The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
For the week of Monday, March 31 to Thursday, April 3, 2003

Monday, March 31st

• The Senate convened at 1:30 p.m. on Monday. Although this marked the final week for committee action on measures from the House of Representatives, the full Senate did take up measures already on general order. Among those winning approval on Monday:

-HB 1105 by Sen. Maxine Horner and Rep. Thad Balkman would allow open containers in the passenger area of buses and limousines.

-HB 1688 by Sen. Randy Brogdon and Rep. Kris Steele would require a new decal to be issued for a vessel or outboard motor if the original decal issued by the Oklahoma Tax Commission is too large to be displayed properly.

-HB 1481 by Sen. Gilmer Capps and Rep. Abe Deutschendorf would clarify language prohibiting the use of unmarked police vehicles for use in routine traffic enforcement due to the increased incidents of individuals impersonating law enforcement officers.

• The House continued working through Senate measures awaiting committee action. However one of the measures approved by the full House on Monday was the floor substitute for SB 190 by Sen. Mike Morgan and Rep. Bill Mitchell. The measure would give a $9 million supplemental appropriation from the Rainy Day Fund to the Department of Corrections to reduce furloughs.

While that measure was approved, another addressing the area of corrections was not voted out of committee on Monday; SB 792 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson and Rep. David Braddock which would have created the “Capacity Activated Powers Act” aimed at helping address prison overcrowding. Other measures gaining approval by committee on Monday included:

-SB SB 276 by Rep. Al Lindley and Sen. Keith Leftwich would restrict notaries from giving legal advice unless qualified to do so.

-SB 312 by Rep. Debbie Blackburn and Sen. Mike Morgan would exempt interest earned in an Oklahoma college Savings Plan from forced sale to pay for debts.

Tuesday, April 1st

• On Tuesday, Senate committees continued working on House measures on second reading. However the full Senate also worked through measures on general order. Senator Angela Monson made a motion to reconsider the vote on HB 1278, the bill calling for a vote on a statewide lottery, but the motion was tabled, sending the measure back to the House. Among those measures winning approval:

-HB 1608 by Sen. Herb Rozell and Rep. Ray Miller would change the make-up of the State Board of Career and Technology Education. If approved, the measure would require the governor’s appointees to come from a business or industry where a majority of the workforce performs tasks for which the CareerTech system offers training. Members of the board would also be required to have a high school diploma.

-HB 1140 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield and Rep. Ron Peters would create a special volunteer medical license for physicians who are retired from active practice and wish to donate their expertise for the medical care and treatment of indigent and needy persons.

-HB 1319 by Sen. Randy Brogdon and Rep. Sue Tibbs would require anyone selling property to provide a written property disclaimer statement if methamphetamine had been manufactured at that location.

• The House of Representatives gave its approval to the following Senate measures :

-SB 188, floor substitute by Rep. Bill Mitchell and Sen. Mike Morgan appropriating $100,000 to the Office of Juvenile Affairs to prevent reductions in force.

-SB 191, floor substitute by Rep. Bill Mitchell and Sen. Mike Morgan appropriating $477,00 to the Oklahoma Tax Commission to hire necessary workers for processing income tax filings.

-SB 189, floor substitute by Rep. Bill Mitchell and Sen. Mike Morgan appropriating $1 million to the Office of State Finance for a computer system.

-SB 289 by Rep. Joan Greenwood and Sen. Nancy Riley would provide that first grade students be required to attend a school day that is no less than six hours long.

Wednesday, April 2nd

• Although Senate Committees continued to work through House measures awaiting action before the April 3rd deadline, the full Senate considered several measures on General Order on Wednesday. Among those winning approval:

-HB 1385 by Sen. Robert Milacek and Rep. Larry Ferguson would call for a statewide vote on a proposal to increase fuel taxes to fund transportation needs in the state.

-HB 1139 by Sen. Maxine Horner and Rep. Darrell Gilbert would authorize county commissioners to determine a curfew for unincorporated areas of that county. Violators could be found guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of at least $25. Subsequent violations could result in a fine of up to $100 and from one to 30 days in the county jail.

-SB 188 by Sen. Mike Morgan and Rep. Bill Mitchell would make an emergency appropriation to the Office of Juvenile Affairs of $100,000.

-SB 189 by Sen. Mike Morgan and Rep. Bill Mitchell contained an emergency appropriation for the Office of State Finance of $1 million.

-SB 190 by Sen. Mike Morgan and Rep. Bill Mitchell would make an emergency appropriation to the Department of Corrections of $9 million.

-SB 191 by Sen. Mike Morgan and Rep. Bill Mitchell would make an emergency appropriation to the Oklahoma Tax Commission of $477,000.

• Measures winning approval in the House of Representatives on Wednesday included:

-HB 1278 by Rep. Ron Kirby and Sen. Cal Hobson calling for a vote of the people on a statewide lottery with funds earmarked for education. (Also on Wednesday, the House Revenue and Taxation Committee approved SJR 22 that would call for a statewide vote to put the designation of lottery proceeds for education into the state constitution.)

-SB 288 by Rep. Paul Roan and Sen. Jay Paul Gumm establishing a moratorium in the issuance of temporary permits for the use of groundwater.

-SB 696 by Rep. William Paul and Sen. Dick Wilkerson would require the Department of Health to provide vaccinations to “at-risk” personnel and requiring some personnel to receive those vaccinations.

Thursday, April 3rd

• The Senate met briefly before adjourning so that committees could continue hearing legislation. Thursday marked the final day for Senate committee action on House measures. The Senate will reconvene at 1:30 p.m. Monday, April 7th.

Other News

• Governor Brad Henry and legislative leaders of both parties announced they had reached an agreement on the level of funding for common education for fiscal year 2004. The agreement calls for an appropriation of $1.95 billion, an increase over the $1.87 billion projected budget for the current fiscal year.

• Former State Senator Gene Stipe entered a guilty plea to charges that he funneled more than $245,000 in illegal campaign contributions to failed congressional candidate Walt Roberts’ 1998 campaign and then attempted to conceal the source.