The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
For the week of Monday, April 21 to Thursday, April 24, 2003

Monday, April 21st

• The Senate convened at 10 a.m. on Monday to continue their work on House measures still awaiting floor action, as well as consideration of House amendments on Senate measures. Among those measures winning approval on Monday:

-SJR 22 by Sen. Cal Hobson and Rep. Ron Kirby which calls for a vote of the people to amend the State Constitution to earmark proceeds of the “education lottery.” Because the measure was not approved by the two-thirds margin necessary for authorization of a special election, Governor Brad Henry announced the state question created the lottery and the proposed constitutional amendment earmarking the funds would not be voted on until November, 2004.

-HB 1790 by Sen. Kevin Easley and Rep. Jerry Hefner would prohibit any organization under the Oklahoma Charity Games Act from expending more than five percent of the total revenues collected in conducting charity games, excluding salaries and payouts, for expenses.

-SCR 20 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield and Rep. Gary Taylor which would designate April 23, 2003, as County Government Day.

• The House continued working through Senate measures awaiting floor action. Among the measures gaining approval by committee on Monday:

-SB 554 by Rep. Kevin Cox and Sen. Jonathan Nichols would establish a “zone of safety” to protect children from sex offenders. Under the legislation, anyone convicted of lewd molestation, rape or sodomy with a child younger than 13 would be barred from approaching closer than 300 feet to any school, child care center or playground. A first offense would be a misdemeanor with a possible fine of up to $2,500. Subsequent violations would be a felony with imprisonment.

-SB 353 by Rep. Joe Dorman and Sen. Charles Ford would allow state beer brewers to market and sell their products out-of-state and allow manufacturers to give away up to 12 ounces of various samples to consumers on the premises where the product is made.

-HB 1140 by Rep. Ron Peters and Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield would establish 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 individuals.

-FS for HCR 10001 by Rep. Bill Nations and Sen. Jonathan Nichols would create the Joint Task Force on Mold and Mold Redemption.

Tuesday, April 22nd

• On Tuesday, Governor Brad Henry signed more than a dozen bills into law, including the following measures:

-SB 5 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson and Rep. Ron Langmacher ensuring that building supplies are taxed at the point of delivery rather than the place at which they are purchased and calling on the Tax Commission to develop the mechanism for collecting taxes.

-SB 200 by Sen. Mike Morgan and Rep. Bill Mitchell appropriates funds to the Oklahoma State Regents for higher Education for capital improvement.

-HB 1086 by Rep. John Carey and Sen. Jay Paul Gumm which extends severance benefits to state employees who are separated from the state service as a result of a reduction-in-force due to a reorganization or any other action by an agency which results in affected positions being abolished and affected employees being severed from the state service.

-SB 660 by Sen. Glenn Coffee and Rep. Fred Perry which makes it illegal to put false or misleading information in the subject line of a commercial E-mail or to use a third party’s Internet address or domain name to make it appear the message came from that third party. Requires a working return E-mail address or toll free phone number for consumers to unsubscribe and requires information in the subject line indicating if it is a solicitation and additional information should the message contain sexually explicit information.

-SB 539 by Sen. Glenn Coffee and Rep. Danny Morgan creates the “use of Credit Information in Personal Insurance Act,” restricting the use of personal credit information by insurance companies in determining coverage.

• The Senate approved the following measures on Tuesday :

-HB 1007 by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep. Kevin Cox would call for the 14 historically significant flags previously flown on the Capitol’s south plaza, including the Confederate Flag, to instead be displayed at the new Oklahoma History Center Currently under construction.

-HB 1570 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. Dan Boren would authorize the Oklahoma Department of Commerce to establish a program to assist with grant applications.

-HB 1501 by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep. Kevin Cox would prohibit a registered sex offender from residing within 2000 feet of any public or private school site or educational institution.

-HB 1500 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. Joe Sweeden would establish requirements to be met for a government agency to declare an emergency. Immediate peril would have to exist to the preservation of public peace, health, safety, or welfare, or to comply with or implement legal requirements within time constraints.

• Among those measures winning approval in the House:

-SB 566 by Rep. Ray Vaughn and Sen. Ben Robinson restricting smoking to certain sections of private businesses and government buildings.

-SJR 21 by Speaker Larry Adair and Sen. Pres. Pro Tempore Cal Hobson calling for a vote of the people banning smoking in most public places. Exemptions would include “stand alone bars,” “cigar bars.”

-SB 267 by Rep. Susan Winchester and Sen. Angela Monson proposes that funds used for the treatment of Medicaid eligible patients that are subsequently used to establish federal matching fund requirements

-SB 741 by Rep. Hopper Smith and Sen. Scott Pruitt would require Internet providers to remove or disable access to child pornography.

-SB 673 by Rep. Paul Roan and Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield would make it a misdemeanor crime for any unauthorized person to display the words “state police” or impersonate a police officer. A conviction would carry a fine of up to $1000.

Wednesday, April 23rd

• Among those winning approval in the Senate on Wednesday:

-HB 1064 by Sen. Kenneth Corn and Rep. Darrell Gilbert would prohibit courts from giving custody of a child, in the event of the custodial parent’s death, to the non-custodial parent if that parent had been convicted of child endangerment.

-HB 1469 by Sen. Gene Stipe and Rep. David Braddock which would require national criminal history checks for members of the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission and applicants for an occupation license.

-HCR 1004 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge and Rep. Forrest Claunch urging universities to grant in-state tuition to children of military personnel who have left the state.

-HB 1724 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. David Braddock which would allow county commissioners to assist keeping lake areas clean.

-HB 1635 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. Jari Askins would create the “Uniform Child Witness Testimony by Alternative Methods Act.”

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

-SB 835 by Rep. Randall Erwin and Sen. Frank Shurden which calls for a vote of the people on a proposal to modify the penalty from a felony to a misdemeanor for first time offenders of the state ban on cockfighting.

-SB 591 by Rep. Jari Askins and Sen. Daisy Lawler would provide for a hospice in-patient facility license.

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

-SB 785 by Rep. Opio Toure and Sen. Angela Monson would direct the state commissioner of health to assemble a task force on Hepatitis C.

Thursday, April 24th

• The Senate continued working through House measures on third reading. Thursday marked the final day for floor action on House bills. The Senate will reconvene at 1:30 p.m. Monday, April 28th.

Other News

• Governor Brad Henry signed the K-12 public school budget into law on Thursday. HB 1160 allocated $1.95 billion to common education for fiscal year 2004. The measure includes an increase of approximately $80 million over fiscal year 2003’s appropriation.

• The 200th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase was observed in the State Senate on Tuesday as Senator Charles Ford, President of the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc., unveiled a painting depicting historic event. The Louisiana Purchase included what is now Oklahoma.