The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, March 29 through Thursday April 1, 2004

• The Senate was working through measures in committees by the April 1st deadline to give bills from the opposite house a hearing. Among the legislation considered are the following:

-HB 2384 as amended by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep. Kevin Cox would prohibit the inclusion of Academic Performance Index data on secondary school student in certain districts and prohibits the data from being included on high school transcripts. The measure failed to receive a second in the committee.

-CS for HB 2567 as amended by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson and Rep. Joan Greenwood would create the Middle School Mathematics Task Force for the purpose of evaluating and making recommendations about middle school teacher licensure and certification requirements. The measure failed by a vote of 6-7.

-CS for HB 2145 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich and Rep. Al Lindley would create the Advancement of Hispanic Students in Higher Education Task Force and would also monitor the implementation and administration of policy for resident tuition. The task force would also be responsible for the study, report, and recommendations on recruitment, retention and completion of Hispanic students in higher education. The bill was given a do pass recommendation.

-HB 1133 as amended by Sen. Herb Rozell and Rep. Joe Eddins would allow a school district to recommend medical evaluations to parents or legal guardians without being liable for the associated medical costs. The bill pertains to a situation of a student not reading at the appropriate grade level due to an undiagnosed medical problem that may slow a student’s productivity. The bill received a do pass recommendation.

-HB 2294 by Sen. Owen Laughlin and Rep. Gus Blackwell would authorize a board of education to reimburse meal and lodging expenses of school district students and sponsors. The bill received a do pass recommendation.

-HB 2299 as amended by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep. Sue Tibbs would increase fines for drivers caught driving without a license or suspended license if they are pulled over for other violations. The measure passed 8-1.

• The full Senate considered the following measures:

-SB 1383 by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep. Clay Pope would exempt the sales of admission tickets for any Big 12 Conference championship sporting event from state sales taxes. The bill and emergency clause passed 44-0 and will be sent to the Governor’s desk.

-HB 1891 by Sen. Randy Brogdon and Rep. Chris Benge would repeal sections of a measure signed into law last year, which relates to the funding of the Tulsa County Retirement System and would transfer credits from the state to the county. The measure failed 23-20.

-HB 1851 by Sen. Jim Dunlap and Rep. Wayne Pettigrew would allow an employer to no longer participate in the State and Education Employees Group Insurance Act but would provide health insurance coverage through another insurance carrier. The bill and emergency passed 44-0.

-HB 2128 by Sen. Richard Lerblance and Rep. Danny Morgan would allow winemakers to offer samples at public conventions and festivals. The measure was amended to allow winemakers to sell the samples if they chose to do so. The measure and emergency clause passed 38-7.

• The House was also working to get bills through committees as well as considered legislation on the floor. Among those measures that were heard on the floor:

-SB 1112 as amended by Sen. Kenneth Corn and Rep. Ray Miller would limit the length of time of a career technology center school district’s board member’s term of office to five years between elections. The bill and emergency clause passed 94-4.

-SB 1129 by Sen. Nancy Riley and Rep. Ron Peterson would limit the number of certain types of school transfers to one transfer under the Education Open Transfer Act. The measure and emergency passed 98-0.

-SB 1332 as amended by Sen. Frank Shurden and Rep. Larry Rice would require the Department of Agriculture to report data from electric public utilities, wholesale generators, and the Grand River Dam Authority regarding their ability to process poultry waste as a fuel source for generation of electric energy. The bill and emergency passed 94-5.

-SB 1419 as amended by Sen. Jerry Smith and Rep. Randall Erwin would add a surcharge to bonds for the operation of county jails and authorize the sheriff or booking office to collect the surcharge from the bail bond agent. An amendment was made to change the $25 fee to a $2.50 fee. The bill as amended and emergency clause passed 68-31.

• The following measures were approved by committee on Monday:

-SB 1272 by Sen. Kenneth Corn and Rep. Terry Harrison would provide for a salary increase schedule according to their higher education degree as well as their experience as a teacher and provides for additional year steps to the salary schedule. The bill received a do pass recommendation.

-SB 877 by Sen. Kenneth Corn and Rep. John Nance would allow the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) to use funds from the OSBI Revolving Fund, the AFIS Fund or the Forensic Science Improvement Revolving Fund to purchase equipment and provide training to law enforcement agencies in the state. The measure was reported do pass.

-SB 1486 by Sen. Scott Pruitt and Rep. Fred Morgan would authorize the creation of a re-entry program within the Department of Corrections for the offenders who need structured release prior to sentence completion. The measure was reported do pass.

-SB 1407 by Sen. Glenn Coffee and Rep. Fred Morgan would expand DUI violations to include private property as well as allow municipal courts to hear any violation of a municipal ordinance for driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substance. The bill was amended to clarify private property as places that are regularly used by the public such as apartment parking lots, gated communities, and mall parking lots. Another amendment was made to include the fine to be doubled if the convicted person was transporting a child 15 years of age or younger. The bill received a do pass recommendation.

-SB 1531 by Sen. Cal Hobson and Rep. Larry Adair would establish a maximum fine and minimum imprisonment for employers who require an employee to pay part of the health costs for work related injuries. The bill passed.

• Governor Brad Henry signed the following bills on Monday:

-SB 883 by Sen. Bernest Cain and Rep. Susan Winchester requires a collision report to be made available to the health services provider of an individual being treated as a result of the collision. The bill also allows insurance companies to obtain information or settlement claims without constituting a resale or use of date for trade or commercial solicitation purposes.

-HB 2469 by Rep. David Braddock and Sen. Ben Robinson modifies the definition of a person under the Oklahoma Insurance Code to add “any farmer’s educational and cooperative union” to current language.

-SB 1231 by Sen. Mark Snyder and Rep. Mike Reynolds modifies acreage requirements in certain circumstances for public improvements and plats.

-SB 851 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield and Rep. David Braddock changes procedures relating to the annexation of land into a municipality.

-SB 1209 by Sen. Frank Shurden and Rep. John Nance repeals a section of law relating to disposition of fees and travel reimbursement and deletes language relating to the keeping, feeding and maintaining of prisoners.


Tuesday, March 30th

• The Senate met in committee on Tuesday and heard the following legislation:

-HB 2135 as amended by Sen. Glenn Coffee and Rep. Ron Peters would create the Family Wealth Preservation Trust Act, which would allow the corpus and income of a preservation trust to be exempt from attachment and prohibiting the act from increasing the value of homestead exemption. The bill received a do pass recommendation.

-CS for HB 2714 by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep. Opio Toure would delete the prohibition to renew licenses based on felony convictions for cosmetologists, professional engineers, land surveyors, athletic trainers, apprentices, real estate appraisers, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists and audiologists, professional counselors, marital and family therapists, and licensed behavioral practitioners. The measure passed 5-2.

-HB 1821 as amended by Sen. Jerry Smith and Rep. Susan Winchester would change procedures for the adoption of children of foreign countries. The bill passed 7-0.

-HB 2106 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson and Rep. Terry Ingmire would raise the maximum monetary amounts permitted under the small claims procedure from $4,500 to $6,000 for suits brought before the court. The measure passed 4-3.

-HB 2271 as amended by Sen. Jim Reynolds and Rep. Carolyn Coleman would modify the grounds of expungement to extend to an individual that has been wrongfully charged with a crime and would allow for expungement upon dismissal of the charges. The bill was reported do pass.

-HB 2363 as amended by Sen. Charlie Laster and Rep. Lance Cargill would add a business court docket and enact the Business Court Act. The bill passed 5-2.

-CS for HB 2373 as amended by Sen. Debbe Leftwich and Rep. Ray Vaughn would create the Oklahoma Quality Investment Act and the intent of the bill is to keep manufacturers currently in Oklahoma that retool and modernize their plants. The measure was approved 12-0.

-HB 2112 as amended by Sen. Debbe Leftwich and Rep. Ron Kirby would provide for income tax exemption for senior citizens. The bill passed 10-0.

-HB 2226 as amended by Sen. Mike Morgan and Rep. Terry Ingmire would create the Alternate Retirement Plan for Eligible Employees of Participating State Institutions of Higher Education. The bill passed 6-0.

• The full Senate considered the following measures:

-HB 1899 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. John Nance would require males between the ages of 16 and 26 to sign a consent statement for the Selective Service System when applying or renewing a driver license or identification card. If the applicant refuses, the license or the ID card will be denied. The measure passed 42-0.

-HB 2394 by Sen. Richard Lerblance and Rep. James Covey would allow Oklahoma Department of Agriculture to levy fines for penalties under jurisdiction of the department. The bill and emergency passed 40-0.

- HB 2528 by Sen. James Williamson and Rep. Ray Vaughn would require the Administrative Director of the Courts to establish a standard visitation schedule. The billed and emergency passed by a vote of 36-2.

• The House took committee action on several bills as well as took floor action on the following:

-HR 1040 by Rep. Fred Morgan and Rep. John Trebilcock would create a special investigating committee to conduct a comprehensive and detailed study and investigation of the activities of Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher to determine if articles of impeachment should be brought against the Commissioner. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 84-12.

-HB 2176 Sen. Dick Wilkerson and Rep. John Nance would add psuedoephedrine in tablet form to the schedule 5 narcotics list. Psuedoephedrine is a main component in the manufacturing of methamphetamines, but liquid forms, gelcaps and children’s medications containing the drug cannot be used in the manufacturing. Any individual who purchases a product containing any amount of psuedoephedrine will be required to produce a photo ID showing their date of birth as well as sign a log or receipt showing the date of the transaction, name of the person and amount of the compound, mixture or preparation purchased. The bill passed 98-0 and will be sent to the Governor’s desk.

-SB 1529 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. M.C. Leist would create the Oklahoma Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act and would specify duties of the Public Employees Relations Board as well as establish employer and employee rights to collective bargaining. The bill failed by a vote of 47-52 and a motion to reconsider was made.

-SB 1311 as amended by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. Ron Langmacher would authorize the Department of Environmental Quality to operate laboratories to analyze samples. The bill and emergency clause passed 98-0.

• The House considered the following in committee:

-SB 1308 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield and Rep. Kevin Cox would allow a public health authority to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for volunteers acting pursuant to the Catastrophic Health Emergency Powers Act. The bill passed.

-SB 1560 as amended by Sen. Frank Shurden and Rep. Joe Hutchison would exempt any person receiving Social Security Disability benefits, Supplemental Social Security Income benefits or disability benefits under the Railroad Retirement Act from the fees pertaining to controlled hunts. The measure was approved.

-SB 1392 as amended by Sen. Owen Laughlin and Rep. Gus Blackwell would allow a court to order the defendant to reimburse all actual costs of incarceration upon conviction or entry of a deferred judgment and sentence. The sheriff would give notice to the defendant of the costs before they are collected. The measure was reported do pass.

• Governor Brad Henry vetoed SB 1152 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson and Rep. Terry Harrison, which would have required the Attorney General to provide notice to the Governor in any civil action or proceeding in which the state or an agency or employee of the state is a party.

- The Governor approved several other measures including the following: HB 1839, HB 2217, HB 2620, SB 858, SB 1208, SB 1326, SB 1549, HB 2090, HB 2091, HB 2092, HB 2093, HB 2094, HB2097, HB 2098, HB 2099 and HB 2100.

-HB 2324 by Rep. Kevin Cox and Sen. Frank Shurden prohibits property and casualty companies from increasing rates in certain circumstance.


Wednesday, March 31st

• The Senate took committee action on several bills Wednesday. Among those were the following pieces of legislation:

-CS for HB 2121 as amended by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. Robert Worthen relates to the sale of drug paraphernalia. The measure would establish maximum fines of $1,000 upon the first conviction, $5,000 for the second conviction and $10,000 upon the third or subsequent convictions. The bill would allow a jury to determine if an object is drug paraphernalia and prohibits the sale of paraphernalia for the intent of ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing marijuana, cocaine, hashish or hashish oil into the body. The measure passed.

-CS for HB 2379 by Sen. Penny Williams and Rep. Larry Rice would provide exemptions for long and short-term capital gains tax. The bill passed 9-0.

-HB 2559 as amended by Sen. Robert Milacek and Rep. Bill Nations would increase the rate of taxation on gasoline and diesel fuel. The bill passed 8-1.

-The Senate Appropriations Committee approved more than 60 measures including HB 2477 as amended by Sen. Charlie Laster and Rep. Terry Rice which would provide students who have individualized education programs in an area related to reading to be exempt from the reading goal for Oklahoma. The bill was amended by Sen. Laster to allow teachers and principals in elementary and secondary school systems to display in classrooms, school auditorium, or cafeteria the national motto “In God We Trust” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” or “out of many one.”

-HB 1571 as amended by Sen. Jeff Rabon and Sen. J. Berry Harrison would create the Oklahoma State and Education Employees Group Insurance Act and would relieve health insurance premiums of retired public employees, not including HMOs. The bill passed.

-CS for HB 1853 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson and Rep. Dale Turner would create the Mary Rippy Violent Crime Offenders Registration Act requiring any person who has been convicted or received a suspended sentence for a crime or an attempt to commit a crime to register with the Department of Corrections and local law enforcement after conviction. The bill passed.

-HB 2250 as amended by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. Bill Paulk would increase certain court fees and deposits additional revenues in the Trauma Care Assistance Revolving Fund and require annual disbursement from the fund. The bill passed.

-CS for HB 2282 as amended by Sen. Dick Wilkerson and Rep. Bill Mitchell would allow the Department of Health to charge a fee to inspect all public pools. The bill passed.

-HB 2382 by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. Wayne Pettigrew would create the Oklahoma Trauma Services Act and the Oklahoma Trauma Care System Advisory Council. The bill passed.


• The House also focused on committee action, and approved the following measures:

-SB 1272 by Sen. Kenneth Corn and Rep. Terry Harrison would provide for a salary increase schedule for teachers according to their higher education degree as well as their years of experience as a teacher. Teachers will receive yearly pay raises, ranging from $300 for starting teachers with a bachelor’s degree in the plan’s first year to $1,400 for teachers with a master’s degree and 15 years or more experience in the plan’s fifth year. The bill passed.

-CS for SB 1490 by Sen. Mike Morgan and Rep. Larry Roberts would create the Oklahoma Child Lead Poisoning Prevention Act. The bill passed.

-CS for SB 1254 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. John Carey modify certain application procedures for exemption for the Ad Valorem tax and would require the county assessor to make certain affirmation. The bill was reported do pass.

-CS for SB 1146 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield and Rep. Gary Taylor would allow an election to be canceled if only one candidate is on the ballot for any of the county commissioner’s districts. The bill passed.

• The House considered the following legislation on the floor:

-HB 1844 by Rep. Clay Pope and Sen. David Myers would create the Motor Carrier Safety and Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. The bill and emergency passed 99-0.

-SB 1529 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. M.C. Leist would enact the Oklahoma Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act and would establish duties of the Public Employees Relations Board. The bill passed 52-46.


• Governor Henry signed HB 2122 by Rep. Jerry Ellis and Sen. Frank Shurden, which would prohibit the creation of a rule or policy that would not allow a person, except a convicted felon, from transporting a firearm in a locked vehicle on any property set aside for any vehicle.

• The Governor also signed SB 1224 by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. Ron Peters that would raise the age of a child required to use a child passenger restraint system to six years of age.

Thursday, April 1st

• The Senate convened at 9:30 a.m. and will reconvene on Monday, April 4th at 10:30 am.

Other News

• Some Senate members observed the success of the Oklahoma State men’s basketball team in the NCAA tournament by wearing orange.

Index