The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
For the week of Monday, May 13 to Friday, May 17, 2002

Monday, May 13th

  • As of Monday, there were two weeks remaining in the 2002 legislative session. Although the Oklahoma Constitution mandates that the legislature must conclude all business by 5 p.m. on the last Friday in May, the House and Senate agreed to a sine die adjournment one week earlier, on May 24th. On Monday the full Senate approved the following measures:

    -HB 1457 by Sen. Robert Milacek creates the Task Force on Valuation of Gas Gathering System Assets.

    -HB 2487 by Sens. Kelly Haney and Cal Hobson appropriating funds to the State Department of Health.

    -SB 1534 by Sen. Gene Stipe changes the date in which annual reports by railroad corporations to the Corporation Commission are filed. The bill also creates the Railroad Rehabilitation Act, authorizing ODOT to make certain loans.

    -HB 2330 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, setting criteria for determining recreational facilities for purposes of swine feeding operations.

  • Measures receiving approval by the full House on Monday included the following:

    - HB 2479 by Rep. Mike Mass appropriates $49,161,169 to the Oklahoma Tax Commission which represents a 5 percent budget cut.

    -HB 2034 by Rep. Elmer Maddux authorizes sheriffs to form regional task forces to investigate and prevent cattle theft.

    -HB 2911 by Rep. Dennis Adkins relates to the Insurance Commissioner and Insurance Department, modifying criteria for preparation and filing of annual statements.

    -HB 2345 by Rep. Barbara Staggs modifies employment procedures for Oklahoma School for the Blind and Oklahoma School for the Deaf.

    -SB 125 by Rep. Dan Webb establishes the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission as a separate state agency.

  • The Governor signed 10 bills on Monday, most dealing with appropriations for various state entities. He also line-item vetoed SB 1060 which appropriated $3.7 million for the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, a cut, after the removal of last year's one-time funding of 5 percent. In his veto message, the governor stated he had vetoed Section 2 of Senate Bill 1060 because the funds originally appropriated to OETA for the costs of digital conversion should not be redesignated for operating costs for digital television broadcasting, but should remain available to help fund completion of the conversion to digital TV as originally intended.

Tuesday, May 14th

  • Among those measures winning final approval by the Senate:

    -SB 1231 by Sen. Mike Morgan provides a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment for retired Oklahoma teachers, and a 4 percent increase for those educators who taught 30 years or more.

    -SB 826 by Sen. Charles Ford allows incumbents to file resignation on a certain date, authorizes the governor to call a special election to fill the vacancy and provides for the person elected to take office on a specified date and serve the remainder of the term.

    -SCR 77 by Sen. Robert M. Kerr authorizes the Human Services Commission to enter into a multi-year agreement for the replacement of the DHS mainframe computer system.

    -SB 1230 by Sen. Charles Ford allows active members of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System to purchase a credit for no more than four years of non participating temporary service with a participating employer. The measure requires that no purchase may be allowed that would cause more than a year of service to be credited for any given year.

    -SB 1340 by Sen. Mike Morgan allows certain municipalities to privatize enforcement of municipal ordinances relating to parking or standing traffic violations.

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

    -SB 1083 by Rep. Mike Mass appropriates $4,010,797 to the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission, a $211,095 or 5 percent reduction compared to last year's budget.

    -SB 1085 by Rep. Mike Mass appropriates $10,742,452 to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, reflecting a 5 percent budget cut.

    -SB 1098 by Rep. Mike Mass appropriates $2,355,603 to the Pardon and Parole Board, representing cut of 0.9 percent.

    -HB 1146 by Rep. Bill Graves requires names of candidates on ballots 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 2032 by Rep. Larry Rice defines the terms "crime stoppers organization" and "privileged communication" and establishes information provided to crime stoppers organizations as privileged.

Wednesday, May 15th

  • Among those measures winning full approval in the State Senate on Wednesday:

    -SB 1451 By Sen. Cal Hobson allows income tax credit for manufacturers of advanced small wind turbines for use in the production of alternative energy sources.

    -SB 1684 by Sen. Charles Ford renumbers Senate Districts.

    -HB 2316 by Sen. Frank Shurden prohibits possession of substances used as precursor to make methamphetamine, with language detailing exceptions and penalties.

    -SB 935 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols exempts tangible personal property sales made at estate sales from sales taxes.

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

    -HB 1968 by Rep. Kenneth Corn, called the "Larry Dickerson Education Flexible Benefits Allowance Act," increasing the portion of health insurance for teachers and support staff paid by the state and local districts.

    -SB 920 by Rep. Paul Roan requires persons engaged in aquaculture to procure a license from the State Department of Agriculture. The measure also authorizes the department to conduct inspections to determine if commercially produced water species are diseased and could cause contamination in wild fish.

    -HB 2665 by Rep. Doug Miller expands on-call classified state employees eligible to receive a minimum of two hours work if the employee reports to work while on-call.

    -HB 2053 by Rep. John Nance establishes a risk management audit program under the Department of Central Services designed to identify workplace security threats that expose state employees to dangers that could be reduced or eliminated.

  • On Wednesday the Governor signed 12 bills and line-item vetoed 3 appropriations measures, including Section 4 of SB 1038 for the State Banking Department, Section 4 of SB 1042 for the Department of Securities, and Sections 4 and 5 of SB 1047 for the State Insurance Department.

Thursday, May 16th

  • Among those measures winning approval from the Senate on Thursday:

    -SB 1376 by Sen. Mike Morgan would increase the state's dedicated revenue contribution to the Teachers Retirement System from approximately 3.5 percent to 5 percent over a six-year period.

    -SB 1438 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols and Sen. Billy Mickle 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 and is properly maintained.

    -SB 1002 by Sen. Kelly Haney and Sen. Cal Hobson appropriating more than $2 billion for the State Department of Education, reflecting a 1.6 percent cut, but specifying areas within education that would not see a budget decrease.

    -HB 2557 by Sen. Kelly Haney and Sen. Cal Hobson appropriating $15.4 million to the Indigent Defense System.

    -HB 2441 by Sen. Kelly Haney and Sen. Cal Hobson appropriating $166,022 to the Oklahoma Board of Private Vocational Schools.

    -HB 2569 by Sen. Kelly Haney and Sen. Cal Hobson appropriates $1.9 million to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

    -HB 2573 by Sen. Kelly Haney and Sen. Cal Hobson appropriates $1.9 million to the Office of State Fire Marshal.

  • Action in the House included appropriations measures before their GCCA conferees:

    -SB 1002 by Rep. Mike Mass appropriating more than $2 billion for the State Department of Education.

    -HB 2547 by Rep. Mike Mass appropriating $7,126,050 to the Office of Attorney General, reflecting a cut of .1 percent.

    -HB 2561 by Rep. Mike Mass appropriating $13,543,032 to the Supreme Court, reflecting a cut of 2 percent.

    -HB 2651 by Rep. Mike Mass appropriating $40,689,169 to the District Courts containing a .7 percent budget cut.

Friday, May 17th

  • The Senate continued working through conference committee reports and appropriations measures on Friday, on the floor and in committee. The Senate will reconvene at 10:30 a.m., Monday, May 20th.

Other News

  • State Agencies learned they would be forced to cut more than 16 percent from the budgets for the last two months of the fiscal year; that's after revenue collections came in even lower than predicted for April. The agencies had been braced for cuts of 6 percent before Tuesday's announcement. The latest figures show a revenue shortage for the state of $179 million for FY 2002.