982 by Sen. Robert M. Kerr requiring a driver license or identification card to be fingerprinted for proof of identity.

    -SB 1468 by Sen. Jim Maddox creating the "Healthy Oklahoman Prescription Benefit Program Act," which would expand Medicaid pharmaceutical benefits to elderly and disabled Oklahomans otherwise ineligible for full Medicaid benefits, contingent upon availability of funding.

    The Senate will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 4th. The deadline for final floor action for measures from the house of origin is Thursday, March 14th.

Other News

  • Saying he had accomplished his major goals as a State Senator, Paul Mueggee announced he planned to retire from the legislature when his term ends this year. The 65 year old Tonkawa Democrat has represented Alfalfa, Grant, Kay, Major and Woods Counties for the past 12 years. His efforts to strengthen regulations on corporate pig and poultry farming resulted in being named "Public Official of the Year" by Governing Magazine. Mueggee, a farmer and rancher said he planned to remain in Tonkawa with his wife Nancy and looked forward to spending more time with his children and grandchildren.