For the week of Monday, March
18 to Thursday, March 21, 2002
Monday, March 18th
- With the amended March 21 deadline for
third reading on measures from the House of Origin approaching, floor
action in both chambers was heavy. Among those measures winning approval
in the Senate:
-SB 834 by Sen. Bernest Cain modifies the amount of standard deduction
used to compute state income taxes and specifies the tax years for
which the modified amount may be used. Cain said the bill would increase
Oklahoma's standard deduction to mirror the federal level, a move
that would have an estimated $75 million fiscal impact to the state
in 2003 and a $187 million fiscal impact in 2004.
-SB 1651 by Sen. Glenn Coffee would establish a Violence Prevention
Education Week and authorize the State Department of Education to
create a special website with information on violent or adult content
in films, TV programs and video games.
-SJR 41 by Sen. James Williamson submits to the voters a proposal
to authorize local school districts to approve up to five additional
mills for the district. The bill directs that 10 percent of the revenue
generated from the millage increase be placed into a state revolving
fund for appropriation by the legislature.
-SB 987 by Sen. Frank Shurden allows rape in the first degree to be
punishable with a sentence ranging from five years in prison to life
-SB 931 by Sen. Glenn Coffee prohibits 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. The bill would not apply to credit
card machines currently in use, but only to new machines that were
brought on line.
-SB 1658 by Sen. Scott Pruitt modifies language concerning the use
of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds by expanding the
types of services that may be provided pursuant to contract to include
the offering of courses in English as a second language. The bill
also expands the list of providers to include faith-based organizations.
-SCR 48, by Sen. Gene Stipe authorizes the Department of Corrections
to create a special care unit for geriatric inmates.
-SB1425 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols changes punishment for a second offense
of rape, forcible sodomy, lewd molestation or sexual abuse of a child
to life without parole.
-SB 1638 by Sen. Brad Henry requires DNA evidence samples to be taken
and entered into the OSBI DNA database for felons and repeals a duplicate
section of legislation.
- Likewise, attention was focused on the
House floor on Monday. Among those bills winning approval:
-HB 2637 by Rep. Opio Toure provides
claims for wrongful imprisonment on a felony conviction and adds a
retroactive and prospective liability limit under the Governmental
Tort Claims Act.
-HB 2651 by Rep. John Wright is
aimed at giving greater legislative oversight on state agency rules
-HB 2304 by Rep. Russ Roach authorizes
the Department of Human Services to take certain children into emergency
custody, requiring certain placement of at-risk infants and creating
a maternal drug court program.
-HB 2142 by Rep. Opio Toure enacts
the Oklahoma Cloning Prohibition Act, defines terms relating to cloning,
makes certain activities unlawful, requires registration of individuals
intending to perform human somatic cell nuclear transfer technology
to register with the State Commissioner of Health and provides penalties
for those participating in unlawful acts relating to cloning.
-HB 2536 by Rep. Jack Bonny and
Rep. Mike Mass would allocate $19 million for the OU weather Center
and $19 million for bioterrorism research at OSU. The legislation
calls for tapping an underground storage tank account at the Corporation
Commission for the funding.
-HB 2886 by Rep. Larry Ferguson
would allow certain vocational classes to count as credit toward a
high school diploma.
-HB 2810 by Rep. Clay Pope and
Rep. Susan Winchester is a rural stimulus measure featuring transferable
income tax incentives for agricultural producers and a modified tax
exemption for investments in the production of certain oil and gas
Tuesday, March 19th
- The full Senate continued working through
measures on the floor. Among those winning approval on Tuesday:
-SB 1471 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson requires any applicant for employment
with a school district to authorize the release of confirmed information
related to child abuse, child molestation or child pornography along
with any written documentation pertaining to the service record and
performance evaluations. The measure also included an amendment by
Sen. Glenn Coffee requiring public schools to have a moment of silence
each day for thinking, meditation or prayer.
-SB 1328 by Sen. Bernest Cain modifies the Oklahoma Education Interpreter
for the Deaf Act to increase the amount of training required for interpreters.
The bill was amended by the author to allow those that don't meet
all of the new requirements to have three years to obtain the proper
-SB 964 by Sen. Penny Williams would modify the income level necessary
to qualify for additional homestead exemption from $20,000 a year
-SB 1239 by Sen. Jim Maddox would require that telephones at state
agencies be answered by a person during normal business hours of the
-SB 1420 by Sen. Jim Maddox requires a person subject to the Sex Offenders
Registration Act to register with the security and police of institutions
of higher learning.
- Among those measures winning approval
in the House on Tuesday were the following:
-HB 2218 by Rep. Fred Morgan would
authorize "24-hour staffing levels" aimed at giving nursing
homes greater flexibility in staff scheduling.
-HB 2785 by Rep. Jim Glover requires
a nonresident driver to use child passenger restraint systems for
-HB 2619 by Rep. Hopper Smith amends
the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act adding Dichloralphenazone.
-HB 2349 by Rep. Mark Liotta creates
the "State Waters Protection Act" which specifies the minimum
distances from any body of water in the state, including public water
facilities, for poultry feeding and poultry waste operations.
-HB 2178 by Rep. Mary Easley modifies
language concerning group health insurance including the State and
Education Employees Group Insurance Board requiring coverage to be
provided for audiological services and hearing aids for children up
to 16 years of age.
Wednesday, March 20th
- Measures winning approval on Wednesday
in the Senate included:
-SB 1352 by Sen. Kevin Easley deals with establishing land protection
standards for cleanup of non-hazardous materials.
-SB 1553 by Sen. Ben Robinson would ban smoking in the State Capitol
and would prohibit certain businesses from creating smoking sections.
-SB 1506 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson would require the State Department
of Education to conduct an independent evaluation of the state's professional
development programs and create a task force to study and make recommendations
regarding the area of professional development.
-SB 1632 by Sen. Scott Pruitt requires the Department of Human Services
to establish a service delivery system under the Temporary Assistance
for Needy Families Program, providing for redemption of vouchers and
requiring the Department to establish a specified procedure for provision
of services to TANF recipients that included faith-based institutions.
-SB 833 by Sen. Mike Morgan modifies provisions relating to workers'
compensation, limiting the parameters under which independent medical
examiners may perform surgery.
-SB 1544 by Sen. Glenn Coffee authorizes the Oklahoma Aeronautics
Commission to accept title to real and personal property.
- Measure approved by the House on Wednesday
-HB 2090 requiring the state board
of education to establish a one-minute daily observation of silence;
relates to allowing the pledge of allegiance to the United States
flag; authorizes the posting of the nation's motto, "In God We
Trust," and authorizes schools to include patriotic activities
in Veterans Day programs.
-HB 2653 by Rep. Ron Peterson requires
written notice to certain surface owners of mining permits for new
mines or major modifications to existing mines that would expand the
mining area or increase output.
-HB 2246 by Rep. Ron Peters modifies
provisions regarding protective orders relating to domestic abuse
and violent crimes and would authorize courts to order assault and
battery defendants to participate in treatment programs, prohibit
domestic abuse by strangulation and prohibit collection of costs from
Thursday, March 21st
- The Senate continued working through
measures on general order on the final day for floor action on legislation
from the house of origin. The next deadline is April 4th for committee
action on measures from the opposite house.
- On Tuesday Governor Frank Keating signed
HB 2536 by Sen. Cal Hobson and Rep. Charles Gray into law. The legislation
taps the underground storage tank fund at the State Corporation Commission
in order to appropriate $19 million each to the national weather Center
at OU and the bioterrorism research center at OSU.
- After determining there was not enough
support for passage, Senator Brad Henry announced on Wednesday that
he would withdraw SJR 40. The measure would have called for a statewide
vote on a lottery which Henry said would have benefited education.
However Senator Henry said another option for getting the proposal
before the voters would be through an initiative petition.