The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
For the week of Monday, April 15 to Thursday, April 18, 2002

Monday, April 15th

  • With the April 25th deadline for floor action on measures from the opposite chamber two weeks away, the full Senate continued to work through House measures on general order. Among those measures winning approval on Monday by the full Senate:

    -HB 2635 by Sen. Angela Monson would prohibit the execution of persons with a severe developmental disability, measured by having an IQ of less than 70. The measure also mandates the condition to have been diagnosed before the defendant turned 18.

    -HB 2895 by Sen. Kevin Easley would put a two year moratorium on the sale of water outside Oklahoma and create the Statewide Water Policy Planning Commission.

    -HB 2567 by Sen. Kelly Haney and Sen. Cal Hobson provides a $9.82 million supplemental appropriation for the State Department of Corrections.

    -HB 2246 by Sen. Glenn Coffee would authorize courts to order assault and battery defendants to participate in treatment programs, prohibit domestic abuse by strangulation and prohibit the collection of court costs from the victim.

    -HB 2795 by Sen. Mark Snyder would require at least three persons to be assigned to work on oil field fraud investigations through the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and grant an additional two full-time-equivalent employees to investigate oil field theft as well as fraud.

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

    -HB 2796 by Rep. David Braddock would deregulate broadband communication. The measure now goes to Governor Keating for final approval.

    -SB 1326 by Rep. Jim Glover modifies the Oklahoma Horse Racing Act, deleting limits on the number of out-of-state races on which simulcast wagers may be made on days when no live racing is conducted and deleting criteria for a full racing program.

    -SB 917 by Rep. John Nance relates to fugitives from justice. The bill would require them to reimburse the costs for apprehension to the county sheriff.

    -SB 935 by Rep. John Nance exempts tangible personal property sales made at estate sales from sales tax.

    -SB 1425 by Rep. Stuart Ericson changes punishment for a second offense of the crimes of rape, forcible sodomy, lewd molestation and sexual abuse of a child to life without parole.

  • The following measures were signed into law by Governor Frank Keating on Monday, including the following:

    -SB 950 by Sen. Keith Leftwich and Rep. Bill Paulk creates the Telemarketer Restriction Act which authorizes the Attorney General's Office to set up a no-call list aimed at stopping unsolicited calls from telemarketers.

    -HB 23349 by Rep. Mark Liotta and Sen. Scott Pruitt creates the "State Waters Protection Act" to prohibit poultry operations from locating or relocating near floodplains.

    -HB 2037 by Rep. Elmer Maddux and Sen. Owen Laughlin dealing with the operation of all-terrain vehicles on public streets and highways.

    -HB 2074 by Rep. Larry Rice and Sen. Dick Wilkerson clarifying language relating to anhydrous ammonia, adding "pipeline" to the list of anhydrous ammonia paraphernalia that may not be tampered with by an unauthorized person. The measure also makes attempted theft of anhydrous ammonia a punishable offense and creates a minimum imprisonment of five years for any person tampering with anhydrous systems.

    -HB 2174 by Rep. Mary Easley and Sen. Dick Wilkerson will require a minimum two hours of elderly abuse training and education for law enforcement certification. The measure will modify the amount of hours required for certification of full-time officers.

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

    -SB 1292 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield and Rep. Paul Roan makes it illegal to park on state properties in Oklahoma and Tulsa Counties. It also authorizes a fine, immobilization of vehicles and sets penalties.

Tuesday, April 16th

  • The Governor signed SB 1553, by Senator Ben Robinson and Representative Ray Vaughn into law. The measure bans smoking in state-owned or leased buildings, except in designated areas with separate ventilation systems. In another heavy day of floor action, the following were among those measures receiving Senate approval on Tuesday:

    -SB 1502 by Sen. Keith Leftwich would increase penalties for prostitution. First time offense would result in a fine of $2,500; $5,000 for a second offense and a fine of $7,500 for subsequent offenses.

    -HB 2637 by Sen. Brad Henry which would allow claims against the state for wrongful imprisonment on a felony conviction and add a retroactive and prospective liability limit under the Governmental Tort Claims Act, with a cap of $200,000.

    -HB 2886 by Sen. Mike Morgan would modify core curriculum requirements needed for high school graduation, allowing courses in math and science taught at Career-techs to count toward requirements.

    -HB 2352 by Sen. Penny Williams would prohibit the use by an employer of an employee's social security number without permission of the employee.

    -HB 2020 by Sen. Mike Morgan would alter and clarify investments permissible for a local board of education activity fund. The measure would also allow school districts to lease property to nonprofit organizations.

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

    -SB 1428 by Rep. Stuart Ericson removes 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 and is properly maintained.

    - SB 1286 by Rep. Hopper Smith modifies amount of tax due on certain capitol gains.

    -SB 972 by Rep. Jim Wilson requires a "scenic river area" to be restored to its original pristine condition, requiring reports from certain state agencies.

    -SB 1350 by Rep. Jari Askins requires an address other than a post office box to change voter registration, changes requirements for receiving bids for the printing of ballots.

    -SB 563 by Rep. Joe Eddins authorizes schools to recommend a vision examination of certain students.

Wednesday, April 17th

  • On Wednesday, Governor Keating signed SB 1553 into law. The measure, by Senator Ben Robinson and Representative Ray Vaughn bans smoking in all state government buildings. Among those measures winning full approval in the State Senate:

    -HB 1968 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield, creating the Larry Dickerson Education Flexible Benefits Allowance Act. The measure would raise the portion of insurance paid by the state and local districts from 50 percent to 75 percent for teachers during the coming fiscal year, and to 100 percent the following year. The payment for support staff would increase from 90 percent to 100 percent.

    -HB 2218 by Sen. Penny Williams modifies staffing requirements of nursing homes, requiring facilities to maintain direct-care, 24-hour staffing levels based on an overall 2.41 hours a day per for each occupied bed.

    -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 2921 by Sen. Mike Morgan authorizes an address confidentiality program for victims of domestic abuse, assault or stalking.

  • The following were among the measure approved by the full House on Wednesday:

    -SB 955 by Rep. Stuart Ericson prohibits youthful offenders from possessing firearms.

    -SB 1631 by Rep. Barbara Staggs provides mathematics remediation for certain third through eighth grade students, requiring satisfactory mathematics ability at the eighth-grade level to obtain driver license.

    -SB 1464 by Rep. Greg Piatt increases certain fees and punishments for uninsured motorists.

    -SB 2610 by Rep. Hopper Smith modifies provisions regarding the release of juvenile records.

    -SB 1364 by Rep. Jari Askins allows for sick leave transfer between employees in different state entities.

Thursday, April 18th

  • The Senate continued working through House measures awaiting floor action. The Senate will reconvene at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, April 22nd.

Other News

  • Governor Frank Keating announced that when his term of office expires in January, he will become president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers in Washington, D.C. Keating will succeed Carroll Campbell, the former governor of South Carolina and a former U.S. Congressman who served for seven years as ACLI president.

  • Senate President Pro Tempore Stratton Taylor announced a proposal on congressional redistricting. Taylor said the plan would preserve historic communities of interest, retain the flavor of the existing districts and complies with all of the one-man, one-vote requirements. Because the state's population did not increase at the same rate as other states, Oklahoma is losing one congressional seat.

  • Republican Senate leaders and congressional delegation members criticized the plan, saying it would not offer the best representation possible for all areas of the state and would not protect the seniority of Oklahoma's delegation. However Taylor pointed out his plan retains the historic structure of the current districts and preserves communities of interest while Governor Keating's plan would destroy the 2nd and 3rd districts, combining the bulk of their territories into one district. If the Taylor plan were enacted, incumbents Frank Lucas of the 6th district and Ernest Istook of the 5th district would be forced to run against each other to represent the new 5th district.