The Oklahoma Senate
• Now that the March 11th deadline has passed, the Senate is now focused on committee action of House bills. The Senate took committee action on the following bills:
-HB 1894 by Rep. Jack Bonny and Sen. Gilmer Capps would
provide income tax credits to space transportation vehicle providers
and would modify the years concerning tax credits to investors making
an eligible investment as well as modify the types of tax for which
the credit may be given. The bill received a do pass vote of 7-0.
-SB 1224 by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. Ron Peters would increase the age of a child required to use a child passenger restraint system to six years of age. The bill includes an emergency clause and was given a do pass recommendation.
-SB 1400 by Sen. Maxine Horner and Rep. Darrell Gilbert would lift curfew violations out of the criminal code and place them into the juvenile code as well as eliminate jail time as a penalty for the violation. The bill passed committee.
-SB 873 by Sen. Glenn Coffee and Rep. John Nance would allow municipalities to support any public school system located in whole or in part of the corporate limits of the municipality or any public school system completely surrounded by the limits. The bill passed unanimously
-SB 1435 by Sen. Charlie Laster and Rep. Opio Toure would provide for revocation of professional licenses for non-payment of child support and expands failure to comply to include not submitting to genetic testing to determine paternity. The bill received a do pass recommendation.
-SB 1389 by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep. Randall Erwin states that if a firefighter is disabled while performing or in consequence of his/her job duties and is awarded an in line of duty disability pension, the payment from the account shall be in line of duty disability payment. The bill would also allow the spouse of a deceased Firefighters Pension and Retirement System member who served more than 20 years to receive benefits. The bill received a do pass recommendation.
-SB 1203 by Sen. Sam Helton and Rep. Larry Roberts would prohibit the participation of an elected official in the Oklahoma Public Employees Deferred Option Retirement Plan. The bill received a do pass recommendation.
-SB 1332 by Sen. Frank Shurden and Rep. Larry Rice would direct the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to solicit estimates from electricity producers in this state about their ability to process poultry waste as a fuel source for generation of electricity. The bill received a do pass recommendation.
• The Governor signed two bills on Monday – HB 2192 by Rep. Clay Pope and Sen. Jim Maddox modifies provisions applicable to certain electrical generating activity at manufacturing facilities; SB 996 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell is an appropriation for the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission.
Tuesday, March 16th
• The Senate met on Tuesday and heard the following legislation in committee:
-HB 2217 by Rep. Elmer Maddux and Sen. Frank Shurden would
allow a concentrated animal feeding operation to exceed the statutory
or permitted annual capacity or number limitations for five days. The
House amended the measure that includes a committee substitute. The
bill passed 11-0.
• The House met briefly to hear a few pieces of legislation and also took committee action on several bills.
-HB 2007 by Rep. Jack Bonny, Rep. Bill Mitchell, Sen. Mike Morgan and Sen. Ben Robinson is the general appropriations bill with House and Senate amendments. The bill would make appropriations for the expenses of various agencies of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the state. The bill passed by a vote of 54-44.
-SB 1374 as amended by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield and Rep. Ray McCarter would allow county sheriff’s departments to collect DNA samples. The title was restored and the bill received a do pass recommendation.
-SB 1168 by Sen. Daisy Lawler and Rep. Bill Paulk would increase the penalty for identity theft. The bill received a do pass recommendation.
-SB 1234 by Sen. Glenn Coffee and Rep. John Carey would prohibit the recording of motion pictures with handheld video recorders without the consent of the movie theatre. The bill includes an emergency measure and a committee substitute and received a do pass recommendation.
Wednesday, March 17th
• The Senate took committee action on several bills Wednesday. Among those were the following pieces of legislation:
-HB 2270 as amended by Rep. Carolyn Coleman and Sen. Jim Reynolds would modify the prohibition against acts causing serious bodily harm or death to require “intent to cause” as part of the statute. The bill received a do pass recommendation.
-HB 2109 as amended by Rep. Ron Kirby and Sen. Dick Wilkerson would state that all records relating to any investigation being conducted by the Investigations Division of the Department of Corrections would not be open to the public. The bill passed.
-HB 2435 as amended by Rep. Jari Askins and Sen. Dick Wilkerson would allow a laboratory to collect and analyze a person’s blood, saliva, or urine for evidence if the lab is accredited in toxicology by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board or by the American Board of Forensic Toxicology. The bill passed with the title stricken.
-HB 2577 as amended by Rep. Jim Newport and Sen. Frank
Shurden would modify the hours required for certification as full-time
officers from 326 to 380 hours. The bill passed.
• The House also focused on committee action, and approved the following measures:
-SB 1554 as amended by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. Danny Hilliard would create the Oklahoma Trauma Systems Improvement and Development Act. The bill received a do pass recommendation from the committee.
-CS for SB 1383 as amended by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep.
Clay Pope would exempt state sales tax on admission tickets for any
championship sporting event for the Big 12 Conference. The bill passed.
-SB 1112 by Sen. Kenneth Corn and Rep. Ray Miller would limit the length of a technology center school district member’s term of office to five years. The bill passed unanimously.
-CS for SJR 54 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. Paul Roan
would direct the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture to collaborate with
an Oklahoma higher education institution that offers a gunsmith curriculum
to develop strategies to encourage firearms manufacturers to relocate
to Oklahoma. The bill received a do pass recommendation.
Thursday, March 18th
• The Senate convened at 9:30 a.m. SCR 38 by Sen. Kenneth Corn was stricken from the calendar by his request. The Senate will reconvene on Monday, March 22nd at 1:30 p.m.
• A press conference was held Wednesday on the front steps of the Capital by members of the Hispanic community to call for an apology from Rep. Bill Graves. The Representative stated on the House floor that Oklahoma has too many “Hispanics and Mexicans and the more immigrants allowed into America the more our culture is going to change for the worse.”
The Representative made the remarks during debate on HB 2602 by Rep. Al Lindley and Sen. Debbe Leftwich, which would create a Latino Affairs Commission. In Graves’ apology he stated that “I meant to say that we have too many illegal Hispanics and Mexicans who have gone through the process of becoming legal immigrants, who are assimilating into our culture and who have learned the English language.” The Hispanic community was not satisfied with the statement and was looking to receive a more genuine apology.