The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
For the week of Monday, March 25 to Thursday, March 27, 2002

Monday, March 25th

  • Having met the amended March 21st deadline for floor action on bills from the house of origin, attention was focused once again at the committee level with lawmakers working toward an April 4th deadline for action on measures from the opposite chamber. House bills winning approval in various Senate committees included the following:

    -HB 2762 by Sen. Owen Laughlin clarifies language relating to the use of state-owned vehicles and authorizes driver's license examiners to drive state vehicles from a residence to the office.

    -HB 2076 by Sen. Gilmer Capps gives requirements for size, weight and load of vehicles, specifies exception for round-baled hay on specific roads and establishes process for hauling round-baled hay creates license revocation provisions for railroad crossing offenses and requires certain vehicle operators to slow down and make sure tracks are clear.

    -HB 2807 by Sen. Glenn Coffee modifies provisions regarding equipment on vehicles and repeals legislation related to lamps and other lighting equipment on vehicles and legislation related to brakes on vehicles.

    -HB 1290 by Sen. Frank Shurden deals with contracts relating to motor vehicle warranty repair; providing settlement offers by consumers and prohibits installation or reinstallation of any object in lieu of an airbag in vehicles and provides punishments.

    -HB 2335 by Sen. Charles Ford modifies minimum hours in accident prevention courses and establishes minimum course hours and enrollment fee. The measure also establishes minimum course hours and enrollment fee for an accident related defensive driving course.

    -HB 2186 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield specifies which driver should stop at intersections with no stop signs.

    -HB 2375 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield authorizes an officer of any law enforcement agency to deem a vessel abandoned, requiring notification of the removal of vessels. The bill also requires notification to the Department of Public Safety within 72 hours of the removal, and establishes a hearing process for abandoned vessels.

    -HB 2629 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson removes the prohibition for obtaining a driver's license if not registered with the Military Selective Service Act, requires Selective Service System registration to occur upon application for a driver license, and specifies how information will be transmitted.

    -HB 1148 by Sen. Frank Shurden requires names of candidates on ballots to be rotated in such a manner that the names of all candidates appear in each position on the official ballots an equal number of times.

    -HB 2083 by Sen. Jim Maddox requires all plats, deeds or other instruments concerning the subdivision of land within the corporate limits of a municipality to be approved by the municipal planning commission of that municipality before it shall be filed with the county clerk, and specifies requirements for notification of exemption and placement of approval.

    -HB 2086 by Sen. Sam Helton amends the cancellation of voter registration for convicted felons, requiring a court clerk to transmit information to the State Election Board. The measure also removes the restriction limiting voter registration cancellation to only persons convicted of felonies whose convictions have become final.

    -HB 2095 by Sen. Penny Williams authorizes human services centers or social services centers to employ certain pharmacists to manage and operate a pharmacy at such centers.

    -HB 2115 by Sen. Gilmer Capps removes the growing of certain vegetation from the list of property uses that may be restricted by city ordinance within five miles of an active-duty United States Air Force military installation.

    -HB 2225 by Sen. Bruce Price modifies language concerning the power given to county commissioners and provides circumstances for award of sidearm and badge to a spouse or next of kin of deceased officers.

  • Likewise on Monday, attention in the House was also focused at the committee level. Among those bills winning approval:

    -SB 1594 by Rep. Opio Toure states "The Oklahoma Legislature hereby declares that the prevention and prohibition of sexual harassment in all forms in the public policy of this state. The measure was introduced after an Oklahoma judge ruled that current sexual harassment statutes and policies in Oklahoma only apply to employers with 15 or more employees.

    -SB 1743 by Rep. Jari Askins relates to stolen or embezzled property in procession of a pawnbroker. The measure stipulates that while pawnbrokers may be required to return stolen property at a loss, all pawnbrokers would be allowed to seek damages and restitution from those who initiated the illegal transaction.

    -SB 1554 by Rep. Opio Toure would increase the amount which could be deposited for an infant or incompetent person from $500 to $1000.00.

    -SB 1661 by Rep. Debbie Blackburn would expand the circumstances and specify the time frames under which a district attorney is required to file a petition for termination of parental rights, modifies the time for judicial review of a case of a child alleged or adjudicated to be deprived, requires a determination of the most suitable permanency plans based on specified factors, and specifies the conditions and terms under which the Department of Human Services may place a child in an emergency situation.

    -SB 1269 by Rep. Ray Miller changes the name of Fountainhead State Park to Lake Eufaula State Park.

Tuesday, March 26th

  • The Senate continued working through measures in various committees. Among those winning approval on Tuesday:

    -HB 2635 by Sen. Angela Monson would prohibit the execution of individuals found to have a severe developmental disability. The legislation allows for a pretrial hearing for a person charged with capitol murder to determine if he or she has a severe developmental disability.

    -HB 2613 by Sen. Angela Monson would raise the income tax deduction allowed for nonrecurring adoption expenses from $10,000 to $20,000.

    -HB 1979 by Sen. Frank Shurden would authorize donations from income tax refunds to be used for the benefit of the Oklahoma Silver Haired Legislature.

    -HB 2729 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols prohibits requiring employees to use leave for jury duty and grants employees called for jury duty the option of taking either paid leave or leave without pay.

    -HB 2400 by Sen. Glenn Coffee establishes the Victim Protective Order Task Force.

    -HB 2352 by Sen. Penny Williams prohibits the use by an employer of employees' social security numbers without permission of employees except under certain circumstances.

  • Among those measures winning approval in House committees on Tuesday were the following:

    -SB 1428 by Rep. Stuart Ericson would remove the statute of limitations on prosecution for rape, forcible sodomy, lewd molestation of a child or sexual abuse of a child when DNA evidence is collected from the victim or crime scene.

    -SB 906 by Rep. John G. Nance would add ecstasy to the Trafficking in Illegal Drugs Act.

    -SB 987 by Rep. Randall Erwin would allow rape in the first degree to be punishable with a sentence of life or life without parole.

    -SB 1420 by Rep. Ron Kirby would require a person subject to the Sex Offenders Registration to register with the security and police of institutions of higher learning.

    -SB 822 by Rep. M.C. Leist defines terms and criminalizes acts of terrorism, terrorism hoax, biochemical assault, and manufacturing substances with the intent of terrorist activity. The Act states punishments and requires restitution to victims and reimbursement to state and political subdivisions for emergency response costs.

    -SB 950 by Rep. Bill Paulk creates the Telemarketer Restriction Act and requires the Office of the Attorney General to establish a directory of consumers who do not wish to receive unsolicited telemarketing calls.

Wednesday, March 27th

  • The Senate met briefly before adjourning for the week. Committees continued to work through measures on Wednesday in anticipation of the April 4th deadline for action. The Senate did not meet on Thursday in observation of the Easter Holiday. The Senate will reconvene at 1:30 p.m., April 1st.

Other News

  • The Oklahoma Coalition against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault sponsored an event at the State Capitol on Tuesday to draw attention to the problem of domestic violence across the state. About two hundred people, including victims of domestic violence gathered on the second floor rotunda The event featured sixty-four red wooden cutouts of murdered Oklahomans, all victims of domestic violence.

  • Senator Dave Herbert announced he would be shifting his proposal to let the voters decide on a one-cent gas tax bill to a different House Committee. Herbert says the proposal would fund the future of high speed rail for Oklahoma. The measure has won support in the Senate in the past, only to die in committee on the House side. Senator Herbert said he would include the language in SJR 4 which had been assigned to the House Revenue and Taxation Committee to SJR 36, assigned to the House Rules Committee where he said he had been assured the measure would receive a hearing next week.