The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
For the week of Monday, May 5 to Thursday, May 8, 2003

Monday, May 5th

• Governor Brad Henry signed Senate Bill 3 into law on Monday. The measure, authored by Senator Keith Leftwich and co-authored in the House by Representatives Dan Boren and John Nance will move Oklahoma’s Presidential Primary to the first Monday in February. Other measures signed included:

-SB 395 by Sen. James R. Dunlap and Rep. Susan Winchester, adding terrorism to those topics that can be discussed in executive sessions of governmental agencies.

-HB 1146 by Rep. Thad Balkman and Sen. Jim Reynolds which requires state environmental agencies and public utilities to keep information provided to them relating to vulnerability assessments of critical assets in both water and wastewater systems confidential.

-HB 1268 by Rep. Darrell Gilbert and Sen. Bernest Cain clarifies policies related to unused medication under the utilization of Unused Prescription Medications Act.

• The Senate approved the following measures on Monday:

-SB 554 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols and Rep. Kevin Cox would create a “zone of safety” to protect children from sex offenders

-SB 547 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols and Rep. Bill Nations would modify the reappointment of state climatologist and require the Oklahoma Climatological Survey to maintain and operate the Mesonetwork.

-SB 464 by Sen. Keith Leftwich and Rep. Michael Tyler would authorize powers of the Oklahoma Transportation Authority.

-SR 23 by Sen. Cal Hobson which honored Ginger Barnes for her 35 years of service to the legislature.

• The House met briefly on Monday approving :

-HB 1469 by Rep. David Braddock and Sen. Jay Paul Gumm which would require fingerprinting and criminal history checks for various state employees and officials.

-HCR 1024 by Rep. David Braddock and Sen. Same Helton relating to findings of the Oklahoma Military Base Closure Prevention Task force.

Tuesday, May 6th

• Governor Henry approved the follow measures on Tuesday:

-SB 231 by Sen. Jim Reynolds and Rep. Kevin Calvey will exempt from lien tax sale residences of individuals defined as “totally disabled.”

-SB 452 by Sen. Glenn Coffee and Rep. Debbie Blackburn will change the procedure for hearings for the purpose of dismissing a school administrator for school districts with membership less than 30,000.

• Measures approved by the Senate on Tuesday included:

-SB 423 by Sen. Robert M. Kerr and Rep. William Paulk would require applicants for a driver license or identification card to be fingerprinted for proof of identity. House amendments were adopted.

-SB 705 by Sen. Keith Leftwich and Rep. Darrell Gilbert would allow psychiatric hospitals to ask for a national criminal record search on juveniles admitted to their facilities.

• The House approved one measure on Tuesday:

-HB 1449 by Rep. Jerry Ellis and Sen. Frank Shurden which would restrict employers from searching their employees’ vehicles in certain circumstances.

Wednesday, May 7th

• Governor Brad Henry signed several House and Senate bills into law on Wednesday, including the following:

-HB 1007 by Rep. Wayne Pettigrew and Sen. Angela Monson which provides for the display of historical flags, including the flag of the Confederacy, at the new State History Center.

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

-SB 673 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield and Rep. Paul Roan providing a penalty for falsely impersonating peace officers.

-SB 837 by Sen. Frank Shurden and Rep. Don Armes would allow charitable and non-profit organizations to hold raffles if the voters approve a statewide lottery.

-SB 260 by Sen. Keith Leftwich and Rep. Dan Boren will move the candidate filing back to mid-June, as well as moving the primary and run-off election dates for statewide elections.

-HB 1103 by Rep. Darrell Gilbert and Sen. Ben Robinson modifying restrictions on disclosure of mental health treatment information.

• The Senate gave approval to the following measures on Wednesday:

-SB 596 by Sen. Keith Leftwich and Rep. Al Lindley which would express the intent of the Legislature that all Oklahoma high school graduates be permitted to enroll and attend for an institution of higher education and qualify for scholarships and student aid regardless of the nationality of parents.

-SB 702 by Sen. Sam Helton and Rep. Elmer Maddux which would provide that “junk vehicles” towed by a wrecker for the state and stored may foreclose on the vehicle if a service lien accrues for five days. Every owner or operator of vehicles towed or stored will be responsible for the total amount of the debt for services rendered. The measures allows for the Department of Public Safety to suspend driver privileges until debts are paid.

-SB 810 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson and Rep. Barbara Staggs would allow the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women to form a task force to study incarceration of women.

-SB 722 by Sen. Ted Fisher and Rep. Danny Hilliard relating to public finance and making the Office of the State Bond Advisor a separate agency.

Thursday, May 8th

• The Senate convened at 9 a.m. on Thursday morning, but recessed to allow committee consideration of executive nominations. The Senate will reconvene at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, May 12th.

Other News

• Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson announced he had secured unanimous support from the Democrat caucus for a second two-year term. His selection to continue in that role will mean Hobson will lead the Senate until he leaves office at the end of the 50th Oklahoma Legislature in 2006.